Interview With Zef Hemel - Founder of YaBB

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The Sandman

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The Sandman submitted a new Article:

Interview With Zef Hemel - Founder of YaBB

Several people have asked me to interview Zef Hemel, Founder of YaBB, which he developed in 2000 in collaboration with Jeff Lewis and Corey Chapman. Matt Mecham was also a member of the YaBB development team for a time, until he decided to concentrate on getting Ikonboard ready for primetime.

Those were the good old days!

Anyhow, I tracked down Zef at the Forum Insider and he was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to catch us up on what's been going on in his life and give us a bit a glimpse into the man behind the legend. :) Zef has a very cool Website which you should check out for background information or just for browsing.

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Can you give us a brief bio? Who is Zef Hemel?

I'm 21 years old (I'll turn 22 on the 22nd of June). I was born in Groningen, a city well-known (at least in the Netherlands) for its university in the north of The Netherlands. I still live, work and study there. Friends? Got them. Family? Got a couple of those too.


What is your educational background?

I just got my bachelor degree in computer science from the University of Groningen this Monday (at the time of this writing). I'm also already a year into my master programme, however I might never finish it here, because I applied for a place in the Networks and Distributed Systems master at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland.


What do you consider as your accomplishments up to this point?

When I was 16/17 I developed YaBB, which was one of the first free bulletin boards back then, I think it was the first open source bulletin board written in Perl (which was still the dominant web-development language then). I left the project after little over a year later, but the project still runs. Even better, they ported it to PHP (YaBB SE) which eventually resulted in SMF. There maybe no code of me left in that, but still it's kind of cool. Although the initial YaBB code may not have been great, it worked and it helped a lot of people build their online communities, which is kind of nice. So I'm proud of that.

Currently I don't do any software project really, I study and write stuff for my blog. I started bloggin two years ago and built a little audience over time. Knowing that there are people from Microsoft, IBM and many universities reading your stuff is kind of cool.


Any failures you want to tell us...
Read more about this article here...
 
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Matt M

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Excellent interview.

Zef is a great guy who doesn't get enough recognition for the work he's done in the past and the work he's capable of now.

He's definitely a future programming star.
 

Michael Merritt

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matt mecham said:
Excellent interview.

Zef is a great guy who doesn't get enough recognition for the work he's done in the past and the work he's capable of now.

He's definitely a future programming star.
I agree, which is why I suggested him after Sandman posted the link to your interview in his post at IPS.
 

Lord Brar

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Zef is a nice guy. :) I remember talking to him over ICQ a few years back and most certainly think that this kid is going to go places. :D

Nice interview Sandman.
 

Davey C

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Can't wait too see you in Dublin! Did a show there for trinity fm, That place is big. Took me like 2 hours to find the studio. :unhunh: Great interview... :jiggy:
 

Alpinestar

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Great interview, and nice to see that he is also a member of the Gathering of Tweakers. :tup:
 

Automatic

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Im still getting over the fact that Zef was only 16/17 years old when he created YaBB. Yet another good interview. Keep up the good work.
 

fornls

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Very inspiring story of a young guy who wrote code for the bulletin boards in a young age. That is very inspiring. I love programming but my career diverted to different areas and couldn't go deeper into that. It is interesting to see how people work so hard early in their life.
 

pjohn323

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I left the project after little over a year later, but the project still runs. Even better, they ported it to PHP (YaBB SE) which eventually resulted in SMF. There maybe no code of me left in that, but still it's kind of cool.
Zef is mistaken in the above, his project and code is still very much alive and in use in his original forum software, YaBB.
A couple programmers broke off and developed YaBBSE in PHP, But the originial YaBB Perl forum is now in version Y3 Beta and being developed, celebrating 10 yrs now after Zef released the first version.
 

walton007

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A very nice and detailed interview about a very well known person on the net.

I hope to interview someone like that to one day.
 

SupNY

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He is definitely spot on about blogging, it will become more popular as any man and his dog can blog :p
 
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