Jeff Mott - June's MOTM - Please Congratulate Him

[CENTER]June’s MOTM - Jeff Mott
The Sitepoint staff is pleased to honour Jeff Mott as June’s Member Of The Month. This is awarded to a member of the forums that consistently has high quality posts, extends help to all skill levels in a welcoming way, and helps make Sitepoint a great place for our members.

Please enjoy the interview. To make it a little more interesting, we have done it in a little different way. As Jeff is a PHP expert, the interview has been written as a PHP object. For those of you not familiar with PHP, don’t worry. It has been done in a way you can follow; just read the $questions and $answers. Remember also to read the code comments :slight_smile:

Please send your congratulations to Jeff for this honour.

The Interview

 * Value Object Of Our Valued MOTM Jeff Mott

 * Objects use.
 * 1) Instantiate this one of a kind object
 * 2) Use the questionAndAnswer() method to add the questions and answers
 * 3) Call the getInterview() method to return the interview in html output
 * For those interested, you can copy all the code into a php page and run it.
 * The interview will output as HTML with a sprinkle of CSS.
$JeffMott = new JeffMott();
/* Set Introduction */
$opening_statement = "
  We've really appreciated your great contributions to the forums.
  Congratulations on being our latest Member of the Month!";

$response = "
  Thanks. There are sharp people here at SitePoint, and it's a great 
  honor to be recognized by this group.";

$JeffMott->questionAndAnswer($response, $opening_statement );
/* Set drawn to Sitepoint */
$question = "
  What brought you to Sitepoint, and what drives you to help others?";

$answer = "
  SitePoint was on my radar for a very long time. I often referred 
  people to its' XHTML vs HTML FAQ -- an accurate guide on a topic 
  that was often misunderstood. And I noticed some brilliant developers, 
  such as Paul O'Brien, who made SitePoint their home. That combination 
  of top-notch devs and authoratative guides made SitePoint feel like the 
  place to be for any serious developer. My drive to help others isn't 
  entirely selfless. Partly it's because I enjoy the work I do. I enjoy 
  programming and thinking through problems, and I feel satisfaction from 
  building elegant and well structured solutions. And partly it's because 
  facing the plethora of problems that come through SitePoint forces me 
  to work through scenarios I wouldn't normally face in my day-to-day work, 
  and I think I'm a better developer for it.";

$JeffMott->questionAndAnswer($answer, $question);
/* Set super smart programmatic knowledge */
$question = "
  Your posts demonstrate strong programmatic knowledge. What other 
  languages and skill sets do you have? Where did it all start?";

$answer = "
  Once upon a time, I made a StarCraft fan site... using Microsoft Word. 
  That was the first site I ever made. I wanted to learn more, so I 
  peeked at others' source code, I checked what WYSIWYG editors would 
  generate, and I worked through tutorial sites such as HTMLGoodies. 
  In hindsight, I don't think any of those are good ways to learn. 
  My turning point came when I became extremely selective about where 
  I learn from. I looked for the most authoritative people and the most 
  comprehensive resources. I read the HTML spec cover to cover, the 
  CSS spec, DOM, XML, the JavaScript language reference and ECMAScript 
  standard, and others. Eventually I moved into Perl/CGI (PHP wasn't big yet), 
  and I made a point to read the book written by Perl's creator himself. 
  To choose your teachers carefully is one of the most important lessons 
  I've learned and that I could convey to others, because that one decision 
  affects everything else you learn.";

$JeffMott->questionAndAnswer($answer, $question);
/* Set about job */
$question = "
  As we often don't even get one layer of an onion peeled off
  a Sitepoint member in their day to day posts, the MOTM interview provides
  this opportunity. Please let us know a little about what you do for your job.";

$answer = "
  Years ago I worked for an agency that caters to enterprise-level 
  clients. It was a great job that gave me the opportunity to work with 
  recognizable name brands such as Walmart, Rackspace, and Autodesk. 
  Today I contract with Intel and work on their website and associated 
  microsites. Usually that means learning one proprietary CMS after another. 
  I've gone back and forth between the corporate world and the agency world, 
  and both have their appeal. In the agency world, you get to learn a lot 
  of technologies, and you learn them quickly. Every project might use 
  something new. In the corporate world, you get to be a specialist and a 
  perfectionist because you're working on the same site for a prolonged period.";

$JeffMott->questionAndAnswer($answer, $question);
/* Set favourite Web personality */
$question = "
  Do you have a favourite web personality (other than your own ;) )?";

$answer = "
  A few names that come to mind are Fabien Potencier, Doug Crockford, 
  and Steve Souders. Potencier is the creator of the Symfony framework, 
  and reading his code has taught me more about design patterns than 
  any book ever could. Crockford is a JavaScript wizard, and I 
  think his teachings are a big reason why JavaScript is now perceived 
  as a good and serious language. And Souders' research led to the 
  performance rules that changed the way we construct pages, and he 
  continues to uncover new performance rules today. On the lighter 
  side of things, I also like to watch HDstarcraft's videos and the \\"How 
  It Should Have Ended\\" parodies.";

$JeffMott->questionAndAnswer($answer, $question);

/* Set needed developer behaviour or knowledge */
$question = "
  Assuming they had a choice, what types of thinking would you 
  want every developer to endear?";

$answer = "
  Probably the most important quality for a developer is an 
  insatiable curiosity. Ours is a field that is extremely broad 
  and constantly changing. You can't ever become too comfortable 
  with what you know. You have to be just as hungry to learn 
  something new as when you were just starting.";

$JeffMott->questionAndAnswer($answer, $question);
/* Set favourite things (other than Sitepoint ;) ) */
$question = "
  As you haven't published much in your profile,
  the lack of self-promoting signature, and the fact that
  my poorly written web-scrapers couldn't find out much
  about you, apart from spending time at the SitePoint forums,
  what - other than Sitepoint - are a few of your other favourite things?";

$answer = "
  I'm largely a homebody. I like stories and storytelling, whatever medium 
  they may come in, even a 
  <a href=\\"\\">game</a> or 
  <a href=\\"\\">album</a>. 
  I had some fun with 
  <a href=\\"\\">photography</a> for a while. 
  And I have a fun dog named 
  <a href=\\"
  When I get outdoors, I tend to be an adrenaline junkie. 
  I like white water rafting, skydiving, scuba diving, obstacle courses, 
  roller coasters, and such. Other random interests include poker, 
  billiards, haunted houses, and thunderstorms. :-)";

$JeffMott->questionAndAnswer($answer, $question);
/* Set Can sitepoint be better */
$question = "
  If you could change something with Sitepoint 
  to make it a better place, what would it be?";

$answer = "
  I'd like an easy way to give praise to people and posts. I think 
  rewarding high quality posts with sincere appreciation will help 
  encourage more high quality posts.";

$JeffMott->questionAndAnswer($answer, $question);
/* Set Garbage Collection */
$question = "
  Please tell us something about yourself,
  or your life, that you don't want anyone at Sitepoint to know.";

$answer = "
  I would... but that would defeat the purpose. ;-)";
$JeffMott->questionAndAnswer($answer, $question);
/* Set More Garbage Collection due to excessive memory leaks */
$question = "
  You appear to be a very knowledgeable person
  so please relate to or answer these questions?
    <li>Mu mesons.</li>
    <li>How long can a snail sleep? Is this unfair?</li>
    <li>Who invented the scissors? Are there any recent
         inventions that will have such lasting impact and
         will you have a part in them?</li>
    <li>Name one edible ingredient in dynamite? Do you like this food?</li>
    <li>How long is a 'Jiffy'? Do you program in Jiffys or in some other time frame?</li>

$answer = "
    <li>Google says anywhere from weeks to years. I wonder if they 
         could literally sleep their life away?</li>
    <li>Edward Scissorhands?</li>
    <li>Was I not supposed to eat the whole thing?</li>
    <li>It varies depending on whether I have Jiffy Lube handy. :-P</li>

$JeffMott->questionAndAnswer($answer, $question);
 /* Free to set shameless self promotion */
$shameless_self_promotion = "
  One of the benefits of MOTM is this chance for shameless, 
  unmoderated, self promotion... Is there a website that you'd like 
  to draw our attention to?";

$answer = "
  Nothing of my own, but here are a couple sites worthy of whatever 
  promotion we can give them: <a href=\\"\\">TheFunTheory</a> and 
  <a href=\\"\\">Khan Academy</a>.";

$JeffMott->questionAndAnswer($answer, $shameless_self_promotion);
Class/*y*/ JeffMott {
  protected $jeff_q_and_a;
  public function __construct(){
    $this->jeff_q_and_a = array();
  public function questionAndAnswer($answer, $question = 0){
    $this->jeff_q_and_a[$question] = $answer;
  public function getInterview(){
    echo $this->jeffSpeaks();
  protected function jeffSpeaks(){
    $display = '
    <!DOCTYPE html>
            <meta charset="utf-8">
            <title>Jeff Mott Wins June 2012, Member Of The 
            Month (MOTM) at</title>
              body {
                margin: 0;
                padding: 0;
                color: #666;
                font-family: "Segoe UI", Segoe, Calibri, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif;
                font-size: 100%;
                line-height: 1.6;
              h1 {
                font-size: 1.5em;
                margin: 0 0 0 20px;
                min-width: 40%;
                text-align: center;
                border-bottom: 1px dotted #333;
              p:first-letter {
                text-transform: uppercase;
                font-size: 3.0 em;
                font-weight: bold;
              p {
                min-width: 400px;
                padding: 10px 10px 10px 20px;
                margin: 0 0 0 20px;
                border-bottom: 1px dotted #333;
                min-width: 400px;
                padding: 10px 10px 10px 20px;
                margin: 0 0 0 20px;
                min-width: 400px;
                padding: 10px 10px 10px 20px;
                margin: 0 0 0 20px;
                border: none !important;
              li {
                padding: 10px 10px 10px 20px;
                margin: 0 0 0 20px;
                  min-width: 400px;
              em {
                padding: 20px 0 0 0;
                width: 50px;
                border-bottom: 1px dotted #333;
        <h1>Jeff Mott Wins June 2012, Member Of The Month 
        (MOTM) at</h1>'; 
        foreach($this->jeff_q_and_a as $question => $answer){
         /*Check for the question that contains the ordered list and format it 
          * by ensuring that the border and answer formatting works for 
          * both the paragraph and the list
          if(preg_match('/<ol>/', $question) == 1){
            $question = preg_replace('/\\<ol\\>/', '</strong></p><ol>', $question);
            $display .= "<p class='no_line'>";
            $display .= '<strong>' . $question;
            $display .= '<p class="no_line"><br /><em></em><br />' . $answer . '</p>';
          } else {
          /* Format a standard question and answer paragraph */
            $display .= "<p>";
            $display .= '<strong>' . $question  . '</strong>';
            $display .= '<br /><em></em><br />';
            $display .= $answer;
            $display .= '</p>';
        $display .= "
            <p>END OF INTERVIEW</p>
     return $display;

Excerpt from Jeff’s Interview: Favorite Answers: (So you can click the links):
I’m largely a homebody. I like stories and storytelling, whatever medium they may come in, even a game or [URL=“”]album. I had some [URL=“”]fun with photography for a while. And I have a fun dog named [URL=“”]Tucker. When I get outdoors, I tend to be an adrenaline junkie. I like white water rafting, skydiving, scuba diving, obstacle courses,
roller coasters, and such. Other random interests include poker, billiards, haunted houses, and thunderstorms. :-)";

Excerpt from Jeff’s Interview: Shameless Self promotion:
Nothing of my own, but here are a couple sites worthy of whatever promotion we can give them: TheFunTheory and [URL=“”]Khan Academy.

Way to go Jeff!


Congratulations, Jeff! You’ve been a great help around the forums, providing a lot of really interesting answers. This was a really interesting and fun interview, guys. Well done!

Yes Jeff,

Your knowledge, even, and resolute manner have helped many at Sitepoint.

Thanks so much for all that you do!


Not an overwhelming presence, but certainly a sharp one. Congrats Jeff.

Congratulations Jeff! Very interesting interview. You’ve certainly led an interesting life as a developer.

Congratulations Jeff!
And well done to both of you, it was an interesting read (and an interesting format :wink: ).

Thanks, everyone. You guys are great! :slight_smile:

Congratulations Jeff. Awesome work on the interview Steve. Very cool.




Gratz Jeff! :slight_smile: Weldone!

Congratulations Jeff :slight_smile: I liked the interview technique - didn’t understand a word of it though :wink:

[FONT=Verdana]Congratulations Jeff - well deserved. :slight_smile:

And well done to you and ServerStorm for creating such an original and interesting interview. :)[/FONT]

Congratutilations to both Jeff and ServerStorm! It was a great interview, very original and fun to read clap clap

I think that we need a badge for the best inteviewer :stuck_out_tongue: (sorry, the interviewee is already MOTM… don’t ask for more badges! :p:p:p)

Congratulations, Jeff! I find your posts to be highly inspiring and extremely well thought out. :slight_smile:

Thanks, kohoutek! :slight_smile:

Congrats Jeff!

Not that there has been a ‘stampede’ or anything, but the full answers to the most meaningless questions:

  • Who invented the scissors? Most likely someone in Mesopotamia between 3000 to 4000 B.C.
  • Name one edible ingredient in dynamite? Peanuts.
  • How long is a ‘Jiffy’? In computing, a “jiffy” is the duration of one tick of the system timer interrupt. About 0.01 seconds. In quantum physic a “jiffy” is the time taken for light to travel the radius of an electron. In astrophysics and quantum physics, a “jiffy” is defined as the amount of time it takes for light to travel one fermi (the size of a nucleon). One fermi is 10^-15 m, so a jiffy is about 3×10^-24 seconds. Sometimes a “jiffy” is also defined as the time it takes light, the fastest possible thing, to transverse the smallest possible length, the “Planck length.”

Congratulations man!

Congratulations JM!

A very good interview and a very original format. Like+

I too have had experience with Word and HTMLGoodies. I learned a lot and it took a while to unlearn a lot of it, oh well, the past is past. Hopefully I’ve learned from my mistakes but I highly doubt it.

It may be easier to read if you save the code as a PHP file on your localhost and open it a browser :wink: