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Roy Johnson

User: snapcount
Date: 7/31/2006 9:27 am
Views: 6537
Rating: 13    Rate [

Age: 26
Location: Daytona Beach, FL
Profession: Programmer / Sys Admin / Community Manager -- Plain Black
Favorite Color: blue


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

I spend most of my time writing custom code for Plain Black clients.  I also share support and sys admin duties with JT to keep all of the Plain Black and hosting servers online and our customers happy.  I'm also responsible for coordinating our volunteers and hanging out with the community.  Yes, I get paid to hang out with you guys... life is good =)  I'd still hang out with most of you even if I wasn't paid to do it... cough cough =P

When did you first hear of WebGUI?

I was applying for a promotion at a previous employer to head the development and roll out of a corporate intranet. They had come across WebGUI and put it on the list of potential frameworks to go with.

How and when did you get involved in WebGUI?

After getting the promotion, I immersed myself in WebGUI so I could evaluate it against all the *Nukes and other PHP based stuff out there I was already familiar with.  WebGUI had just entered the 6.x development phase.
Are you paid to work on WebGUI?

Roger that...

How much time do you spend on WebGUI?

I would say about 50 hours per week on average.

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

The Community =)  I say that because it's my responsibility to fix it.  The 6.x dev cycle really fragmented the WebGUI community but I sincerely believe it was the right move.  WebGUI is far better because of it and I feel the community will be stronger as well.  We've had a few guys (See the other People Behind WebGUI) that have stuck with us and made amazing contributions.  There are also a few up and coming community members out there I have my eye on, look for them soon on People Behind WebGUI.  

What keeps you motivated to keep working on WebGUI?

The challenge.  I come from a very strong technical background and most things come very easy to me in that regard.  As a result I tend to get bored quickly.  WebGUI is such a complex and large application that you'd have to spend about five years writing it yourself to really master all the code.  Rumor has it that some guy in black has done this.  I'm pretty sure he signs my paycheck too =)

What's WebGUI's killer feature and why?

The API.  You can roll out a full featured web application quickly and easily.  Everything you need is there.

What's WebGUI's greatest weakness and why?

It's written in Perl.  If you took WebGUI and told the world it ran on PHP, it would probably be the most widely used CMS on the planet.  The catch is that Perl is what allows WebGUI to be as great as it is, but there seems to be some kind of stigma attached to Perl that hurts WebGUI.  In the end I believe the features will speak for themselves and people will stop caring what it runs on.  The WRE will be what ultimately gets us there.  Maybe WebGUI will make Perl cool again =)
What makes you work on WebGUI over the competition?

It's the best out there and getting better every day.  JT's vision for WebGUI is inspiring and the people I work with push me to be as good as they are.  I love it.

What's your most brilliant WebGUI hack?

I wrote a large part of the Event Management System for WebGUI 7.0.  My original prerequisite system was probably my best hack.  It was infinately flexible but unfortunately it couldn't scale to 3000 plus events so it was scrapped for the current prereq system.  It will always hold a special place in my heart lol.  I'm also fond of the scheduling conflict code although it is very simple and far from brilliant =)

Have you attended the WebGUI User's Conference?

Nope... this will be my first.

Where do you keep your Gooey doll?

I have a herd of gooeys on my desk.  I also have one in my car.

Personal Stuff


How would you describe yourself?

Strong, hard working, stuborn, and funny with a splash of geek.

Are you married, dating, or otherwise involved?

Keri and I have been dating for about two years now.  She's my best friend and reminds me that there is more to life than working.

Do you have any kids?

Someday... hopefully not for another 1,400 days or so.

Do you have any pets?

Two Dogs, Nikki is 8 mos old pit bull / shepherd mix, and Dodger is almost 3 yrs old and a pit bull / boxer mix.

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

Watch a NASCAR race, go to Adventure Landing and play laser tag or tear it up on the go-kart track, St. Augustine is also close and has an IMAX theatre and a bunch of haunted places.  The beach is fun too.

What do you hate?


What do you love?

My family, Keri, my dogs, learning, electronics, robotics, and just about anything tech.  Anything that goes boom, catches on fire, or reacts violently to the correct chemicals is also a hobby of mine.  (Try putting a couple mentos in a 2 liter of soda and you'll know what I mean -- there is video of this on my website by the way)

What's the last book you read?

The datasheet for the Hitachi HM55B compass IC (for my robot... videos on my website </shameless plug>)

What's the last CD/MP3 you bought?

Stricken -- Disturbed.

What's the last movie you watched?

"Miami Vice", "You, me and Dupree", "Superman Returns" (On the IMAX -- 'twas bloody marvelous)

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

Watch DVDs on the laptop till the battery dies then break out the nano.

Any last words?

Thank you to all of you that have made WebGUI what it is.  Whether it was a bug report, bug fix, feature request, some code, telling a friend about it, or helping out with the funding, I appreciate it.  If you want to help out or get involved, shoot me an email and I'll get you going.


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