Interview with Jaxel - XenPorta Creator

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Interview with Jaxel - XenPorta Creator

Jaxel is Jason Axelrod, creator of XenForo add-ons including the very popular XenPorta Portal among many others. Early in 2014 Jaxel started a crowdfund for XenPorta 2. After it was funded, Jaxel stopped talking about XP2 completely, missing several self-defined milestones and creating quite a bit of concern and speculation among his investors and the XF community in general. You can see a summary of the XP2 crowdfunding timeline Here.

Jaxel was kind enough to sit down and do a candid interview with TAZ including answering some questions about the status of XenPorta 2.


Please tell us about yourself.

Not much to say. I'm a German Jew with obsessive compulsive and avoidant personality disorders. I am also a strict adherent to rules, and believe in brutal honestly; which gets me into a lot of trouble, because I constantly call people out for misleading and lying to others (yes, I sense the irony here). I am also a varsity certified umpire and officiate many amateur tournaments during the spring and summer months. I am also a Libertarian (Old-Right Republican) and am staunchly against Socialism.

What is your educational background?

I have a degree in Biomedical Informatics from DeVry University; however I didn't actually receive an "education" while pursuing this degree. Everything I have learned has been self-taught from reverse engineering other people's code, or asking questions to people more knowledgeable than me on places like StackOverflow.

When I started programming though, object-oriented design was still a new idea. So I learned to program procedural code, and object-oriented design is still a weird concept for me. I wing it though, and I get by; but I often have to go back to Google to look up the meaning and syntax of terms. I still rarely use IDEs if I don't have to. Its because of this, I still consider myself a terrible programmer.

What is your full time job?

I don't really have one. Because of my personality issues, I don't work well with others; so I have no desire to hold a 9 to 5. Instead I work freelance, which basically has me working in spurts where I program 16 hours straight a day, and then going "dark" in between jobs. This "dark" area is often where I find time to program many of the add-ons I've released for free in the...

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Nov 24, 2005
I read that they reached out to Jaxel in order to fix the situation, but they were ignored by him.

That was what I meant with my other comment before this. I read somebody start a new XenPorta 2 topic and Brogan was quick locking it and advised they come here instead asking questions about it. Why I said are the staff on XF maybe giving Jaxel the cold shoulder after he ignored them asking him to reply in that other topic.

Doesn't matter if they are or not. Just something I wondered is all. As his latest topic on XF was aimed at asking staff a question about XF, but they still not replied to him, only one person has in Jake.B

But whatever, as said was just curious.
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Aug 21, 2011
Why I said are the staff on XF maybe giving Jaxel the cold shoulder after he ignored them asking him to reply in that other topic.

Doesn't matter if they are or not. Just something I wondered is all. As his latest topic on XF was aimed at asking staff a question about XF, but they still not replied to him, only one person has in Jake.B

First, that is not a "Staff Only Reply" area. As stated before, there are plenty of topics inside that forum that are not and never were address by XF Developers or Staff. Them not answering does not mean they are ignoring him.

Secondly, in his post, he never once was "asking staff a question about XF". It was a question about XF that he was looking to get an answer on. Apparently Jake B. supplied what he was looking for.


Gaming Geek
Aug 4, 2011
I don't understand how someone can take money from people and not deliver what was said. I mean if it was me and I was Having issues I would be informing my investors and the community every 2 seconds and reassuring them it will be done or give a refund I would feel guilty how can he not? As for dealing with customers, due to all his issues he listed it really isn't a great idea to put products out there that will require support, at least state no support on free add ons and employ someone to manage your customers for paid ones.


XenForo FTW
Nov 25, 2008
I doubt it.. He wrote v1 in the same time frame. Im sure he has a much better grasp of the codes architecture today then he did back then.. Either way ill be the first to admit i am surprised to see this released this year.

Adam H

** Retired **
Jun 22, 2008
You may be right. I am just glad it has a happy end.


Im always pleased with a happy ending, Missus not so much but honestly who cares what she thinks. ;)

back on topic though, Could have saved him self alot of headaches by just cracking it out months ago. Lets not sugar coat was a balls up and he only cracked on once it all kicked off and people started calling for his head. Props to him for pulling his finger out of his back side and getting it done though, pleased for the people that invested and hopefully will be a good product for many community owners.


⚧ Jacquii: Kween of Hearts ⚧
Jul 9, 2006
I am just glad it has a happy end.

Me. TOO!
I was pulling for Jaxel ==> I'm super happy that he's been able to release XP2
For all the naysayers - I'd like to take the opportunity to say
--- Okay - okay - okay. I'm kidding.
I'm just happy that Jaxel was able to deliver a workable product. How great XP2 is ... I suppose we'll see in the coming days.
Jaxel - Congrats and 3 cheers for future success!



Mar 31, 2011
So far from what I've seen of XenPorta 2 all I can say is meh, it doesn't look like it's worth $5K or whatever else Jaxel will make from it. It's amusing to see Jaxel giving support for XP2 after reading this interview and knowing what he thinks of his add-on's users.


May 28, 2007
The new functions for XenPorta 2 are:
  1. Its faster, 3 times less strain on your server.
  2. Has a much better widget framework.
  3. Fully extensible over your entire forum.
  4. Widget instantiating; for easy duplication.
  5. More understandable layout grids.
  6. Has an author byline system.
  7. Category filtering.
  8. A built in tagging system.
  9. Support for social commenting.


Dec 7, 2014
So... He pulled it off. People should flame now. All of you, you're hitting him off his head and he hit his deadline, didn't he? Who cares if after one month of the crowdfund ending he says he won't work on it. He can say whatever but unless he doesn't deliver the product by the deadline, it really doesn't matter. The effect of threads like these could be much worse. XenPorta 2 is pretty good, but he could have panicked and released some half completed thing and it'd still be classed as a product. Next time I really don't think anyone should be flaming a developer like that, unless he legitimately runs off past his deadline without any notice given. Reading through this thread I really don't know what to say. Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding somewhere, but the lack of positive responses after he releases it or even questions is quite funny, maybe people just came here to mess around with him, and when he does it nobody has anything to say. Sounds personal rather than professional, or looks should I say.

btw, I don't know him personally, nor have I really talked to him apart from one or two conversations about XenPorta, that too quite recently. And everyone has their pet hates, even though he hates giving support he's not doing a bad job with XenPorta 2.0 support. My views are only professional.


Dec 20, 2014
I imagine part of the hate towards him could have its roots in an upcoming competing product (you know, the fear of losing potential customers). Why else would somebody who never had any business with Jaxel even care, let alone throw hate towards him whenever he gets a chance? :rolleyes:


XenForo FTW
Nov 25, 2008
Pulled what off its not finished.. It only gold in name only (IMO).. Beta at best.. I installed it to test drive it and found it to be very unorderly and difficult to understand.. It looked horrid and needs lots of documentation.. and to make it worse we all had to pay to beta test and debug it.. Not for me at this time.. I think it needs a lot of TLC and time to mature before i will find a use for it.. In all fairness to the developer though im comparing it to a product that i consider mature and meets my needs perfectly..