This month's newsletter is brought to you by …
DaniWeb goes mobile
Welcome to the November 2013 edition of the DaniWeb Digest, our community newsletter. This month we have some exciting news for those tablet-wielding DaniWeb members who have been asking us to make the site more mobile- friendly. Well, Dani has invested a lot of time during the past month doing just that! We admit that it's not perfect yet, and it's not a fully mobile-optimized skin for the DaniWeb UI, but early feedback does suggest it is making a positive impact upon day to day browsing of the community when using a tablet. You might have spotted that we have said tablet twice now, but 'smartphone' has been notable by being absent. There's a reason for this, and that's simply that Dani has no plans in the immediate future to make DaniWeb any more phone-friendly than it already is. There's a reason for that as well, a really good reason: forum-based sites that feature a lot of code on display just don't translate into a compact yet still easily usable phone view very well. For DaniWeb to work well on a smartphone would take something more than a tweaking of the generic UI, it would take a dedicated smartphone app. So, here's a challenge for any Android and iPhone app developers out there: why not become a DaniWeb Community Hero and build a DaniWeb Mobile app? We have a pretty robust API these days, so go on, you know you want to...
What kind of member are you?
One of the questions we get asked every now and then is 'what do all those different membership types mean?' so we thought it might be a good idea to clear up any confusion over DaniWeb community member groups. Starting at the top of the tree, from the management hierarchy perspective, we have the administrator who can do just about anything and everything. Getting a promotion to admin status on DaniWeb is like finding the 'God Mode' cheat in a game. There are only a handful of admins within the community for good reason. On the next step down the ladder come the moderators, who can do pretty much everything an admin can apart from modifying member profiles, managing editorial articles and certain other managerial tasks that shall remain nameless here. There are more moderators than admins, and promotion to this group is granted upon merit. Members who look like they have the 'right stuff' are nominated and their candidacy discussed and voted upon by the existing admin/moderator team.
If we draw a line below the management side of DaniWeb, at the top of this next section we find the team colleagues. These are, generally speaking, people who were either members right at the start of DaniWeb all those many years ago or former moderators. They do not get any special powers as it were, but they do get a cool badge showing their status along with the ability to create custom user titles for their account. Next we have the community members, which make up the vast majority of the million-strong DaniWeb community as is most likely the title that you have yourself. You know what you can, which is everything that you would expect to be able to do as a normal member of the community. Newbie members can't do quite as much, no live chat, no contributing of editorial or code snippets, no disabling of advertising, no tagging with new tag terms. They do get an extra that community members do not have, and that's being challenged by a CAPTCHA before every post (in an effort to reduce spamming on the site). Almost at the bottom of the pile as far as membership groups are concerned is the unverified member. They can only edit their profile and read postings, and do nothing else. The final group membership is one that nobody should aspire to: the banned member. All they can do is log in and read posts, but nothing else at all until the ban expires.
Just to clarify, if you register as a member with Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+ then you automatically become a Newbie Member as the social network concerned acts as an identity verification for us. If you register with a username and email you are also a Newbie Member, but get sent a verification email which if unanswered within 24 hours will result in the account being demoted to Unverified Member status until it is answered. To progress from Newbie to Community Member, you need to build your reputation (to 15 points) or hit five posts across five days and then you get full access to all our community features.
Member of the Month
The latest entrant to the DaniWeb Hall of Fame is
Where are you from originally, and where do you live now?
I am originally from a VERY small town in Minnesota. Ogilvie by name. I now live in Augsburg, Germany.
How old are you?
Ancient (at least it feels like it at times). Actually I am 43.
What is your current occupation, ever done anything unusual in the past?
Currently I am a consultant for an IT company and specialise in JSE/JEE programming and third-level support for JEE servers Glassfish and, unfortunately, WebLogic. But am also capable in Unix systems support. Unusual? The most unusual, although for some segments of society it is not, was being deployed to Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm (the air and ground war campaigns in the first Iraq war), as well as border patrol for Macedonia right after their split from Yugoslavia.
What is your favorite OS and why?
That's two fold. I like Windows (various versions), but only for the gaming I do in my free time. There is a much wider range available for Windows than any other. For work, almost any flavor of Unix/Linux.
What first brought you to DaniWeb?
I don't remember, to tell you the truth. But probably searching for some hint on a problem I was having.
What makes you stay here?
The other members, actually. I like the exchanges that we sometimes have (although I haven't REALLY participated in those for a while).
What is your favorite forum and why?
Probably this one. I have only actually used three others. One is the "Java Programming Forum" (I am not a fan of their layout but their members, which consist of many of these, are also entertaining). Another is the Oracle Forums (previously Sun's forums which USED TO BE my favorite) and I really HATE their layout. And the third was "dream-in-code", I REALLY don't visit that one much anymore, I found their entire site to be too "loud" and "noisy".
What are your interests outside of IT and outside of DaniWeb?
First, my family. My kids are nearly grown so I am looking forward to isolation with my wife in a few years. I used to be a HUGE basketball player, but its hard to find a decent area to play here that does not cost an arm and leg in fees. I also used to be a very big AD&D player, but, again, its hard to find enough English speaking players in my area. Other than that, strategy and fantasy gaming, but not really one for the online types.
Name the best thing about DaniWeb overall, and one thing you would change if it were in your power?
I really like the "regulars" here. Other than that I am usually pretty easy going. As long as it doesn't take a thousand clicks to get somewhere, and the site isn't TOO noisy, I'm happy. That does bring me to the point that if I were to change anything (and this isn't actually a change) I would make sure that the site doesn't add any more "glitz" and "noise". It's getting close to the overload point, IMHO.
Any fascinating facts about yourself that you would like to share with the DaniWeb community?
Other than that with the Army, as mentioned above, I come from a HUGE family (I am one of 9 kids and my mother was 1 of 8, so with cousins, etc, we probably outnumber a few Caribbean nations), but live near NONE of them, and see or speak with them only VERY sparsely.