Member of the Month for October, 2010

The Member of the Month award was conceived with the intention of highlighting some of our best forum members.

If you visit the PHP forum often, the chances are you’ve seen more than a few posts by this month’s winner - Cups

Hi Cups, all things code aside, without Too Much Information please :wink: who is Cups?

A Brit living in France. An older bloke who’s on his second career, the one I wished I had known about when I was a kid. I’m seriously jealous of those who get the chance to have a proper Uni CS education. Grasp it, you people!

As a member of the Programming Team and someone that likes working with PHP I visit that forum often. I have noticed many posts made by you that reveal both your knowledge and your skill at being helpful to others. Please tell us about your background. ie. When did you start working with PHP, job experience, etc.

[INDENT]I know exactly when I started working with PHP! Here I went onto the old MARC newsgroup with my install woes:

Look at that will you, PHP3 on Xitami/Omnihttp server, March 1999.

There are plenty of things which happen in life which change the course of it forever. Well that post marked a massive change for me. I was absolutely stunned that within an hour or so of me asking a question, two people I had never met, from countries I had never been to took the time to help me with my silly problem.

This was my first exposure to the real strength of OSS, the community. Ever since that day I swore to myself that if I ever could I would “give back”, try and pay back that simple kindness that someone showed me. In Sitepoint I found that I could in some small way do just that.

We should never forget just how hard this stuff is for a complete novice, having said that, I am quite pleased to see how much info I did put in my post - I must have dug out and read some community guidelines somewhere.

The magical part of my story is this: The more you try to help others, the more you help yourself.

By taking a big breath, taking a risk and showing some code you expose your own weaknesses - this is a hard thing to do, especially if you are like me, a bit of a “lone wolf” coder - you leave yourself open to challenge and question.

But boy, do you learn! SP has helped me become so much better at my job. You do not have to be some kind of guru to learn on the PHP forum, just cast your mind back to when you started out, and try and be patient. You in turn will make mistakes and someone else will put you right - and that is not a threat - it is an opportunity.

It is fair to say though that after making many mistakes and learning how to diffuse situations rather than rise to baiting makes you more valuable to those seeking help. Mainly MAINLY though I finally learned not to fall into the trap of thinking I was wildly witty after imbibing alcohol.[/INDENT]

Possibly a sensitive question, but what do you think of PHP version 4 compared to PHP version 5?

I moved to PHP5 as soon as it came out, I can remember installing it on an old Thinkpad during the first PHP conference I went to in London, Jan 2006 I think. I had put off teaching myself OOP till that instant too. So I never think about PHP4 and have not for years, for me it is related to spaghetti code ( I’ve put out enough of that in my time ).

I notice your signature says you’re going to PHPNW10 Manchester England. I’ve never been to a PHP conference. What are they like?

[INDENT]SP member Lastcraft organises the PHP London Conferences I went to the first two, and they were just wonderful. He and his team really mixed up the presentations, really stretched us - my favourite was not to do with PHP at all, but to do with usability, and very much to do with lateral thinking - from a student (?) at Goldsmith College London. Charming, thought-provoking and stimulating. A masterstroke - how hardware and software can be made to fit into and react with the environment.

That’s one thing I really miss about not being in the UK, not being able to go to the London User Group meetings, and talk geek - just for one night. For me that is why I am going to the PHPNW10 conf, get beered up and talk code, probably, and not have to apologise the next morning.[/INDENT]

Not to pry, but you’ve mentioned drinking a couple of times. Does that have something to do with your member name?

[INDENT]Why Cups? Well it is track #1 from one of my favourite (coding) albums, from Underworld’s “Beaucoup Fish”, and the album cover is of course a white circle on a lopsided blue square, my avatar.

Everyone knows when I am doing some REAL work because there will be some dance music blasting out of my office in the garden.

Orb, Faithless, Leftfield, Underworld, KLF, Chemical Brothers or something like that.

Only one member of SitePoint ever let on to me that they guessed the connection, and weirdly, he has the same obscure family name as mine. (nod to SP member invision2 )[/INDENT]

I’m asking this out of blatant self-interest - what do you like best about the PHP forum and the SitePoint forums as a whole? Any ideas as to how to improve them?

[INDENT]Nope. I’ve floated my own ideas in the past, and I heard arguments for and against suggestions such as “why isn’t there an OOP forum?” etc. I do sometimes wonder how the forums could be improved as we spot all these social media trends circling round us. Forums work well for certain kinds of problems and certain kinds of communities. A place you can go and ask a dumb question, as long as you can show you have tried to look for an answer - there will always be a need for that…

I am reticent about change now because I still rue the day the SP team decided to create a new “General Application Design and Theory” forum. Maybe it was coincidence, but for me this marked the start of the decline of what was then the best OOP discussion forum for PHP EVER, the PHP Application Design (PAD) forum. It could have been that, or could have been the arrival of ROR.

Trying to follow the epic discussions between incredibly passionate and splendidly eloquent practitioners really turned me on to OOP - and what can be described as the art of software. One day it might flare up again, who knows?

Even though its heyday was when PHP4 was prevalent, you will still turn up real software discussions when searching. My bookmarks are crammed with links to old PAD discussions.

So no, I’d say leave well enough alone.[/INDENT]

SitePoint has a policy against self-promotion, but this is a special occasion. Do you have a personal website, Facebook page, Twitter account, etc. that you would like to let others know about?

[INDENT]Nah, not really, I make a CMS for smaller councils in the UK but I wouldn’t have thought they’d be looking on here.

If anyone has some paying work, or wouldn’t mind a part-time freelancer who jets in and out of your local regional UK airport then please do PM me! I’m very reasonable, adaptable and understanding.[/INDENT]

Hi ,

I have read this post.Thanks for share and congrats Cups.:slight_smile:

Congratulations Cups! Well done!


@Cups, congratulations! And you mentioned my favourite band, Underworld. I love their music and I have done since the 90’s when I first heard Born Slippy playing.

I intend to learn PHP at some point, probably next year, so I hope to see you around on the PHP forums.


The “ludic interfaces” talk was given by Bill Gaver:

yours, Marcus

Congrats. :cool:

Congratulations, Paul. And so well deserved. A lovely interview and sweet job, Allan! I really enjoyed reading every line without skipping a sentence. :tup:

Congratulations Paul, well overdue indeed. You can repay both myself and SpikeZ this weekend for fiddling the poll. I jest. Or do I. :stuck_out_tongue:

Congratulations and an interesting read. Well done :slight_smile:

@Cups: Congratulations and well done :slight_smile: Long deserved and overdue :agree:

@Mitt: Great interview and fanstastic questions :slight_smile:

Congrats, nice interview!
And what a wonderful taste in music you have! :smiley:

Many congratulations mate, well deserved and overdue - consider yourself a guru now!
Good interview too Allan :tup:

Or… make a large announcement soon about me being named as member of the decade!!!

You guys decide.

You got my vote.

I hereby request that I be made member of the month in December!

Alternatively, save it up and make me the member of the year.

Or… make a large announcement soon about me being named as member of the decade!!!

You guys decide.

Congratulations Cups, and nice interview, Allan. So, what is this PHP thingy you keep talking about? :lol: (You can tell I’m one of those front end people. :smiley: )

I didn’t know SP has this…well I will offer my congratulations as well.

Congrats Cups!

Congratulations!You deserve this

well done

Long overdue - congrats!