Quick questions Michael Babcock
Hi, thank you so much for the Quick Questions interview. It's very exciting to be interviewed by you and I feel privileged for the opportunity. I hope to visit Scandinavia someday, as I have relatives in Norway and feel a real kinship to the people and culture in your part of the world.
I am 38 and married with 4 children. We live in beautiful rural Northern California. There are a lot of parks and wilderness areas in my home town, which offer ample opportunity to go adventuring in the great outdoors. We all love it.
When I am not busy herding my children around, I like to do a bit of programming. I got my start as a graphic designer, then moved into programming, while working for an educational software company. I was fortunate enough to be able to leave my job and start a freelance career as a web developer. I spend the majority of my professional life building websites, coding extensions and helping people who are in need of technical support. It is satisfying work to be able to help others and empower people with the extensions that I create. I feel very privileged and blessed to be doing something that I enjoy so much.
You have many extensions listed in JED, you have built components, modules and plugins. Is it a big difference to develop components comparing to modules or plugins?
Well, for me, I love working with plugins. They are very lightweight, yet extremely powerful. They lend a lot of ability to the developer. To me, plugins are the key to unlocking hidden Joomla power and potential.
Like all things, though, plugins have their limitations. That's where components come in. Components tend to be more complex, but the additional complexity, allows the developer to create really elaborate extensions.
My end goal with all of my extensions is to try and create something that is very flexible and intuitive to use. I do my best to always imagine how the end-user will apply my extension to their project and how they will interact with my extension. Then I build the extension to that vision.
Some of your extensions are tightly integrated with PayPal and Google Checkout - how is it to work with their apis?
For the most part it's fantastic. After your initial API learning curve is completed, all sorts of programming power and opportunities are available to you using the API.
I am a bit particular to working with PayPal's API. It seems a bit more mature. And I tend to find my way around their documentation with a bit more ease, which speeds my development.
This is not to say that Google Checkout's API isn't top notch, because it is. I like that Google is always pushing into the future with their various projects and developments. Google is very inspirational to me as a programmer.
Any plans for new extensions?
Oh, yes, I plan to keep them coming. I've received a lot of requests and suggestions from users. I think my current average is about 1 new extension release every 2 months or so. We'll see if that development pace can be maintained over the next year, while still improving upon my current extensions.
I actually have a two new extensions coming out in a few weeks, the Nice Content Access Lite and the Nice Content Access extension. These two extensions are designed to help administrators control user access to their sites' content on a very granular level.
What is your expectations for Joomla 2.5?
To have a lot of upgrades to do on my existing extensions. :o)