SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 44
  1. #1
    Grüße aus'm Pott gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    Pullo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    5,939
    Mentioned
    215 Post(s)
    Tagged
    12 Thread(s)

    Member of the Month - May 2013

    There's a distinctly nautical flavour to May's Member of the Month, as the award goes to ... drum roll ... captainccs.

    captainccs, or Denny Schlesinger as he is known in the real world, is to be found almost exclusively in the PHP forum, where he offers help and advice based on his many years of coding experience.

    I recently caught up with Denny and ask him a few questions to mark the occasion:

    Congratulations on being awarded the MoTM badge for May, captainccs. How do you feel?
    Pleasantly surprised.

    I see from your SP profile that you're located in Venezuela. Is that your home country, or did something else take you there?
    I describe myself as a "Caraqueño born in Berlin." We left Germany on account of the war.

    Oh, I see. At least that explains why you have a German flag on your blog.

    Anyway, I've got to ask: your avatar is currently a parrot (a Mitred Conure if I'm not mistaken). What’s with that? You're not a pirate, are you?
    Any captain worth his salt has a parrot.

    A little bird tells me (groan) that you've been coding for over fifty years. That’s a long time. How did you get started?
    When I dropped out of school my dad got me a job as a programmer at the IBM Service Bureau in Caracas. They gave me a desk, a 50 page manual, took me to a client and told them I was the computer expert assigned to their account. On the way back to the office I asked my boss what the difference was between a listing and a tabulation. I've never stopped asking questions since.

    And what changes have you seen over this period (e.g. the emergence of new technologies, developments in hardware).
    Too many to list. Let's just say that my first mainframe, with 2000 vacuum tubes but with less processing power than a modern hand held device, took up a whole room and required two huge air-conditioners to keep it cool.

    Wow! I can hardly imagine that.

    You must also have worked with a range of programming languages. Which is your favourite and which do you dislike most? Why?
    Programming is more art than science. A good language is one the artist feels comfortable with, one that helps in the creation process instead of putting unnecessary burdens on the programmer.

    Pascal was never designed to be a production language, it was designed to teach orderliness. RPN languages like Forth are the most powerful but very difficult for programmers to keep track of things with, so they wither and die. HyperCard and FileMaker are difficult to work with because they are too compartmentalized. Large projects are difficult without objects. OOP is nature's way: molecules make cells, cells make organs, organs make animals, animals make families, families make clans or tribes or city states or nations. The difficulty is designing good objects. Currently my language of choice is PHP.

    People often have asked me if I program in English or in Spanish. "No, in C." I reply or in whatever was in vogue at the time. LOL

    So, how does SitePoint fit into all of this? How did you find out about the forums and what made you want to stay?
    SitePoint is one of the best destinations to find answers to your programming questions. Of course, I found SitePoint by googling, by looking for answers to my questions.

    There is one other site that might have more professional programming answers but they have too many hoops you need to jump through. They work too hard at keeping themselves pure. SitePoint has the right mix to keep you coming back.

    What do you like best about SitePoint and what areas do you think could do with some improvement? Please don't be shy
    I visit the PHP forum almost exclusively. The one thing that bugs me no end is the darn tooltip that keeps blocking what I'm looking at. Too much of a good thing is bad.

    With all this talk of coding, I'm presuming this is what you do for a living. Is that correct?
    I'm retired with almost no clients left. I now code mostly for the fun of it.

    On a culinary note, what is Venezuelan cuisine like? Do you have a favourite dish?
    I've lost 30 pounds since I switched to my "caveman diet" a quasi vegetarian regime.

    Arturo Uslar Pietri was a well respected Venezuelan intellectual and a frequent speaker on TV and radio. He said that the "real" melting pot happened not in the bedroom but in the kitchen! Venezuelan cuisine is a mixture of European, African and Amerind. Although there are two or three "national dishes" the variety is really extensive.

    One such national dish is the hallaca (hayaca) which is one of the three obligatory Christmas fares. The hallaca is a savory (not spicy) stew wrapped in a corn dough, wrapped in plantain leaves, and tied up with string. At an IBM 100% Club meeting hallacas were served, of course, to show off our stuff. Someone is reputed to have asked an American visitor: "How do you like the hallaca?" "It's great but the salad is a bit tough" (you're not supposed to eat the banana leaves).

    I see you have a blog where you share your thoughts on everything from error reporting in PHP to making banana fritters. What inspired you to start that?
    I registered Software Times in 1998 to teach myself about the WWW. As the name implies, the site was to be about software but it grew in other directions as well. My first host was a Mac/Filemaker server. At the time Filemaker and Excel were my programming tools of choice with Claris Home Page 3.0 as my HTML editor. But Filemaker and Home Page were neither mainstream nor very practical so I switched to LAMP which turned out to be a great choice.

    Software Times remained pretty much private until I got fed up with an investing forum I frequented and I started to post about investing. Other subjects became important enough to have their own indexes. Software Times now has software, cooking, Venezuela, and books as secondary indexes but I'm about to kill the books section.

    And finally, as a coding veteran, what words of wisdom can you give to people who are just starting off?
    Get organized and keep it simple. A programmer spends most of his time debugging, not writing code. The less organized you are and the more complex your code, the more time you are going to spend debugging instead of coding. Write reusable code which raises your level of efficiency. And most important, write for the website visitor, respect good user interface guidelines. Apple's are the best and they are freely available online. And remember that Google is half your audience: if your website cannot be found on Google it might as well not exist.

    Sherlock Holmes was the best debugger there ever was except he worked on crime instead of on software, but the method is the same. Look for the evidence to trap the criminal bug.

    Oops, I almost forgot the obligatory silly question: pirates or ninjas?
    Anarchists!

    Good answer

    Now please join me in offering your congratulations to Denny and thanking him for his on-going help and support on the forums.

  2. #2
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, AU
    Posts
    24,198
    Mentioned
    456 Post(s)
    Tagged
    8 Thread(s)
    Congratulations, captainccs. Thanks for your great contributions to the forums, and well done to you and Pullo on a great interview. Very entertaining.

  3. #3
    Hosting Team Leader silver trophybronze trophy
    cpradio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    5,136
    Mentioned
    152 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Congrats captainccs; well deserved, and congrats to Pullo on a fantastic interview.

  4. #4
    The Mind's I ® silver trophy Dark Tranquility's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    KSA - UAE
    Posts
    9,457
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Congrats! Well deserved Captain

  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist captainccs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Caracas, Venezuela
    Posts
    516
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Mayday, mayday. Not SOS. May 1st. day!

    Thanks guys. SitePoint is a terrific destination and all you guys together make it so!

    BTW, it's easy to work with Pullo. Thanks.
    Last edited by captainccs; May 1, 2013 at 07:18. Reason: Bugs, bugs everywhere! Sorry!
    Denny Schlesinger
    web services

  6. #6
    Grüße aus'm Pott gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    Pullo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    5,939
    Mentioned
    215 Post(s)
    Tagged
    12 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by captainccs View Post
    BTW, it's easy to work with Pulio. Thanks.
    Thanks, Denny, but Pulio ?!?
    I didn't inadvertently call you captaincss, did I?

  7. #7
    Hosting Team Leader silver trophybronze trophy
    cpradio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    5,136
    Mentioned
    152 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Pullo View Post
    I didn't inadvertently call you captaincss, did I?

    Aw, now that's low. As you know you did, but you had peers who caught it so it didn't get published that way

  8. #8
    SitePoint Evangelist captainccs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Caracas, Venezuela
    Posts
    516
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Pullo View Post
    Thanks, Denny, but Pulio ?!?
    I didn't inadvertently call you captaincss, did I?
    Bugs, bugs everywhere! Sorry!
    Denny Schlesinger
    web services

  9. #9
    Grüße aus'm Pott gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    Pullo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    5,939
    Mentioned
    215 Post(s)
    Tagged
    12 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cpradio View Post
    Aw, now that's low. As you know you did, but you had peers who caught it so it didn't get published that way
    Shhh!!

  10. #10
    SitePoint Evangelist captainccs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Caracas, Venezuela
    Posts
    516
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A little bit of whitespace between the top and the bottom of the letter "L" is not going to start a war, I hope.
    Denny Schlesinger
    web services

  11. #11
    Hosting Team Leader silver trophybronze trophy
    cpradio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    5,136
    Mentioned
    152 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Pullo View Post
    Shhh!!
    Oh, oops! Completely forgot this was public now Oh well, cats out of the bag now.

  12. #12
    Grüße aus'm Pott gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    Pullo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    5,939
    Mentioned
    215 Post(s)
    Tagged
    12 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by captainccs View Post
    A little bit of whitespace between the top and the bottom of the letter "L" is not going to start a war, I hope.
    Cutlasses at dawn

  13. #13
    Hosting Team Leader silver trophybronze trophy
    cpradio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    5,136
    Mentioned
    152 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Pullo View Post
    Cutlasses at dawn
    On a boat and the loser walks the plank (too corny? bah!)

  14. #14
    SitePoint Evangelist captainccs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Caracas, Venezuela
    Posts
    516
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Pullo View Post
    Cutlasses at dawn
    At dawn? No way. That's the time for my daily hangover. You have no idea how hard it is to put the Sun down. It takes a good number of sundowners. And the darn thing just pops up again next day. Sorry, dawn is out of the question. You'll have to see my appointments secretary to set up an appointment, with Cutlasses of course!
    Denny Schlesinger
    web services

  15. #15
    SitePoint Evangelist captainccs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Caracas, Venezuela
    Posts
    516
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cpradio View Post
    On a boat and the loser walks the plank (too corny? bah!)
    With cutlasses the loser doesn't walk...
    Denny Schlesinger
    web services

  16. #16
    Hosting Team Leader silver trophybronze trophy
    cpradio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    5,136
    Mentioned
    152 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by captainccs View Post
    With cutlasses the loser doesn't walk...
    Okay, but I still vote on a boat, so at least we can ditch the body afterwards out in the open sea...

  17. #17
    SitePoint Mentor bronze trophy
    ronpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    2,519
    Mentioned
    61 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Congratulations, Denny. Very well deserved recognition for your sustained contributions to the forums and a very impressive interview by Pullo, Dave, aaarghhh. Really top notch!

    Your recollections of Claris products, particularly HyperCard and Filemaker, brought back some splendid memories of my early home computing experiences. Had a huge amount of fun with those programs. "The good ole days."

    Very honored to have you in our midst.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy PicnicTutorials's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Carlsbad, California, United States
    Posts
    3,656
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

  19. #19
    SitePoint Evangelist captainccs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Caracas, Venezuela
    Posts
    516
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    ronpat, thanks! Were you ever on the Claris FileMaker forum on CompuServe? That's where I got the captainccs (Captain Caracas) handle.
    Denny Schlesinger
    web services

  20. #20
    I solve practical problems. bronze trophy
    Michael Morris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Knoxville TN
    Posts
    2,027
    Mentioned
    65 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Congrats captain.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Mentor bronze trophy
    ronpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    2,519
    Mentioned
    61 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by captainccs View Post
    ronpat, thanks! Were you ever on the Claris FileMaker forum on CompuServe? That's where I got the captainccs (Captain Caracas) handle.
    Very cool! I wondered where the "ccs" in your handle came from. Caracas... of course!

    No, I was never a member of CompuServe. I joined a large Macintosh users group in our area. Eventually became the sysop of their dial-up bulletin board that ran on a PC with DOS 6.2. Served as the club president for two years. The Mac was young, people were excited about it. We had a great time. I actually earned a few bucks writing some HyperCard stacks, slow as they were.

    It sounds like your experience with those Claris products comes from a more technically astute perspective than mine as I was never a "real" programmer... interpreted languages at best, and even they are a challenge

  22. #22
    SitePoint Evangelist captainccs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Caracas, Venezuela
    Posts
    516
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Morris View Post
    Congrats captain.
    Thanks, Michael!
    Denny Schlesinger
    web services

  23. #23
    SitePoint Evangelist captainccs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Caracas, Venezuela
    Posts
    516
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ronpat View Post
    It sounds like your experience with those Claris products comes from a more technically astute perspective than mine as I was never a "real" programmer... interpreted languages at best, and even they are a challenge
    I used FileMaker professionally for over ten years. It is/was a remarkable product specially after it went relational. That's how I leared RDBMS. I used FMP not just to create systems but also as a prototyping tool for systems that were actually done in some more formal language like C or Pascal.

    I was involved in one such project that had a really weird ending. I joined up with a crack C and Pascal programmer. I was to do the design and he would do the coding. I prototyped the system with FMP, he never did finish coding it. It was one of those projects where everything that could go wrong did. It ended badly, we never finished the job, I lost a friend and made an enemy. The surprise ending is that they ran the business on my prototype FMP mockup!
    Denny Schlesinger
    web services

  24. #24
    SitePoint Mentor bronze trophy
    ronpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    2,519
    Mentioned
    61 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Did you ever use FMP on a PC or was your experience exclusively Mac?

    Enjoyed the story about the project with the weird ending. Not really surprised to hear about the success of the mockup. FMP is/was a powerful product and your thorough design took advantage of its strengths!!!

    My experience with FMP occurred before it went relational. I loved it. Have actually toyed with the idea of buying a version compiled for the PC, but am unsure if I could adapt to it (or if it would be worth today's price ). Besides that, I'm tired of having to adapt to new versions of Windows. (Windows 7 NOT and Windows 8 looming already.) Seriously considering starting all over with a new Mac or a Linux box. I'm just a hobbiest these days.

  25. #25
    SitePoint Evangelist captainccs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Caracas, Venezuela
    Posts
    516
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ronpat View Post
    Did you ever use FMP on a PC or was your experience exclusively Mac?
    Mac only, I have a terrible aversion to Windows. Not to Microsoft. I was a certified developer for both Apple (Mac) and Microsoft (Excel). Microsoft treated their certified developers much better than Apple ever did. It's the eternal conundrum, great company with lousy product vs. lousy company with great product.


    Seriously considering starting all over with a new Mac or a Linux box. I'm just a hobbiest these days.
    On the new Macs you can run both OSX and Windows so it's a safe bet. What I would not do is to get tied up with proprietary software like FMP, no matter how good it is. The open-source web-app is the future. LAMP, AJAX, HTML5. I've been replacing my database and spreadsheet based apps with web-apps. One great discovery was PHPExcel which has all the Excel functions because there was no way I could rewrite that stuff! http://phpexcel.codeplex.com/
    Denny Schlesinger
    web services


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •