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Re: No, "We" Don't Have to Do Anything

by Anonymous Monk
on Feb 23, 2006 at 23:23 UTC ( #532420=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to No, "We" Don't Have to Do Anything

Let's make a deal, then.

If people stop hyping Perl 6 as if it's wonderful and something I absolutely should start learning, then I'll stop critizing it.

You can't have it both ways. To hear the people working on the project talk, Perl 6 will be the greatest thing since sliced bread, it will slice, dice, and make jullianne fries, all while solving world hunger, and by the way, it will be out real soon now.

In reality, the spec isn't complete, the language has been under development for years with little sign of completion, and the hype is overblown.

It's hypocrisy to tell people that they need to start learning a system that's incomplete, and fragile, and then make promises about the future of that system that you don't intend to keep.

So, don't tell me about Perl 6 until it's done. Then, if it's any good, I'll learn your silly language. Don't bug me until then, stop shoveling hype and empty promises at me, and then, if what you've done is good, you'll get your praise and your thanks, with a deep measure of gratitude thrown in as well.

Bitching at people who complain about how long it takes is a lot like promising free coffee and donuts for a grand opening, then serving dirty dishwater and burnt toast instead, and griping at the people for being freeloaders when they came by to see what you had on offer and didn't like it. Yes, people thought they might get something nice for free. No, you don't owe them anything -- except the truth.

Wake me up when Perl 6 is done. Leave me alone until then. If it never finishes, I just won't care...


Comment on Re: No, "We" Don't Have to Do Anything
Re^2: No, "We" Don't Have to Do Anything
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Feb 23, 2006 at 23:56 UTC
    If people stop hyping Perl 6 as if it's wonderful and something I absolutely should start learning, then I'll stop critizing it.

    You misunderstood me. Criticize all you want. Just don't expect anyone actually contributing to the project to care. As far as I can tell, none of us have any obligation to do so.

    If you're not willing to spend ten minutes (in the past five years, you really couldn't spare ten minutes?) making some minimal effort to contribute, I don't consider you a part of the community.

      If you're not willing to spend ten minutes (in the past five years, you really couldn't spare ten minutes?) making some minimal effort to contribute, I don't consider you a part of the community.

      *sigh* Where did that "ten minutes" number come from? It takes a lot longer than that just to read and absorb a single Apocalypse. I read as many as I could for a long time, and tried to work out what they all meant behind all the fluff and ambiguities. They are, or were, riddled with the words "perhaps", "maybe", "might", and "could be". I didn't know then, and I don't know know, what features would make it into the final cut.

      Eventually, I gave up. I realized that the details of the Perl 6 language specifiction were still in flux, so I waited for the designers to make up their minds, and produce a clear vision of exactly what it was that I'd be building, if I decided to get onboard and help them build it.

      I never found one. Eventually, I stopped looking for one. From the complaints I'm hearing now, it sounds like there never was one.

      All through the years, the hype continued. The "ten minutes of your time" thing is just more hype: you and I both know it takes more than ten minutes to do anything even remotely productive. People are saying: "Perl 6 is ready now", "you can run Perl 6 programs under Perl 5 today", and stuff like that; but I still haven't seen the language documentation. To me, that means nothing's really been settled yet, and the whole thread seems to bear that out.

      Perhaps, some people can stand working like that. Maybe they're colledge kids who grasp at any chance to write throw-away code for the fund of coding something. Me, I do far too many pointless re-writes thanks to shifting requirements at work; the only thing worse than wasting my time for pay is wasting my time for free.

      Go ahead -- build Perl 6 however you want. Just stop trying to recruit me... I've burnt out on all the hype.

        If you're not willing to spend ten minutes (in the past five years, you really couldn't spare ten minutes?) making some minimal effort to contribute, I don't consider you a part of the community.
        *sigh* Where did that "ten minutes" number come from? It takes a lot longer than that just to read and absorb a single Apocalypse.

        ... (skip pointless rant) ...

        Go ahead -- build Perl 6 however you want. Just stop trying to recruit me... I've burnt out on all the hype.

        I know it has been said before by others and I just want to say it again. You are a coward.

        You have a negative attitude, you use big words, and still you are being anonymous. You're probably a very good programmer, maybe even specialized in some difficult part of Perl, like (take a pick) regular expressions. But you definitely are not a community person. You are a troll and, heck, I'm even feeding you at the moment. I do recognize your style though. You have written a lot of rotten nodes which are not helpful, which are utterly discouraging and demotivating. You are the opposite of helpful. Thanks to you, the development of Perl is slower than it could be.

        I know I am not a good Perl programmer. But still, I try to help. liz and me invited audreyt in our house and she came over, and I tried her to have a good time, while she and liz worked on some aspects of Pugs and Perl 6. I have seen them at work. I even helped a little bit with some sort of interview on style, comments and documentation, and audreyt said I was helpful (that made me proud). I have seen audreyt work countless hours on the development of Pugs and Perl 6. I think she is wonderful. I have seen her in chats with many other Perl heroes. People that do actually work on Perl 6, as volunteers, they are heroes. I applaud them. I am proud of knowing some of them.

        You, the anonymous monk that never stops critizising, you should be ashamed of yourself. You seem to know how Perl 6 development could go better, but you're not helping. And nobody is trying to recruit you; it's the other way: people do want you to go away. I would like you to go away and stop making a mess of other people's thoughts. Because that's what you do: you make them feel miserable. Bah!

Re^2: No, "We" Don't Have to Do Anything
by TimToady (Parson) on Feb 24, 2006 at 00:10 UTC
    What a load of crap. Nobody's forcing you to listen to the hype in the first place. And how are we supposed to recruit volunteers to work on the project without talking about our dreams, realistic or not? How can we know whether they're realistic until we try? How can you label our dreams as "empty promises" when so many of us are still pouring our hearts and souls into implementing whatever part of it is realistic, and when many of us have been ever so careful to remind people again and again that it'll be done when it's done? How can you claim you don't care when you put so much effort into griping?

    Bah...

      What a load of crap. Nobody's forcing you to listen to the hype in the first place.

      Sure, in the sense that no one's "forcing" me to look at billboards while walking downtown. But I still see them, and it's not really optional. The only question is how much attention I'll pay them, and how hard I'll work to mentally screen them out. The same applies to the Perl 6 hype that so often materializes in Perl 5 discussions. It's about as easy to ignore as a Jehova's Witness. :-(

      And how are we supposed to recruit volunteers to work on the project without talking about our dreams, realistic or not?

      Volunteers aren't the first step. Deciding what you're going to build is the first step. Making sure you can build it is second. Getting a big group of people together to do the work happens last, once you know what the work is. Isn't that just basic engineering?

      How can we know whether they're realistic until we try?

      Careful engineering analysis? What problem are you trying to solve with the tool you intend to build? Does your design actually solve that problem? Can your design be implemented with the resources available? What clear and tangible metric will you use to evaluate the success of the project?

      How can you label our dreams as "empty promises" when so many of us are still pouring our hearts and souls into implementing whatever part of it is realistic,

      Effort is a fine thing. Directed effort with a firm goal in mind is better. Results that match what has been promised are best.

      and when many of us have been ever so careful to remind people again and again that it'll be done when it's done? Unfortunately, even more people have not.

      How can you claim you don't care when you put so much effort into griping?

      Well, I do care, a little. Perl 6 affects my job, my future, my career by sheer virtue of existing as a project in the Perl 5 sphere. It affects where people put effort with regards to Perl development, and what managers expect. To some extent, thanks to ugly network effects, I have to care, whether I want to or not.

      For the most part, though, I don't. Yes, I see things I like in Perl 6. I also see things I hate. I don't know whether any or all of those proposed features will actually get implemented, and so I don't know if I should support or condemn the language; I'd just as soon ignore it, reserve judgement, and see what gets built in the end. That's what I try, but it hasn't been working; I still get people telling me: "that'll be fixed in Perl 6"; "try Perl 6: there's Pugs out already", "Perl 6 is almost done".

      I'm just tired of all the hype (as I pointed out in another post). And when you have to defend a project based on "dreams", rather than solid engineering practices, can you really wonder that it's developed so slowly and so poorly? Emotions, dreams, and feelings don't build results; objective analysis, careful design, and rigourous implementation do.

        Please let's leave off parodying each other's position. Neither the dream nor the engineering can be successful without the other. And given our resources and the scale of the dream, we really have no choice but to take an evolutionary approach to the design, with lots of feedback from the implementors guiding the refinements and simplifications. As long as the process is convergent we'll eventually end up with something useful, provided the dream is sufficiently powerful to keep some of us irrationally committed to the project. Believe me, if we weren't irrationally committed, we'd all have quit long ago, because there's just about as much sniping about Perl 6 as there is hype, and we're just about as tired of the sniping as you are of the hype.

        Respectfully, I have to disagree with you, that volunteers aren't the first step. You're quite correct that deciding what you're going to build is vitally important, among the first things to figure out. But - who's going to decide? Volunteers. People who get together to create a fine product, mostly on their own time. Everyone is invited to participate, and as chromatic explained, even novices such as I can help out by learning more and asking questions - maybe suggesting features, or identifying unclear syntax, whatever. No one has tried to coerce me into using Perl 6, reading about it, or contributing.

        I think it's exciting to find a bunch of people who are doing something - something very difficult - just for the satisfaction of doing a job well done.

        I've got no idea wheter Perl 6 will ever be finished and released. I keep faith that it will. Now that I know I might be able to chip in and help (and I don't have to know how to write compilers or parsers), I'll go ahead and add my two cents' worth. Why not? The work pays off as I do it. I don't have to wait until the official release.

        I think chromatic's point was well stated: if you don't want to help out, great, but please quit whining about Perl 6 being slow, or having or not having certain features, etc.

        Your comment that "Emotions, dreams, and feelings don't build results;..." is incorrect(IMNSHO). All the objective analysis, design, etc. aren't going to do squat unless people are motivated to do the hard work involved - and that takes dreaming, emotions, a feeling that this is worthwhile and meaningful. Without that, the project is dead in the water, and we might as well pick up our toys and go home. What you call 'hype' is often just people being excited about this project. That's what makes it go.

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