Username Password
Bookmark and Share

Jesse Kinross-Smith

User: kristi
Date: 3/27/2007 8:01 am
Views: 8216
Rating: 9    Rate [

Age: 32
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Profession: Software Engineer/Network Administrator/Jack-of-all-IT-Trades
Homepage: (Work) and (Personal)
Favorite Color: Blue



In what way(s) do you contribute to WebGUI or the WebGUI Community?
Mostly I help out on IRC and the forums when I can, and I’ve written a few How-To’s in the Wiki to help people accomplish things I’ve needed to do for the company I work for.  My knowledge of Perl is limited unfortunately, though I do hope to improve this when I get time later this year.

When did you first hear of WebGUI?
I started looking at different content management systems back in late 2003 as our existing html website was becoming a mess.  We looked at all the major ones of the time: postnuke, mambo, plone, but when I tried WebGUI I was amazed at how easy it was to pick up and use and how flexible it was without needing to delve into the code.  I was hooked.

How and when did you get involved in WebGUI?
We did a trial project using WebGUI 5.5 in early 2004 to develop a special academic website to promote our software – letting students sign up and download our software for free and provided forums and content for those users to help support them.  It was a resounding success for us, with over 3500 students from around the world signing up and getting involved in competitions and using the forums.
We then embarked on a major company-wide project last year to convert our entire website (public, intranet, extranet) over to WebGUI – we all use this website on a daily basis now, with all of our users (not just academic ones) on it now.

Are you paid to work on WebGUI?

Yes, to an extent.  Our WebGUI project has slowed down now, as we’re pretty happy with the site we have and there’s not much new development needed, but we still use WebGUI every day and I’m the one in charge of the website for my company.  I do many other things for the company though, so this isn’t my only job role .

How much time do you spend on WebGUI?
At the height of our web project last year I was spending close to 30-40 hours a week on WebGUI.  Mostly doing custom templates, layouts and fixing problems.  We had everyone in the company working on it, so I was kept busy.  Now that the bulk of the work is complete I’m probably only spending a few hours a week on it really, though I spend a bit of time in the forums and on IRC (I use the nick Radix).

What do you think is still missing from WebGUI or the WebGUI Community?
Just more active users really.  Would be great to see more contributions from other users – whether it be useful macros/wobjects or simply wiki articles on neat solutions to problems they’ve encountered.

What keeps you motivated to keep working on WebGUI?
I use it every day in our own website, and there’s always something else I think we might need or some new feature we could take advantage of – so the website is continually evolving.
WebGUI’s great like that.

What's WebGUI's killer feature and why?

WebGUI has so many of them really.  Firstly its use of templates makes it incredibly flexible and very powerful because of that.  The WebGUI API just increases that flexibility even more.  Lastly the revision system and workflows give even more control over that flexibility.  Any of these features alone would be a killer feature – all together.. well.. that’s WebGUI

What's WebGUI's greatest weakness and why?
The community still, unfortunately.  I wish I knew why – but the community around WebGUI is still pretty small – whether this is because it’s written in Perl rather than PHP or because of the changes from WebGUI 5 to WebGUI 7 I’m not sure.

What makes you work on WebGUI over the competition?

It’s far more flexible and powerful than anything else on the market.

What's your most brilliant WebGUI hack?
I wouldn’t really say I’ve done any brilliant hacks, but I’ve done lots of small ones that solved problems we had and I’ve tried to write them up as wiki articles so other people can use them too.

I like my google sitemap hack as it’s simple and elegant (, and my javascript form validation hack because I learned javascript at the same time ( 

But the hack I’m most proud of, I guess, is the one that I did to add users to the website via a url ( – I had to learn some basic Perl for that one!

Have you attended the WebGUI Users Conference?

Yes, I attended the one in Las Vegas in 2006.  Was great fun and I learned heaps – I had a notebook full of questions that I took with me before I went and came back with answers to all of them!
Was my first trip to the USA too!

Where do you keep your Gooey doll?

I had it sitting on my monitor for awhile, but these days my niece Isobel (18 months old) has it in her collection.  She gives it big hugs and goes ‘awww…’ – it’s very cute!



How would you describe yourself?
Big kid at heart who loves gadgets, toys and all things nerdy.
At work I’m a software engineer/network admin by trade and work for a CAD/CAM software company in Fremantle, Western Australia –

Are you married, dating, or otherwise involved?

I have a wonderful gf and very happily involved at the moment

Do you have any kids?
Yes, one daughter from a previous marriage – she’s 11 now and we’re great friends 
Do you have any pets?
A blue heeler/kelpie called Holly who is totally and utterly ball obsessed, and four goldfish.

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

You’d have to take a walk around King’s Park in Perth, go visit Cottesloe Beach, Rottnest Island, and of course take a drive down south and spend a little time visiting Margaret River.

What do you hate?

Cocky, arrogant, or rude people.  My neighbour.

What do you love?

My gf, my family, and of course gadgets and toys.  My current toy is the Nintendo Wii – it rocks.

What's the last book you read?

I’m a voracious reader and read a lot of sci-fi/fantasy novels.  I’ve just finished “A Hymn Before Battle” by John Ringo.  It’s a free sci-fi ebook from, and I’m reading the next in the series right now.  Ebooks rock.
What's the last CD/MP3 you bought?

“Once Again” - John Legend

What's the last movie you watched?

“Stranger than Fiction” – don’t usually like Will Ferrell, but it’s a funny movie and I enjoyed it.

You're stuck on a train/plane for 6 hours and bored out of your mind, what do you do to amuse yourself?
I’d read ebooks on my O2 Atom (it’s a Windows Mobile Phone) – I’ve got heaps on there and will never run out.

Any last words?
I’d like to send out a special thanks to all of the WebGUI developers – you guys rock!
I’d also like to send out a big request out to those who use WebGUI and tell them to come and join in the discussions on IRC or help out with the Wiki – I met a number of guys who were doing some fantastic things with WebGUI at the WUC last year, but haven’t seen many of them online since and I think that’s a shame.


© 2022 Plain Black Corporation | All Rights Reserved