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Welcome to the July 2014 edition of the DaniWeb Digest

This time last year we were proudly reporting how Dani is always finding something to tweak and improve as far as DaniWeb is concerned. Back then we pointed to the new spell checking option in the post editor, a PM pop-up reminder system and the introduction of a live chat feature. Fast-forward 12 months and the site improvements have continued to come thick and fast. In August 2013 we saw the introduction of the DaniWeb Vendor scheme to enable businesses to better connect to our community; September introduced the bookmark function for favoriting and categorising posts; November and in came tweaks to the DaniWeb UI to make it more mobile-friendly; December gifted members with a less immediately visible improvement in the shape of more security on the back end for our API with OAuth; into the new year and February introduced a mailing list option so members can read and contribute posts by email; and then last month there was the exciting new Rewards Points scheme which gives member the opportunity to earn money by answering questions on DaniWeb. Phew, what a journey it has been! But you know what, it's not over; not by a long chalk. In fact, if there's something you'd like to see implemented at DaniWeb be it a change to the user interface, a great new idea to encourage community participation or just a bug that needs squishing then let us know. How? Easy, just start a new discussion in the Community Feedback forum. Every post is read by the management team here at DaniWeb HQ, and you never know your suggestion could be the next one that we are reporting on here in the newsletter!

Keep it legal please folks

Every now and then we find that it's necessary to remind members that they need to ensure they own the intellectual property rights to everything that is posted. It's one of our community rules, after all, and common sense to boot. Oh, and it could lead to an infraction if you fail to follow it. So, please, do not simply cut and paste large swathes of text from another site and submit it as your reply to a question, or as a new post here. Quite often such postings are easy to spot, and moderators regularly search for cut and paste content like this. As well as the intellectual property aspect, it's also not helpful for our SEO. Search engines such as Google will apply a penalty when the same content has been copied to multiple sites. Worse of all, such behavior is most often associated with spammers: both those that seek to include an obfuscated link to their own sites under selected keywords in the article text, and those who use the method as a quick way to post something with a signature attached for no other reason than to publicise the links in it. It's easy to see how the moderators might think you are a spammer yourself if you follow their patterns of work. Finally, a quick reminder not to post editorial articles that you have already published on another website (for the same search engine penalty reasons). The keyword to take away is to keep it original folks, if you want to repeat information found elsewhere then either link to it if it's relevant to the discussion or re-write in your own words.

Member of the Month

This month we are pleased to welcome cereal into the DaniWeb hall of fame as our latest member of the month interviewee. Every month we get to know someone who has made a meaningful contribution to our community, and if you think there's a member who deserves the accolade just like cereal then please drop happygeek a PM and tell us why. As for cereal himself, he's been a member of DaniWeb for an amazing six years now. During this time, and across more than 1800 contributions, he has achieved an incredible post quality score of 98%. Throw in his position at number 26 in the all time skills and endorsements table, as well as a placing of 60 out of 1.1 million members when it comes to helping solve Q&A's, and you can see why he's being honored this month. If you want to experience the wisdom of cereal then pop over to the PHP forum where you'll find him most of the time. If you want to find out more about what makes this much admired member tick, read on...

Where are you from originally, and where do you live now?

This is a long story to explain but in few words I was born in Nice, France, then moved to Chicago (Illinois) for five years, I was little and about that period I only remember a lot of snow! Then I moved to Sicily for ten years and moved between many cities from North to South of Italy, currently I'm in a little city in the mountains between Rome and Naples.

How old are you?

I'm 34, but nobody believes me, so I surrendered and I say I'm 26.

What is your current occupation, ever done anything unusual in the past?

Since 1999 I have always worked in the IT industry mostly as web developer (ASP, PHP and something in Ruby) and in advertising agencies, but for a period I worked in the help-desk IT departments of two multinational enterprises, I really didn't like that job position, I prefer programming. Currently I lead a little startup company: we are creating a web service that should open, hopefully, by the end of this year. It's a completely new and exciting experience for me and my little team, but also very difficult, because we have to do a lot of research and there are many sides of the project to consider: development and consistency of the API/back-end/front-end, server requirements and configurations, advertising, bureaucracy. And at the end I always wonder "Am I considering all the aspects?". For few years I have also headed a couple of pages in a monthly IT magazine distributed here in Italy, it was mostly about tips and Windows based hacks, it was an interesting experience.

What is your favorite OS and why?

I like Linux, it is the right tool for my work, it is flexible and requires low resources. I started using it in 2001, my first experience was with Suse Linux 7.3 installed in a Sun Sparc server. After that I have tried many distributions and in 2005 I switched to Ubuntu, since then I stopped using Microsoft Windows. Apart from Linux I really like the FreeBSD project which I tend to practice every time I can.

What first brought you to DaniWeb?

I was searching for a method to run a background script without using crontab, it was a requirement for a client project, it was 2004 or 2005. Since then I constantly read the forums and few years later I decided to sign-up.

What makes you stay here?

The people. DaniWeb is a great community with a lot of good programmers, I constantly learn from their replies and also from the requests, because these address my attention to issues I usually do not consider. Even the most simple question usually receives good support, this is what makes the difference for me.

What do you think of the new Rewards Points system that DaniWeb has introduced?

It's a great surprise, I've been out for five weeks, when I came back I saw the new link on the top of the page: "$ REWARDS". Clicking on it and discovering what you have realized in the meantime, made me smile and be proud to be part of this community: I think this feature is healthy for DaniWeb, from my point of view it never hurts to get something back, and in general it will probably help to increase, if possible, the quality response. Sincerely, I clicked on the cash button to see the next step of the process but, when the page reloaded, I saw it was cached out immediately. The operation was successful and I received a confirmation from PayPal two weeks later.

Do you think your contributions were well rewarded?

Yes, I'm happy with it, thank you :)

What is your favorite forum and why?

I spend a lot of time in the PHP forum, it is the language I mostly use right now, but I like to dig around all the forums in search of interesting threads.

What are your interests outside of IT and outside of DaniWeb?

I practice photography, mostly with a digital reflex camera and about nature, because it is usually more patience than humans with me. As long term project, I would like to open a print service for fine arts, but this requires time, experience and a great budget. Apart from this, I like reading novels by modern and contemporary authors such as H. Murakami, Salinger, Vonnegut. I like sports, I've played as play-maker in a basketball team for some years, then boxing for a while (time to get hurt!), and I currently practice running from 3 to 4 times a week. I would like to run a marathon, but right now I can only run half that distance.

Name the best thing about DaniWeb overall, and one thing you would change if it were in your power?

I'm grateful for Dani's volition, she and her team made possible this community and no, I would not change anything.

Any fascinating facts about yourself that you would like to share with the DaniWeb community?

My studies were very different from my work, I graduated in Communication Science after studying Foreign Languages for few years. And sometimes, under the sun, I can literally shine... baldness

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