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Improve Perl's marketing position by making Perlmonks more discoverable for automated "popularity contests"

by mithaldu (Monk)
on Mar 15, 2013 at 17:17 UTC ( #1023745=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

I would like to see the following change done:

* add "perl programming language" to every single page of perlmonks

My proposed way of doing this would be to simply add the sentence "Built with/in the Perl programming language."

Where do i sent patches and/or whom do i have to talk to to make this happen?

The reason behind this is slightly complicated and merits an in-depth explanation for which i currently lack the time. However, in short: The TIOBE index, flawed as it is, follows an algorithm in its methodology. This means that currently it is unaware of roughly 2 million results in its search for both google hits and blog posts relating to Perl, but can be made aware of them. Adding that simple sentence to the perlmonks base template will have a considerable impact on Perls standing in that index and prevent future "perl is dying" articles by mouse-click-hungry journalists with nary a clue or scruple.

If you have questions or requests for clarifications, please ask, and i will happily answer and explain in greater detail in the coming days.



Edit: I see it has been added, thanks a lot to jdporter who did the work. :)

Comment on Improve Perl's marketing position by making Perlmonks more discoverable for automated "popularity contests"
Re: Improve Perl's marketing position by making Perlmonks more discoverable for automated "popularity contests"
by jdporter (Canon) on Mar 15, 2013 at 17:32 UTC

    I notice that in your suggested text you linked "Perl programming language" to perl.org. Is this necessary/important?

    the TIOBE index

    "This website requires JavaScript." F that Sh. Care to summarize?

    pmdevils - here's a patch.
    I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.
      I notice that in your suggested text you linked "Perl programming language" to perl.org. Is this necessary/important?
      Not particularly. I just thought it looked like a good idea.
      Care to summarize?
      They search on 9 different social sites for "<lang> programming", assign the results a weight based on the specific site and combine everything in order to produce popularity values for languages, which usually prompts journalists to proclaim perl dead because tiobe is mostly blind to perl activity on the internet.
Re: Improve Perl's marketing position by making Perlmonks more discoverable for automated "popularity contests"
by igelkott (Curate) on Mar 15, 2013 at 17:50 UTC

    On the surface, I don't really care what outsiders say about Perl. I'll keep using it as long as it has any following at all. Beneath that, I sort of like getting paid (where Perl is at least part of my worth). Even better, I like that other people write/maintain the packages I need (ignoring the guilt of not having uploaded any of my own yet). Greater popularity for Perl means getting paid more with less work -- and that's obviously good (ignoring the ego now).

    On the down-side, this all feels a bit dirty somehow. Hard to explain really but it's like a scam to drum up popularity. It's not like a lie but why should we need to advertise (besides those selfish reasons above)?

    A way to justify this (at least to me) is that it's an obviously true statement. This could just be seen as a clarification, almost like going towards Semantic Web -- using the correct tags/keywords.

      It's not like a lie but why should we need to advertise...

      "But you have to allow a little for the desire to evangelize when you think you have good news." — Larry Wall in 1992.

      A way to justify this (at least to me) is that it's an obviously true statement. This could just be seen as a clarification, almost like going towards Semantic Web -- using the correct tags/keywords.

      That is not just a justification, that is entirely my intent. :)
        justification

        "Justification" as a way to overcome doubts. Would be more fair to say "a different way to look at this" with the implication that the positive outweighs the negative.

      On the down-side, this all feels a bit dirty somehow. Hard to explain really but it's like a scam to drum up popularity. It's not like a lie but why should we need to advertise (besides those selfish reasons above)?

      I don't really see the dirty aspect, myself. If we were putting that statement on non-Perl pages, then I would consider it dirty. But all we're really doing is improving the accuracy of their poor method of tracking language statistics. Yes, it's dumb that we need to do this kind of thing, but not dirty.

      Somewhat separately, what's wrong with advertising? I like Perl. I like using it, and I like when other people use it. The bigger and healthier the Perl community is, the more useful Perl is. As long as we're being honest, and not misleading people, there's nothing wrong with advertising in my mind.

      I don't feel I need any justification to encourage people to use a programming language that I believe is incredibly useful. If someone hadn't encouraged me to play with Perl many years ago, I may have ended up stuck using a less awesome language.

      Christopher Cashell
        don't see the dirty aspect

        "Dirty" doesn't summarize the proposal to me. I'm definitely in favor of increasing Perl's exposure/popularity and am thankful that someone "advertised" to me.

        But, to explain my hesitation, this almost sounds like begging for attention. I'd rather let people appreciate the language for what it is rather than adjusting pages to look better to spiders. Sounds silly/naive but that's what I meant.

Re: Improve Perl's marketing position by making Perlmonks more discoverable for automated "popularity contests"
by jdporter (Canon) on Mar 17, 2013 at 02:31 UTC

    Done. The suggested line is now shown in the footer (at the bottom) of each page.

      Thanks.

      I think we - the Perl community - have to overcome this (often wrong) moral attitude like shouting out "I'm using Perl and I'm proud of it." is dirty, unhonorable etc.

      You may not care what the "world outside" thinks about Perl. But you should. If the world starts to think Perl is sh*t (and the majority of the IT-world has that impression - of course without having any facts for that opinion), Perl starts to loose traction. Attraction. To new, young, motivated and talented people.

      If you try to step outside the Perl echo chamber (hard thing, I know), and imagine you are a programmer, considering what programming language to use for your next project. You would like to see how popular a language is, has been and probably will be. You will stumble across the TIOBE index. Currently it looks like this: http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/paperinfo/tpci/Perl.html Now if you would like to think THAT could attract anybody - you are most certainly out of your mind.

      And because you are not, you see the necessity of action. Here, on CPAN, on Wikipedia and others where we can do something about it.

      Bye
       PetaMem
          All Perl:   MT, NLP, NLU

      Ah, you did the change. Thanks a lot! :)

      jdporter,

      ++. Well done...Ed

      Thank you

      "Well done is better than well said." - Benjamin Franklin

Re: Improve Perl's marketing position by making Perlmonks more discoverable for automated "popularity contests"
by Not_a_Number (Parson) on Mar 17, 2013 at 21:06 UTC
      Of course, i've said that even in my original post that TIOBE is flawed. The intent of the exercise is to rob unscrupulous journalists of a source to be used in decrying Perl's death, or in less nicer words: Get people to shut up, so we can deal with real issues. :)

      Edit: Reading your links it seems that the people behind TIOBE even approve of such activities. :D

        Look at who's citing TIOBE to make a point. Want to re-educate the world? Good luck.

        :) Can you post more links?

        I'm curious to see if the obscureness/quality goes up or down

        Yeah. Sure. All "them is wrong".

        Your interpretation of Google Trends is questionable:

        The numbers on the graph reflect how many searches have been done for a particular term, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. They don't represent absolute search volume numbers, because the data is normalized and presented on a scale from 0-100.

        Has the total number of searches done on Google from 2004 grown? Has it grown faster than the number of searches for "Perl tutorial"?

Re: Improve Perl's marketing position by making Perlmonks more discoverable for automated "popularity contests"
by LanX (Canon) on Mar 18, 2013 at 09:06 UTC
    I'm pessimistic about the efficiency. :(

    It's obvious that google doesn't parse perlmonks like other sites. I think they only read the node content.

    The other footers like "PerlMonks was recently assimilated by The Perl Foundation." do not produce 1e6 hits but only about 30000.

    Cheers Rolf

        The "The Perl Foundation" line comes in 4 flavors, chosen at random.

        - tye        

      As I do have now access to daily numbers (internal to Propaganda.pm), I would suggest you not being that pessimistic. ;-)

      One can clearly see a rise for Perl popularity. Slowly, but visible. In about 14 days we'll see what this (and other measures) have achieved. All I can say for now - it's worth it.

      propaganda.pm - Not just another Perl Mongers Group.
Re: Improve Perl's marketing position by making Perlmonks more discoverable for automated "popularity contests"
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Mar 18, 2013 at 13:44 UTC

      That link proves my point that the world really is a snake pit. :-D


      Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
      Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg

      That is very interesting and effective.   What interests me about this, though, is more than just the superficial notion that “Perl shows 7% whereas Python shows 30% and Java shows 26%.   Here are some things that come to mind, and I’d like to know what you think about any of them.   (These are not argument points; they are discussion points.)

      • The source, codeeval.com, superficially appears to be a programming contest/show-off site.   If this is where they are getting their numbers, there are several natural sources of behavioral bias here.
      • Some language implementations surface their applications; others do not.   You cannot tell easily what language a web-site is written in, for example.
      • What is the metric being used?   Lines-of-code?   Size-and- number-of-files?   How unbiased would these metrics most naturally be?   Was #include considered?
      • Does the metric discuss new code being written today, or does it consider legacy code also?   (“Legacy,” in this case, not meaning that the software is horrid, but only that it’s a freight-train out there on the track right now bringing home the freight every day.)
      • What is the actual take-away here, in terms of a decision-maker.   Let’s all tell The Huffington Post that Perl (drives Moveable Type™ drives their website drives their world) really sucks and that they should rewrite their world in Java or Python.   Software development has a hideous front-load investment of time=money that has to be amortized away, and all of today’s “new today” applications will be in the same boat tomorrow.   Is this merely a self-reported metric of, well, exactly what it promises to be ... popularity ... and if so, how and why should this drive present or future decisions?   Also, what decisions should it and should it not drive?
      • What about “equality of choice?”   If you’re writing for Android right now, you must use Java.
      • What about the fact that most production work is dealing with existing, not new, systems.   You are almost never starting with a blank slate and with no other production systems in sight.   You might be dealing with, say, a $$ military $$ contract $$ for which such parameters are strictly dictated.   (Were this not so, then no one in their right mind would use Ada ... wink wink.)
      • Programming languages, being rather specialized tools, are not fungible.   The choice of which language to use, or to continue using, is heavily influenced by applications that are already in service, and by external packages (such as CPAN modules) which it is desirable or necessary to use.   Some languages are extremely specialized, such as Gnu Prolog or “R.” Some of the languages listed, such as Clojure, definitely are.   And yet, here they all are on the graph ... all circles ... but actually apples and oranges.

      Again ... for discussion.

        What about the fact that most production work is dealing with existing, not new, systems.

        When you cite a reliable, verifiable, public source for that assertion; I'd consider discussing the rest of your post.


        With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
        Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
        "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
        In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.
Re: Improve Perl's marketing position by making Perlmonks more discoverable for automated "popularity contests"
by sundialsvc4 (Monsignor) on Mar 18, 2013 at 14:57 UTC

    Separate comment since not a direct reply ...

    To my way of thinking, it’s fairly easy to “game” an automated metric, such as TIOBE.   I question the actual decision-making value of such data ... and, I think that the people who are actually tasked with making these often multi-million dollar decisions already know that.   If journalists don’t, then so what.   My opinions, or theirs, about what sort of aortic valve is most-popular in heart surgery doesn’t matter either.   (Especially with regards to my heart.)

    Programming languages are not created equal, are not interchangeable, and in the preponderance of cases you are not dealing with a blank slate situation.   Most time is spent dealing with existing systems, and teams involving dozens if not hundreds of people many of whom must be re-trained.   The risk-meter is pegging the top of the scale.

    I quite frankly believe that these “popularity contests” don’t make a hill of beans’s difference to a decision-maker because they have nothing really to do with the decision that is being made.   The actual decision has very little to do with the language itself, and everything to do with the holistic totality (ommmm...) of what it does and where it lives.   And it has e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g to do with risk.

    • The freight is moving.
    • Perl is moving it.   It’s doing it.   I have confidence that it will continue to do so.
    • My business is to move freight.   I’ve got millions of dollars’ worth of freight to move every day.
    • The risk to me is not that another tool could or could not do it “better.”   The risk to me is the risk of failure, and the apparently-unnecessary costs of avoiding it.   After all, I’m not failing now.
    • I’m not saying that your bright idea isn’t bright, but it’s not complete and/or relevant.   You’re arguing against a problem that I don’t have, and promising to create a problem that I also don’t have.

    Sure, not meant to be a slam-shut comment ... to be taken in-balance.   These bullet points can be successfully argued; they are simply sales-objections.   But what is not a contributing factor here?   “Popularity.”

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