13 October 2010

Questions regarding 12 October quiz and contents of nested table (1505)

The 12 October quiz asked the following: Assuming that l_table is declared as you see below, which of these Boolean expressions are always true, regardless of the contents of the nested table?
  l_table   numbers_t := numbers_t ();
Several people have written to me about this (actually, on a different blog post - I will copy them below for clarity) as follow: "I completely mis-read today's quiz for October 12th, and looking at the average score, I am assuming everyone else did too. I thought all the choices referred to an empty table/array, even though in retrospect you clearly say otherwise. Live and learn, I guess." "Yes, the quiz would be much more clear if a comment like /* some operations on the l_table here */ will be present in the block." And two players put together a block of code to demonstrate that the way I scored the answers was incorrect for the empty nested table shown in the question. I thought it was rather clear that since (a) I do not include the executable section and (b) I say "always true, regardless of the contents of the nested table" (italics added), I am asking you which statement will be true regardless of what you do with the nested table in the executable section. Not clear enough, I suppose. I am not going to change the score (uh oh, perhaps others will stop playing the Challenge? Hmmm. It is 5:45 AM. Perhaps I am just irritable). I will, however, change the text of the question so that it is more clear in the future (I say this because I plan in the future for you to be able to take quizzes again, to practice and further sharpen your knowledge!). Regards, SF


  1. For what it is worth, I think this question was perfectly understandable. I only made two mistakes that lowered my score because I did not know something and did not think of what happens when you delete the first entry. I learned a lot from this nice question (I did not know the LIMIT function and TRIM procedure, guess I stick to associative arrays to many times).

    Keep up the good work, Steven. The majority of us still like it very much, I am sure,


  2. I agree with Toine, I think the question was quite clear and also agree with you, Steven, that there is no need for changing the score (and I'm saying that even if I could benefit from rescoring as I just screwed this one up).


  3. Well I think 12 OCT question was clear enough , tricky and more intelligent question as far as Intermediate level is concerned.
    Although I got 2 wrong and 3 right, I don't feel that steven needs to do re scoring.


  4. I think that "regardless of the contents of the nested table" speaks for itself.


  5. Hello Steven & all the players,

    I completely understand the frustration of all those whose ranks suffer as a result of having been mislead by the quiz text being interpretable in slightly different ways ...

    I should confess that, for me, while at the beginning the PLSQL Challenge was just a "morning cookie", by now I became totally adicted to it and sometimes I feel that I "deserve the rank punishment" for acting too quickly and making beginner mistakes ...

    Related to this "psychological effect" of
    the challange as a contest, I have a small suggestion, maybe not too difficult to implement in the website:

    To add a preference to the player's profile that allows HIDING of the player's summary results as follows:

    1. on the HOME PAGE (the first page displayed after logon)
    2. on the DAILY QUIZ page

    and have it displayed on the other pages only.

    Hiding the results (scores) may mean even just replacing them with asterisks ...

    This is because, once adicted to this "drug",
    one cannot resist seeing his score and,
    implicitly, the progress or regress from the previous day, which puts him already in a "specific mood" before even taking the new quiz ...

    Just a personal testimony ...

    Otherwise, I would just suggest to all those that seem to be considering quitting the challenege after the last 2 days problems
    to think it over again ...
    It's a pity to leave when there are so many
    things to learn every day or even just to become more conscious of the small details ...

    To speak only of myself, I think that learning from mistakes is a great way to learn,
    I am most happy when I can say that for sure I will not make the same mistake twice !

    Steven, I am really impressed of the huge work that you invest in this quiz, besides so many other activities !

    I wish I had several such quizes in other fields also, even in parallel !
    Constantly improving your results in your daily activity fields simply gives a great feeling of contentness, for many people maybe the only moral reward they ever receive from anyone.

    Keep on with your great work, for the benefit of all of us !

    Thanks & Best Regards,

  6. Hi Iudith, the fact that I sometimes have a bad score, does only mean that I just get more addicted to this. And I must do more reading on those pesky arrays/tables. So no quitting. And I want to see my score. If my ranking goes lower, I spend more time in googling to learn fast on the mentioned subject which in general leads to a better score if you know nothing about it.

    It is also sometimes a challenge to find errors in the quiz. As long as it don't change into bashing it is also a nice action.

  7. People need to read ALL the text. If they try to fast forward it, it's a risk.

    Keep the great work and thanks for your time!

  8. I misread it, too, it's what I paid for my carelessness.