Username Password
Bookmark and Share

Doug Bell

User: snapcount
Date: 1/21/2007 6:45 pm
Views: 7370
Rating: -46    Rate [

Age: 23
Location: Oshkosh, WI, USA
Profession: Developer, Designer, Revolutionary
Favorite Color: Olive


In what way(s) do you contribute to WebGUI or the WebGUI Community?

Mainly I'm a Perl developer, doing work on the WebGUI core. I also do community support in the IRC channel ( #webgui).

Thus far I've re-written the Events Calendar (now just Calendar) from scratch, closed a few dozen bugs, and helped numerous people on the public support areas.

When did you first hear of WebGUI?

I responded to a job posting on I looked at some of the sites that are powered by WebGUI and liked what I saw.

How and when did you get involved in WebGUI?

After responding to the above-mentioned job posting, Frank Dillon offered me a job as a contractor for a small project. My success on that contract paved the way to me being hired-on full-time.

Are you paid to work on WebGUI?

Yes, but only because surviving in meatspace costs money.

How much time do you spend on WebGUI?

Besides my expected 40-hour week, my side projects for WebGUI consume another 20+ hours (but they're fun, so they don't count as work).

What do you think is still missing from WebGUI or the WebGUI Community?

The major things missing I've already mentioned to Plain Black: More robust error handling, more feature-rich upgrade system, incremental patching for bugfixes that occur in a beta release. I've been given license to try to come up with solutions to the upgrade/patching problem, and the error-handling problem is under development.

What keeps you motivated to keep working on WebGUI?

Besides a paycheque, I finally get to do professional Perl/Web development for a company that's fun to work with. Outside of Plain Black, I get to develop a system that Just Works, and I take pride in working to make WebGUI the best CMS available.

What's WebGUI's killer feature and why?

From a content-manager's standpoint: Flexibility. To this day, I get amazed at some of the sites that have been developed with WebGUI. There are CMSes that look like CMSes, and there's WebGUI.

From a developer's standpoint: Perl. 19 years old. I've got 7 years experience and this language still amazes me. Anything you want to do, you can do with Perl.

What's WebGUI's greatest weakness and why?

It's big. Really big. That isn't a weakness in itself, but because it's so big, maintainability becomes a major effort. Some of the cooks stirring the soup seem to have neglected writing maintainable code. (note: This is another thing that Plain Black is working on, by implementing Perl Best Practices)

What makes you work on WebGUI over the competition?
It doesn't suck. I'll try to keep this short...

1) It wasn't written in PHP.
2) It was written in Perl.
3) It's a Content Management System built upon an Application Framework. There are clear definitions between the two.
4) I can leave the boring stuff (managing content, styles and templates, administrating users, making license plates) to the non-developers while I get to do the fun stuff (hack a new Auth module to handle OpenID / LID / other distributed identity systems).

What's your most brilliant WebGUI hack?

If I were so inclined, I'd say the new Calendar Wobject. The new WebGUI::DateTime API that wraps Perl's and adds some nice features. The ability to download an SQLReport's output as a CSV file.

Have you attended the WebGUI User's Conference?

Not yet. I've been tapped to make some presentations at 2007's WUC.

Where do you keep your Gooey doll?

Below the iron dragon hanging from my ceiling, between the plants, next to the TV.

Personal Stuff

How would you describe yourself?

Eccentric. Fun. A touch of the madness makes things more interesting, n'est pas?

Are you married, dating, or otherwise involved?


Do you have any kids?


Do you have any pets?

No. My apartment is entirely too small for pets.

If someone visits your area, what's something they must see or do?

Me. Li Yang's chinese food. Blue Moon coffee bar.

What do you hate?

People who get bored easily.

What do you love?

Hacking. Dance Dance Revolution.

What's the last book you read?

Perl Best Practices by Damian Conway.

What's the last CD/MP3 you bought?

Lincoln by They Might Be Giants

What's the last movie you watched?

Bad movie: Pirates of the Carribean 2 (complete fanservice, slow and confusing)
Good movie: I <3 Huckabees

You're stuck on a train/plane for 6 hours and bored out of your mind, what
do you do to amuse yourself?

People-watch. Make up stories about them. (This is assuming I don't have a computer, because when I have a computer I'm never bored).

Any last words?
Jalopy. Porridge. Ubuntu. Whatevz. Lollerskates. Kay-oh. ZOOM!


© 2022 Plain Black Corporation | All Rights Reserved