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Stumbit is Not a Curse

by Spenser (Friar)
on Dec 23, 2001 at 12:06 UTC ( #134033=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

I'm amazed at the response that I've gotten from my minor comment about the "Stumbit" button.  I'm not referring to the postings--those are pretty interesting.  What I'm amazed at are the reputation points for my posting.  It's the only posting for which I have received a negative point total.  What's more interesting, though, is that sometimes when I check, the reputation points are at zero, other times I'm down one or two, and others I'm up one.  It really has been a neck-and-neck race on this issue.  I never would have thought that the correcting of the spelling on the most common of HTML buttons would bring out such a divided interest amongst the monks.

I see a similar banter going on with the discussion of the text for the navigation bar link for "Seekers of Perl Wisdom" sometimes wrapping to the next line.  There's also some curious comments going on in a posting about the Node Reaper and whether he should or should not be more polite.  That's amazing!  We're discussing whether a semi-mythical character, named as he is to give a certain aura of grimness, should be friendly.  Obviously I can't resist these discussions either as I have contributed to them.  So please don't think I'm condemning them or attempting to criticize anyone.  Instead, I'm leading to an observation for discussion.

Here's the meditative point:  These postings and others like them seem to say something about us and this community.  I'm not sure what, but I thought I'd call upon the meditators among us for their thoughts.

Here are some possibilities I'll through out to start:  Those of us, like myself that call for tidiness on the site (e.g., the non-breaking spaces and the spelling) are drawn to Perl, itself because one can write code in a tidy manner. For instance, extra spaces are ignored; the language isn't overly wordy, while many of the commands are English-like making for code that's easier on the eyes; most of the commands are in lower case, again easier on the eyes; comments can be disbursed throughout the code for more clarity and visual organization.  The result:  this community is filled with people who make picky comments about spelling and line wraps.

Here's another take for those of us who like things to be different and a little unruly (e.g, those who like Stumbit and those who, like me, like the mysterious and not so socially conscientious Node Reaper).  Perl is different.  Those of us who are different and like to be different, like Perl because it's different.  And yet, since many of its roots are in other languages, it's very familiar in an important way, in a "true" way.  (Boy that's a meditative statement for you.)  Those who like "Stumbit", I would suggest, also like Perl because it's not so uptight like other languages can be.  It's not controled by Microsoft, so we're told that we're not supposed to like it.  However, we feel comfortable with it.  The result:  we feel comfortable with "Stumbit" and if we keep that spelling, which I now hope we do, we will all chuckle every time we read the posting of a novice pointing out that it's misspelled.

The result of all of this, besides that it reveals that I'm both overly tidy and too laid back, is that some times I'm down by one for my Stumbit posting and other times I'm up by one.

Edit Petruchio Sun Dec 23 15:48:41 UTC 2001 - Changed links to square bracket notation, so as not to log out unsuspecting monks.

Comment on Stumbit is Not a Curse
Re: Stumbit is Not a Curse
by danger (Priest) on Dec 23, 2001 at 15:20 UTC
    Here's the meditative point: These postings and others like them seem to say something about us and this community. I'm not sure what, but I thought I'd call upon the meditators among us for their thoughts.

    I'm not sure what (if anything) those postings say about us and this community, but if I were to offer something meditative about this site and this community it might simply be *fun* ... and to expand on that a little:

    The great thing about Perl is that it is *fun*. The great thing about learning is that it too is *fun*. Occassionally people forget this. Fortunately, for the most part, this place succeeds at being both a place of fun and of learning, and that success is probably the biggest reason behind the continued success of this site.

    And so, in that spirit:

    (${{map { $_ => sub { print "@_!\n" }} 1..3 }} {@$_} ||sub { print "Are we having fun yet?\n" })->(@$_) for ( map { [ ('yup') x $_ ] } 0..3 );

    One that Deparse uglifies rather than simplifies :-)

(jcwren) Re: Stumbit is Not a Curse
by jcwren (Prior) on Dec 23, 2001 at 20:12 UTC

    I think it can be summarized with the following thought: While what you say is true regarding spelling, tidiness, etc, the site has a certain character. That charater is what makes the site what it is, as much as the people that use it. I can go anywhere and find a site with a 'Submit' button. How many have 'Stumbit'? Maybe two, and I haven't checked www.javajunkies.org to see if they kept it.

    A long time ago there was a thread ("Sherman, set the way back machine for (jcwren) RE: Bigger Chatterboxes?". "Sure thing, Mr. Peabody!") which expressed my feelings about certain changes. You may be aware of the some of the /msh history of the chatterbox. A movement was afoot to fix /msh. I thought it was a great idea. Hell, I had some real classics. "Fix it! Fix it!", I cried with the rest. And it was fixed..

    It was a bad idea. It took away some small bit of character from the chatterbox. So I reversed my stance on it. Luckily, the chatterbox code was changed back, I think mostly because the new stuff was pretty buggy (the chatterbox code is a nightmare, and the smallest change can wreak havoc. I liken it to a buttferfly flapping it's wings in Los Angeles, and having a 220km diameter comet hitting in San Francisco.)

    I'm all for changes that make the monastery more accessible from the background for 3rd party code, and for maintainence tools that the majority of users never see (node editing, user management, etc). That doesn't affect the L'n'F of the monastery, unless you actually go use these 3rd party tools. I am violently against major layout changes, and things that affect the character of the site. And surprisingly, it's often not the big things, but the accumulation of little things that give sites their character.

    And yes, I use the /msh example a lot when it comes to making a case against certain changes. I think it nicely summarizes what people want, think they want, what they get, and what they want after the get what they think they want. Or something like that.

    --Chris

    e-mail jcwren

Re: Stumbit is Not a Curse
by Spenser (Friar) on Dec 23, 2001 at 23:57 UTC

    This is just a quick aside:  I received a friendly personal message from someone pointing out that my original Stumbit post is on the worst nodes of last week list due to its score reaching -3.  Wow!  I feel like I'm really starting to fit in now.

    Update
    Ironically, while my node about the Stumbit button is among the Worst Nodes of the Week, this root node has scored about two dozen points and is among the top ten Best Nodes of the Day.  It would appear that pointing out a misspelling will get you clobbered, analyzing why you would do such a foolish thing will get you applause.   Interesting.

    That's Spenser, with an "s" like the detective.

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