> -----Original Message-----
> From: Nathan Rixham [mailto:nrix...@gmail.com]
> Sent: 29 July 2010 06:36

> in no particular order:
> What other languages and web techs do you currently use other than
> PHP?
> - if you include html or css please include version, if js then
> preferred libs, and whether client or server side.

XHTML 1.0 Transitional (looking to go Strict)
CSS, mostly to 2.0 but use newer/other stuff where required and
     supported by enough browsers
Javascript - again mostly to 1.3 (or whatever the equivalent ECMA
     standard is) with occasional forays into 1.5. Not currently
     using any public libs, but JQuery on the menu. Homegrown AJAX
     libs (based on published techniques).
Oracle database (site licensed corporate standard).

Some perl, a soupcon of Python, a touch of Java, and SirsiDynix
page description language.

> What's your previous language/tech trail?

OMG! Well, started in secondary school (that's high school for you
transatlantic folks) with BASIC back when access was a once-weekly
courier to the local Polytechnic (coding sheets out one week,
printout and punched cards back a week later!).

At university, taught the lecturer on the BASIC module more than he
taught me, but also learned and programmed in ALGOL-60, Algol-68,
FORTRAN-IV (not -II, thank goodness!), COBOL, Pascal, LISP, BCPL,
MACRO-10 (DECsystem-10 assembly language), SNOBOL (in SPITBOL variant),
SETL (a language written as a PhD project and, as far as I know,
confined to a (very small) handful of universities), MINIMAL (a
machine-independent artificial assembly language used to write SPITBOL
and SETL compilers), and probably one or two other oddities I've
forgotten about. Oh, and of course the TECO editor macro language,
in which I wrote a very primitive screen editor when the first
VDUs arrived to upgrade our previously all-teletype labs.

Was also taught about a number of other languages which we never got
to use, such as PL/1, APL, Simula, etc.

Since then, at work, more FORTRAN (up to the -77 version), B, more
Pascal, BBC BASIC, 6502 assembler, Pr1me command (shell) language,
WordPerfect macros, VisualBasic (Word and Excel macros), leading via
Excel macros producing HTML to the current set as above! 

> Are you considering any new languages or techs, and if so which?
>   - names / links

Not really at this stage, although everything is always under review!
> Is PHP your hobby/interest, primary development language, just
> learning or?

Primary development language - it's the standard scripting language
here. But it's also an interest, and if I had time would be a hobby
too. And I never stop learning!

> How many years have you been using PHP regularly?

At least 9 -- the oldest script still on my hard drive is from July
2001, although I doubt even that is wholly original.
> How many years have you been working with web technologies?

That kind of depends what you mean by "Web technologies", but at
least 15.

In the early 80s, I was dialling in to the PLANET teleconferencing
application at BBN in North America (via the ARPAnet!).

I've been m.f...@leedsmet.ac.uk, @lmu.ac.uk or @leedspoly.ac.uk
(depending on current name of this institution!) since 1988.

More recently, my first Web pages were written - both coded by hand
and produced from other sources using VB macros - in 1995. Indeed,
evidence of my earliest work can still be seen at
http://www.leedsmet.ac.uk/lss/newsletter/ (VB macros from Word source)

> Did you come from a non-web programming background?

Non-Web, yes, but very definitely from traditional programming.
> Is your primary role web developer or designer?

Developer, but with a dash of designer thrown in when needed.
> In your developer life, are you an employer, and employee,
> contractor,
> freelancer, part of a team of equal standing members?

Employee, part of a team.
[2 questions omitted as non-applicable]

> Do you have any frustrations with the PHP community, do you find you
> want to talk shop but can't, or find people to work with but can't,
> have
> projects in mind you want to do but can't find people to do them
> with etc?

My only real frustration is in not having enough time to get more
involved! I'd love to contribute to the documentation, and get my
hands dirty implementing fixes and feature-requests, but real-life
just doesn't leave me enough spare time. 

> Do you network with other PHP'ers in real life - meetups etc, do you
> tend to shy away, or do you find you circulate in other web related
> but
> non PHP focussed communities?

I don't have time to do techy stuff outside work, so any relevant
networking happens as a result of work projects and tends to be more
project-related than technology-focussed.

> Are you a member or any other web tech communities, opensource
> efforts,
> or standardization bodies - again, if so which?

User groups and support communities for the various proprietary
products I support.

Have recently got involved with Jangle (http://www.jangle.org/), and
currently involved in writing a Jangle connector for the SirsyDynix
Symphony Library Management System.
> Are there any efforts, projects or initiatives which are floating
> your
> boat right now and that your watching eagerly (or getting involved
> with)?

Oh, puh-lease! As if I have time for that!

Although, obviously, we keep a close eye on trends -- especially social
networking at present -- in an effort to keep in tune with what our
students might be using!


Mike Ford,
Electronic Information Developer, Libraries and Learning Innovation,  
Leeds Metropolitan University, C507 City Campus, 
Woodhouse Lane, LEEDS,  LS1 3HE,  United Kingdom 
Email: m.f...@leedsmet.ac.uk 
Tel: +44 113 812 4730

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