Ask me anything - within reason

Chris D

XenForo Developer
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
810
This is a good idea The Sandman :tup:

I'm Chris Deeming, I'm a developer for the XenForo forum software...

Ask me anything, I guess... :cautious:
 

Lisa

Chaotically Proportional
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
27,488
Oh Chris *rubs hands gleefully*

How many times a day do you have to walk away your keyboard/delete your reply without posting it/sit on your hands/scream out of the window when dealing with customers?
 

Chris D

XenForo Developer
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
810
Oh Chris *rubs hands gleefully*

How many times a day do you have to walk away your keyboard/delete your reply without posting it/sit on your hands/scream out of the window when dealing with customers?
Customers? Hardly ever.

When on TAZ? Several times a day ;)
 

Lisa

Chaotically Proportional
Joined
Jan 6, 2004
Messages
27,488
What's your most favourite feature of XenForo?
What's the most outlandish thing you've ever seen requested as an addon/default function?
 

Chris D

XenForo Developer
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
810
When and how did you learn PHP, MySQL etc.
I first did anything at all in PHP back in circa 2004 when I was admin of a Half-Life 2 fan forum (vB3).

It had a custom news script for a front page, powered by PHP, naturally. I can't 100% recall what went wrong with it, or what I changed but the developer of it (another admin) wasn't around to make the changes so I had a go. I have always had an interest in programming but never really got into it. I made the changes successfully and that was the first and last time I touched PHP until many years later...

I was "away" from that forum for the subsequent years, focusing on finding a career after I finished school, meeting my now wife. But some time around the end of 2011 I caught wind of that old fan site trying to rebrand and move to a different forum software. That forum software turned out to be XenForo and it was through Luke F/DarkImmortal's old Steam integration add-on that I started poking around code again.

My interest for it all sort of came out of the blue and I was just hooked. It became a hobby. I learnt a hell of a lot by reading Mike and Kier's code, I got fairly heavily involved in the XF.com forum and I started building my own add-ons.

TLDR; I pretty much learnt PHP, MySQL etc. from playing around with the XenForo code starting around late 2011 to early 2012.
 

Chris D

XenForo Developer
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
810
What's your most favourite feature of XenForo?
I'm not going to say a particular feature, as such, but I guess the general extensibility and flexibility of the code. The "XF Class Proxy" system which allows pretty much any code to be extended is awesome and I have a particular fondness for the "content type" system we have. In some cases it's absolutely insane how little code we have to write to, say, add Likes to a different content type.

Now I feel a bit bad for not actually answering the question properly, so if you forced me to pick a particular feature then at the moment it's probably the Navigation system in XF2. Mike did a phenomenal job designing and implementing that.

I'm also fond of the purchasable type/payment system which, I have to say, is fairly untapped by other developers so far. The payment system in particular sort of ties in with the general extensibility/flexibility comment above. It should be possible to do some pretty incredible stuff with that as time goes on.

What's the most outlandish thing you've ever seen requested as an addon/default function?
I don't particularly think any add-on or function is outlandish or unimplementable. I don't think this was a core suggestion (at least, I hope it wasn't) but something very niche like a "hot or not" type thing or "dating" functionality would be way beyond the remit of what we're trying to do with the software but perfectly plausible that someone could develop an add-on for something like that.

In terms of something that just generally wouldn't fly as a suggestion, in general terms, it would be something along the lines of "Make X better" with very little context as to what "better" actually means. I think a couple of months before XF2 was released we had a suggestion about making the default style "better". Aside from the bad timing, and having a year-long opportunity prior to that to give feedback on such things, there wasn't much more beyond "make it better" so things like that just aren't implementable in the slightest.

That doesn't mean to say we can't make things better or improve, but specifics help.
 

fixer

I'm In My Prime
Joined
Jan 28, 2010
Messages
2,057
If IPS paid you the same as Xenforo and gave you the same level of power would you jump ship?
 

Chris D

XenForo Developer
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
810
No.

I prefer our product, believe in it more, and feel it has a strong future.

If you asked me again and the question was more money, and more power? Still no.
 

we_are_borg

Administrator
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
5,518
Looking at WBB, IPS and vB is there something that stands out in their script that you like. Would you consider something like it in XF and take it to the next level.
 

Chris D

XenForo Developer
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
810
I better answer that sort of generically, but there's three, maybe four things that XF wants to do (and have done for years, actually) that aren't just improvements to the core XF product itself. I guess I'll broadly elaborate that to be "more products and services".
 

Alpha1

Administrator
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
4,001
Before you joined the XF staff you were working passionately on your media gallery. After joining the XenForo staff your focus shifted and it seems the media gallery received much less attention & updates. Which is understandable, but how do you feel about that?
 

Chris D

XenForo Developer
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
810
I actually don't think it would be much further forward than it is now had it not joined the XF product line. I had mostly done everything I absolutely wanted to implement, and I saw to it to ensure that the remainder (stuff like video uploads) made it into the XFMG 1.1 release. So I think the feature release updates would have slowed down quite a bit. Not that they were all that frequent anyway, actually.
 

Alpha1

Administrator
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
4,001
And conversely: what addon or code makes you cry? :D
 

Chris D

XenForo Developer
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
810
Who is the most gifted forum coder of all time
Mike and Kier ;)

I can say both because they're both gifted in different ways, but both in important ways, and their skills complement each other.

Kier is arguably the more creative one. He's the one that is most likely to come up with a new feature or a new approach to something that neither Mike or I would have thought of.

Mike is also creative, but probably more so when it comes to the technical design of the code. If there's an optimal way to write something so it can be reused, extended, be more performant, or secure then Mike will have the answer.

So, together, along with whatever skills I have :D we make a good team. There just needs to be more hours in the day, or more Mike's, more Kier's and more Chris'. Which may well be happening soon... because I've nearly perfected my Clone-a-Dev 5000 cloning device! Kier and Mike seem reluctant to be cloned, for some reason, though :cautious:
 
Last edited:

Chris D

XenForo Developer
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Messages
810
And conversely: what addon or code makes you cry? :D
Actually, some of our own code! Not because it's bad but certain aspects of a complicated software system are naturally going to have components which are very complex so trying to get your head around the code, especially code you've not written yourself, can be difficult.

Outside of our own code, just generally code that doesn't follow the good standards, practices or conventions is always disappointing. That's not even just in add-on code, it's just in general. Reading code that is difficult to follow, or needlessly complicated, or needlessly repetitive is enough to make anyone cry.
 

Russ

Administrator
Joined
Oct 20, 2011
Messages
1,349
When's 2.1 coming?
When's 2.2 coming?
Finally when's 4.0 coming?

But I suppose I'll ask what do you like doing in your free time :)
 

Shawn Gossman

Tazmanian Master
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
8,033
What feature request do you get begged to implement the most that you absolutely hate and want no part of? :D
 
Top