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Robert Wetzlmayr is the Textpattern developer also known as wet. His website is called A Waste of Words and an Austrian-English Babel Fish translation reveals a portfolio of web designs and helpful technical articles as well as details of his plugins. Robert took some time off from lounging in a hammock by the seaside to answer some questions for us, so enjoy!
TXPQ Are you more artistic/intuitive or logical/analytical?
RW I'm a rather balanced kind of personality with almost equal priorities for both left- and right-brained exercises and a slight tendency to the logical hemisphere, which results in a life style of many interests, but no specialization.
TXPQ Are you right-handed or left-handed?
RW I am left-handed but write with my right hand. This does not imply that I am a schizophrenic but is a result of the educational principles which were in effect when I was educated on how to write.
TXPQ Readers: Here's an interesting Left Handedness article.
TXPQ What motivates you or "makes you tick"?
RW I love to learn new things which catch my interest.
TXPQ What do you love to listen to or watch?
Dephazz, U2, J. Geils Band, malia, lots more...
Scrubs, American Beauty, Apocalypse Now, A Clockwork Orange, Alfred Dorfer
and I love to drive my vintage Volvo 744. Here's hoping that she keeps rolling along another year or two...
TXPQ Would you like to say anything about living in Austria?
RW Austria is a country I enjoy living in. I live in a rather rural place near the see which we enjoy during the summer time, and despite all cliches about Austrians I have abandoned skiing years ago.
The Austrian seaside is a well-kept secret and is unspoiled by tourists
TXPQ When did you create your first web site?
RW I built my first web site circa 1999 - a pro bono work for my brother's gardening and home supply store. Built with a combination of Dreamweaver 4 and hand-coded HTML, it taught me the basics and the importance of web standards.
TXPQ Was it successful or were your dreams shattered?
RW Well, my brother thinks he acquires some business from his site, so I think the site can be deemed successful.
TXPQ Why did you call your website A Waste of Words?
RW This deserves a really long winded explanation - but since you asked:
If there is one band on earth which I would really desperately miss if they stopped performing or recording, this would be De Phazz, Pit Baumgartner's band project from Heidelberg (Germany).
I was collecting ideas for my new site's name for literally weeks and finally decided to register notslipperythoughwet.com - I like to play with words, as you might have guessed already. As I mentioned this decision to my significant other, the choice was rejected with utmost intensity. This happened as we sat in my car waiting for the street light to turn green while we listened to De Phazz' then latest record playing: "Waste of Words". Boom, we both liked it! That's the story.
TXPQ When did you first use Textpattern?
RW This was in early 2005. And it is all Mr Hicks' fault: Starting with version 0.5, I was using Firefox as my primary browser. Firefox in its early stages did not have an icon at all, later on they had a poor one. Then came the day when Firefox got the now familiar icon, apparently created by a Mr Hicks of whom I had never heard before. A visit to his site revealed that he was running a thing named Textpattern, written by Dean Allen who had a very fine sense of humor judging by the essays he published at textism.com. This struck a chord, so I gave Textpattern a spin. I instantly liked Textile and the template tags. That's it. And they live happily ever after...
TXPQ Why do you use Textpattern?
Simplicity, extensibility, broad range of applicationsRW Simplicity, extensibility, broad range of applications. The tight Textile integration and the template tags are features I would miss with any other system.
TXPQ Could you make the sites without Textpattern?
RW Certainly. But what would I gain?
TXPQ How often do your clients need Textpattern or similar?
RW Most of the time, it works the other way around. Clients either come to me because they want to use Textpattern, or I choose a CMS for their projects.
TXPQ Is there still a place for static sites?
RW To a very limited extent, yes. Perhaps you would not operate a single landing page or "business card" type site with a CMS, but as soon as you expect to publish press releases, announcements, or plan for even infrequent changes there is no reason to burden yourself with a static site.
TXPQ How long have you been developing Textpattern?
RW I wrote my first plugin almost instantly after I setup my first real site. My first patch for Textpattern landed in July, 2005. Textpattern could build its own thumbnails for images with that patch applied.
TXPQ I am a non-programmer. What does "submitting a patch" mean?
The general public has read access and can build their own version of Textpattern without much logistical effortRW Only the core developer team has write access to Textpattern's code, the general public has read access and can build their own version of Textpattern without much logistical effort if one is inclined to do so. Community members are encouraged to enhance Textpattern by modifying the publicly available source code and feed back their results. A "patch file" contains all differences between the "official" version of Textpattern and the changes of the enhanced version one has built privately, therefore it is rather slim compared to the complete code. Programmers have tools which generate these patch files. The act of submitting is simple: Attach that patch file to an email, describe what your patch does and why this would help a broader audience and send it to the developers mailing list at txp-dev [at] lists.textpattern.com.
TXPQ Which plugin of yours are you most proud of?
RW wet_quicklink, as it is a real time saver for authors and encourages site-internal linking, which is a good thing from my point of view.
Textpattern Forum Questions
TXPQ How long do you spend on the Textpattern forum?
RW Maybe about one hour a week plus the forum's new topics feed is in my reader's subscriptions which I skim daily.
TXPQ Would you like to share any feelings about the forum in general?
I really like the persistent efforts of long time forum users to help and educate newbiesRW The Textpattern community is full of the most friendly folk I've ever met on the web. I really like the persistent efforts of long time forum users to help and educate newbies, which is a thing where Textpattern really shines in comparison to other open source systems (I'm looking at you, xt:commerce!).
TXPQ You can say that again, Robert. Textpattern is the best! Vielen Dank