Interview With Chris Deeming

By The Sandman · Nov 21, 2013 ·
  1. The Sandman
    Chris Deeming is a fixture on XenForo.com. You can find him in the top 10 in all Notable Members list categories. That's over 8,000 posts, over 8,000 likes, and almost 80 resources - quite an accomplishment!

    Mr. Deeming is quite a busy boy as you can imagine, and lately even more so than usual since he was and is intimately involved with the AVForums conversion to XenForo. Chris was kind enough to answer a bunch of interview questions for me although to be honest I don't know how he found the time.

    Thanks Chris!

    ===================================================
    Please tell us about yourself.

    A good place to start, I think, is how I first got involved with forums. Starting around 1999 I became a massive fan of the video game, Half-Life and it's many community made modifications, particularly Counter-Strike. In 2001, my favourite website was a site called CS-Skins.net. They had a forum running on UBB and later on vBulletin 2.0. I was a moderator. At various times I was known as such imaginative names as "Mr. Deeming" and... yep. "Chris Deeming".

    Eventually Half-Life 2 was announced and I was interested in nothing more than that. I became involved in my next major forum, HalfLife2.net. That was running vBulletin 2.X as well and again I was a moderator there, at one time the Lead Editor and eventually Forum Admin. I then had a break from forums. I just didn't have time. But I eventually came back to HalfLife2.net... Just in time for them to make a move to a new forum platform I'd never heard of before: XenForo.

    Wow. That's 11 years of my life in only two paragraphs :unsure:

    What is your educational background?

    Very average through school, went to college and dropped out after a few months because I decided I preferred the world of work. When I eventually started choosing the jobs I wanted to do I went on to become a Cisco Certified Network Associate.


    What are your most important accomplishments thus far?

    A bit of a cliché but I'm proud my beautiful wife and daughter. I'm incredibly lucky and they are very supportive of me, even though I work pretty much every waking hour. I've also accomplished success in my day job, qualifications and I'm proud that I've taught myself PHP, MySQL and to a lesser extent, Javascript.


    What is the significance of your avatar?

    Like with much of my online identity, probably a lack of imagination. But it has ended up being pretty distinctive. When I used to have time to play it, I loved the Angry Birds series of games. Seemed like a logical choice at the time .


    What is your full time job?

    I'm an "IT Guy" for a local College. I look after the server and network infrastructure.


    How did you get into coding add-ons?

    As per my biography it all started when HalfLife2.net (now rebranded as ValveTime.net) moved to XenForo. I became very interested in how changes were made in XenForo. It all started with some pretty basic template modifications. Though actually my first add-on was pretty much written entirely by Jake Bunce. It was about six months later after spending a lot of time with the XenForo code that I had the confidence to create something bigger. And that's how my Notifications add-on came about.


    What's your favorite part of coding add-ons for the XenForo community?

    It's just as simple as I love working with the XenForo code. I enjoy making it do new and hopefully wonderful things, and I love seeing how XenForo grows. It's fantastic software and can only get better in the upcoming releases. The community is great as well. There's some fantastic people at XenForo.com.


    What's your least favorite part of coding add-ons for the XenForo community?

    I don't think I have a least favourite part!


    Which single add-on of yours are you proudest of?

    Quite simply Xen Media Gallery. It's a wonderful product that I'm extremely proud of. It also has an incredibly bright future. The development of it hasn't been as quick as I had hoped, but I've made some great progress towards its next incarnation. In terms of progress towards version 1.3, it will soon be considered to be beta. At which point I will start talking about it a lot more, and there will be some very lucky beta testers who will get early access.


    How did you become involved in the conversion of AVForums to XenForo?

    I believe Stuart Wright was asking around the community for recommendations and I was humbled to discover that several highly respected people within the community had recommended me. Stuart contacted me and we discussed requirements and it all went from there.


    What was your part in the conversion?

    My part in the conversion was general XenForo advice and more importantly XenForo development. It was during that time that we developed the Competitions system, Moderator Checkpoint and about 20 other add-ons.

    What's left for you to do there?

    I am currently finishing a simple user reviews system to complement the fantastic Editorial system that powers the AVForums.com home page. Once that is finished, an add-on which provides an integration with Sendy.co for the process of managing newsletter distribution, subscription, bounces etc. via Amazon SES.

    What's your opinion on the current state of affairs in forums and forum software?

    Despite what many think, forum software has a very bright future. There's a common misconception that social networks are damaging the success of forum software, but I disagree. There will always be a need for much more detailed, content rich discussion, and the vehicle for that is forum software.

    As for the platforms... I won't say much more other than I believe XenForo to have the brighter future and that is proving true based on market share.

    What advice do you have for people just starting out as coders?

    If we're talking about starting to code with XenForo then take a lot of steer from the code that's already there. Pay attention to the XenForo code and its structure. You'll learn a lot from it! Learning for yourself is a very important factor. You will get stuck and you will need to ask for help which is of course absolutely fine, but it's important that you take on board any advice and feedback you're given so you learn from it.

    What does your daily schedule look like?

    I quite like a recently released track by Fat Boy Slim, Rivastar and Beardyman. The Calvin Harris remix of Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat. That kind of summarises my daily schedule. Just replace the word "Rave" with "Code" and eat, sleep, code, repeat seems accurate. Sometimes it feels like eat, code, code, repeat...

    What are your favorite books? Movies? TV shows? Music? Games? Foods? Beverages?

    My favourite genre of books is horror/sci-fi. One of my favourite authors is James Herbert and his series of books based on The Rats.

    Favourite movies are Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. TV shows? Previously were Lost and Prison Break but they've not been on for years.

    Music and games you can probably gauge from my previous answers.

    Favourite food and drink is pretty much everything that isn't good for me :)

    Which websites do you visit regularly?

    XenForo.com, XenMediaGallery.com, ValveTime.net and more recently due to the work there, AVForums.com.

    What do you do for fun and relaxation?

    What do I do for what and what, now? Code XenForo add-ons of course!

    What does the future hold for Chris Deeming?

    Hopefully more of the same. With an emphasis on the Gallery and a few other projects I have in mind :)

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