Oracle Fudge

One of my favorite holiday treats was my MeeMaw’s fudge brownies. Note: I did a brief poll (only 5 people so not statistically significant) but nevertheless, 100% of the people I surveyed had a grandparent that they called either MeeMaw or PopPa. And 40% had both a MeeMaw and a PopPa. Of course all 5 of the pollees were native Texans. Anyway, here’s what my MeeMaw’s fudge brownies looked like.

Oracle has a long history of baking fudge as well.

So here’s a little Oracle Fudge for you!

11gR1 has 4 parameters with the word fudge in them.


These four “fudge” parameters have been around with the same default values since at least 8.1.7. Maybe the elves will fix these in version 12.

And in keeping with the holiday theme, I’m reminded of the song “My Favorite Things” (often sung at Christmas) that goes:

“blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah,
These are a few of my favorite things”
(think Julie Andrews in Sound of Music)

Anyway, here’s a few of my favorite parameters (and my interpretation of what they mean):

db_cache_advice – If you turn this one on, Oracle will tell you what to do with your money.
db_cache_size – And this one will tell you how much money you have.
db_ultra_safe – Oddly enough, this one defaults to OFF. Seems like you’d want your database to be “Ultra Safe”.
ifile – Looks like someone from Apple slipped this one in (you know – iPod, iPhone, iMac, etc…).
large_pool_size – Just how big is your pool?
skip_unusable_indexes – Defaults to TRUE. I guess if you want, you can tell Oracle to use those unusable indexes.
_addm_skiprules – Yeah, rules suck!
_ash_size – Do these pants make my butt look big?
_backup_max_gap_size – How big does the doorway have to be to get your butt through it?
_asm_disk_repair_time – Uh oh, time to repair those disks.
_avoid_prepare – Why get ready ahead of time.
_awr_disabled_flush_tables – Not sure but it sounds stinky.
_awr_sql_child_limit – Population control?
_bloom_pruning_enabled – Trim the roses!
_bwr_for_flushed_pi – Not sure what this one does, but flushing pie seems like such a waste.
_cvw_enable_weak_checking – I’d prefer strong checking please! Get that weak stuff out of here!
_db_aging_cool_count – I used to be cool, I think.
_db_aging_hot_criteria – ???
_db_block_bad_write_check – I hope our database is not writing bad checks!
_db_block_check_for_debug – I think a developer from Chicago named this one (and it should be: _db_block_check_for_the_bug).
_db_cache_crx_check – I don’t know what a crx check is, but cashing any kind of check should be good, right?
_db_large_dirty_queue – Just like in the laundry room at home.
_db_row_overlap_checking – Do your rows overlap? Perhaps we should check that.
_disable_fast_aggregation – Why would anyone use this, “No thanks, I want really slow aggregation”
_dtree_pruning_enabled – Trim D-Tree too while yer at it!
_extended_pruning_enabled – Cut ’em way back!
_disable_recoverable_recovery – Hmmmm???? I guess if you don’t want your recovery to be recoverable you can set this one.
_dummy_instance – I’ve thought this many times (it’s basically the same as the _stupid_database parameter).
_dispatcher_rate_scale – How much are we paying that dispatcher anyway?
_fairness_threshold – My queries should always run faster than everyone else’s, I think that’s fair.
_flashback_fuzzy_barrier – Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair, Fuzzy Wuzzy wasn’t very fuzzy was he.
_gc_defer_time – I’ve wanted to do this many times in the past.
_ges_dd_debug – Sounds like a speech impediment, b,b,but maybe not.
_hard_protection – Well if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.
_imr_avoid_double_voting – They needed this in Florida during the 2004 election.
_in_memory_undo – Same as the _forget parameter.
_kdli_STOP_dba – Keep the DBA from messing up the system.
_kdli_delay_flushes – Don’t flush until a specified threshold is reached.
_kdlwp_flush_threshold – The amount of poo that triggers flushing (see _kdli_delay_flushes).
_kdli_memory_protect – Same as the _dont_forget parameter (i.e. the opposite of the _forget parameter).
_kdli_squeeze – One of my favorite bands.
_kebm_nstrikes – The number of strikes before you are out (defaults to 3 – no joke).
_kebm_suspension_time – How long before convicted felons can return to playing football.
_kill_enqueue_blocker – What the defensive linemen try to do on every play.
_kill_java_threads_on_eoc – I always turn this one on, because anything that kills java threads is OK in my book.
_kfm_disable_set_fence – Good fences make good neighbors.
_kse_signature_limit – The cash advance limit on your credit card.
_ksi_clientlocks_enabled – Can be used on clients when they won’t follow your advice.
_lm_better_ddvictim – Not sure what this one does, but it has the word victim in it, scary!
_lm_master_weight – Set this to get control of your diet.
_lm_tx_delta – Ah the Texas delta, I think it’s some where near Galveston.
_max_exponential_sleep – The older I get, the longer the naps.
_memory_sanity_check – Do I seem crazy to you?
_mv_generalized_oj_refresh_opt – In general, orange juice is refreshing!
_olapi_memory_operation_history_retention – Same as the _dont_forget parameter (see _kdli_memory_protect).
_olap_wrap_errors – When you cut the wrapping paper too short and it won’t go around the present and you have to cut a little strip to cover the gap.
_optimizer_ignore_hints – No matter what you hear in there, no matter how cruelly I beg you, no matter how terribly I may scream, don’t open that door.
_optimizer_random_plan – This one is self evident and has defaulted to TRUE since the CBO first came out.
_optimizer_squ_bottomup – Bottoms Up!
_parallel_fake_class_pct – “The higher you hold your pinky, the fancier you are.” – Patrick from Sponge Bob.
_parallel_syspls_obey_force – The parameter that allows you to get the sysadmins (syspls) to do what you tell them.
_pct_refresh_double_count_prevented – This would have been useful in Florida during the 2004 election.
_pdml_gim_staggered – Gim must have had too much to drink.
_pred_move_around – If your dad was in the air force and you moved from base to base while growing up, setting this parameter will make you feel right at home.
_px_no_stealing – This parameter is set to TRUE by default and it’s actually against the law to change it.
_px_nss_planb – Use this parameter if plan A doesn’t work.
_shrunk_aggs_enabled – I don’t like shrunk aggs, I like the big-uns, wif bacun!
_spin_count – Have you ever seen fans at a baseball game put their heads on the end of a bat and turn circles and then run? You get the idea.
_two_pass_reverse_polish_enabled – I don’t think this one is politically correct.
_use_best_fit – One size fits all does not fit all.
_write_clones – Send a letter to your siblings.
_ultrafast_latch_statistics – Anything that is ultrafast has got to be fantastic!
_xsolapi_densify_cubes – Densify??? I think they made that word up.
_xsolapi_optimize_suppression – Allows us to to keep the common man down as effectively as possible.
_xsolapi_stringify_order_levels – Stringify??? I think they made that word up too!
_xsolapi_use_models – It will make our advertising look better!

Here a few that allow you to turn on (or off) special checks:

_disable_acid_check – My acid is just fine thanks.
_disable_cpu_check – Yep, this machine has got at least one.
_disable_health_check – I don’t need no stinking annual checkup!
_disable_image_check – And I really don’t care how I look!

Here’s a few parameters dealing with death:

_px_execution_services_enabled – Apparently we can set up a special service for executions.
_xsolapi_share_executors – And if you have a lot of killing to do, it’s wasteful to not share executors.
_imr_splitbrain_res_wait – Sounds like it would hurt (if not kill).
_ksv_spawn_control_all – Creates zombies.
_cgs_zombie_member_kill_wait – Specifies how long to wait before slaying zombies!
_imr_evicted_member_kill – Boy I hope I don’t get evicted!
_ksu_diag_kill_time – Killing Time!
_ksuitm_dont_kill_dumper – The rumor is that this one was named by an animal rights activist and it was supposed to be “Don’t Kill Thumper”.
_lm_rcvr_hang_kill – Death by hanging!
_ksv_pool_hang_kill_to – If hanging doesn’t work, drown them in the pool!
_hang_detection – Turn this on so we’ll know when anybody is getting hung.

And just in case the 2000+ parameters in 11g aren’t enough, they have a few spares:


 Anyway, that’s it for now. I hope you have a happy holiday and a …

Merry Christmas!


  1. osborne says:

    I keep getting comments (they won’t write them down though) about how to spell MeeMa (or MaMaw, or MemMa) and PopPa (or PaPaw or PaPa). Whatever! We pronounced it like Mem Mah and Pah Pah (I think). Although I know some Texans say Mee Mah. Anyway, you get the idea. I’ve changed the spelling in the post a couple of times now. I decided to go back and see how they spelled it themselves (I still have a couple of birthday cards that I saved – don’t ask me why). MaMaw and PaPaw was how the spelled it (of course we didn’t really say it that way, so like I said, whatever.

  2. There are a few that must be set to avoid the inevitable:

    _db_aging_cool_count = 27 yrs is about the coolest you’ll ever be
    _db_aging_freeze_cr = Please stop me from aging at 27
    _db_aging_hot_criteria = Yes, I’d like to be hot no matter how old I am
    _db_aging_stay_count = Please, please don’t let me go past 27
    _db_aging_touch_time = I’d like to set that to 95 so I don’t lose touch

  3. Cary Millsap says:

    Add me to your survey. We have a MeeMaw and a PaPaw (as distinct from Papa), and even an aunt named Bobbie who now goes by BeeBaw.

  4. osborne says:

    And you weren’t even born in Texas (although Oklahoma is pretty close).

  5. osborne says:

    Tanel has written a post that I just stumbled across on the history of Oracle database code showing clear indication that some of the code was originally stolen from the Russians (in a similar vein as this post). Here’s a link:

  6. osborne says:

    I attended the Texas A&M Sports Hall of Fame banquet last weekend. One of the inductees was Greg Hill, a running back from the early 90’s that went on to play several seasons in the NFL. He’s a good ol’ boy from Texas (Dallas actually) and during his acceptance speech he mentioned his “PopPaw”. Go figure.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Oh boy, you make a tedious job sounds so much fun!!! I love IT and I love my job which is usually dry, tedious and monotone, except there are these occasions that all hells break loose somewhere. Now I know there is always a thin thread of humor in a day of an Oracle DBA.

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