Welcome Mateo, tell us a little about yourself. Who are you,
where are you from, and what do you do?
My complete name is Néstor Mateo Tibaquirá Palacios, but I prefer to be called Mateo. I'm from Colombia, a very beautiful country with some horrible problems; balanced, eh? I live in Popayán, where I'm finishing Electronic & Telecommunications Engineer Studies with an emphasis in Telematics (Information and Communications Technology). I chose Telematics because I like to program. Growing up, I did not have a computer, and from the distance I hated the idea of using a command line console. Now, it's different; I love my Ubuntu with the Yakuake console; and Eclipse PDT rocks!
At the University, I discovered that I had sufficient skills to write software. I began programming in C++ and Java some time ago, and because of circumstances, I discovered PHP, and my interest in web development grew. Now, I think I am a web developer <img src="http://community.postnuke.com/modules/pn_bbsmile/pnimages/smilies/icon_razz.gif" height="15px" width="15px alt="icon_razz" />, and everyday I try to learn and to contribute more.
What are your experiences with PostNuke and other Content Management Systems? And how did you come to settle with PostNuke?
Well, after playing with PHP some time, I felt the need to search for an open source project and be able to mount a complete web platform. Searching on the web I discovered PHP-Nuke :-\ (At that time (2002), I don't know why I didn't find PostNuke on the first try). I studied the system structure and liked some things, but in general I felt that it needed a complete re-order. So, searching again I found a "secure" fork with some improvements in the organization, but in the beginning of the Iraq war, the site that I had built with it was hacked; I searched for another system again and I found to PostNuke :-).
Just looking at the file system distribution and all the excellent work, I felt as if I completely identified with the project's direction. After that, looking to the excellent quality code of the 0.8 MS1, that feeling increased a lot! That's the reason I'm here right now.
You are very active on the PN forums. What drives you to help out so much there?
Well, I have to confess that in the beginning I didn't like to participate in the forums; my sense of the Free Software and my PHP skills was limited, and at that time, my concept of a developer was coding, not support.
I devoted myself to study the code of the modules and the pn-Core. Meanwhile, my identity with the project grew a lot. So, I went to the forums and saw the developers supporting to the users. For me, being given support by Mark [West] was very cool. My interest grew and I began to read the homepage articles, and became familiar with the pnForum; I saw that with the gained pn-knowledge I was able to help others.
I'm a friendly guy who likes a lot the social relationships and who knows many personality traits, so after losing the fear of posting and of making mistakes, I began to share my ideas.
It's been a beautiful experience in my life and it feels so good when I help others.
Tell us a little about dev-postnuke.com and the Spanish speaking community.
What is your experience there? Does it differ from the PN community here?
Well, dev-postnuke is a good experience too; and recently is getting better.
Unfortunately, when I did begin to contribute actively in the Spanish support forums, one of the founders of the community (Fernando Jordán aka 'el_cuervo') retired after a lot of pn-development.
The Spanish Community stays online and has a lot of stuff which now has to be upgraded to 0.8. My experience there is parallel to here, I'm a community player, and a Silver-Poster there.
About the differences... Mmmmm... it differs in the spoken language :-p . It's hard to perform a comparison. Different cultures, different dynamics, but I guess that the 0.8's local communities will be closer than before! ;-) a new era will begin and the community's relationships are going to change!
We have seen that you have been working on the Relay module.
Tell us a little about what that is and your experience developing it.
What can you tell others about developing modules from your experience.
Yes, Relay is my first serious practice developing a module. It's an AJAX-based Directory Manager that lets users share files and also allows users to have their own disk space (this will be fully implemented for Relay 1.0).
The conclusions are pretty good. In a less than a month of non-continued work, I've rewritten the code to the pnAPI with ease. A classic PHP code like Relay can be ported with no major difficulties, it's just a matter of time. On the other hand, porting a complex or non-quality web application like Moodle can be a pain!. I've studied it and in a month I have temporarily resigned doing this port.
Relay was first for 0.76x, and the port was successful. But rewriting it to 0.8 was the coolest thing! The code was reduced in more than a 30 percent and was simplified! Improvements are applied with ease. The 0.8 technologies are awesome! DBUtil let you do a lot of queries with ease, LogUtil is very useful, SecurityUtil is very simple to use in the code... it's very cool to develop over the 0.8 release! Currently, I am deep into study of CategoryUtil and pnForm; Excellent tools!
What do you think PN greatest assets are? And its greatest deficiencies?
Well, it's hard to say exactly. From a developer's point of view, I love the separation between logic and presentation. This allows me to change the PHP code and allows the Graphic Designer (or anyone with XHTML & CSS skills) to choose the way in which output is displayed. The admins can change any view of their pn-sites, that customization level is good!
Also, I love the architecture. All is very well organized, the pnAPI and the responsibilities are well defined; this makes the system very intuitive when you want to perform a change.
From the end user's point of view the deficiencies are gradually falling behind, we still need more automatic and intuitive processes managing content and setting the site navigation. But with this robust core, we can implement that ideas with ease.
What are your future plans with PN?
Well, I'm controlling my imagination and learning to limit my plans to make it feasible ;-) .
I want to code a lot of useful modules, contribute with user friendly stuff for Value Addons modules, and help with some details in the core when needed. I like to be a third party developer, and build useful functionality over this powerful tool. Also I like to socialize, to know and to help others, and to contribute to the Community, so I think I can help with this site's services too, and surely connect the Spanish community to the new era ;-) .
Anything else you would like to say?
Eternal life to the Free Software!
Long life to $NewName!
Long life to GNU/Linux, PDT & compiz :-P
Once again Mateo, welcome aboard to the team. We are glad to have you.Thanks for you your hard work and commitment.