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Re: Perl monkish sites

by cjf (Parson)
on Jun 13, 2002 at 18:33 UTC ( #174296=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Perl monkish sites

Other than the already mentioned Java Junkies I don't know of any that even come close. I do, however, have a few theories as to why similar sites don't exist for other languages...

  • Perl can be a very compact language. It doesn't take that many keystrokes to get your work done. This is great for discussion sites. In most cases you can easily reduce your problem to a few lines. You can also post complete applications that are well under 1000 lines. Which brings us to our next point...
  • Perl is Open Source. Perl programmers tend to follow this example and share their code (for very good reasons that I won't get into here, see The Cathedral and the Bazaar). This also leads to a very helpful environment where others will not hesitate to provide you with good advice.
  • Perl has a strange little culture of its own. Perl Poetry, Obfuscation, who comes up with this stuff? You don't see Java Poetry do you now? I'm still debating whether or not this is a good thing or not, but it is obvious there are some positive aspects to it.
  • CPAN, CPAN, CPAN. Duplication of effort is BAD. If all Open Source programs had to write their own HTML Parsers much less would be accomplished. So you need to figure out what existing code to use. Reviewing every piece of code out there wouldn't be feasible, so what do you do? Ask your fellow programmers for recommendations of course.
  • There's also the everything engine that the site runs on, and of course vroom and everyone who contributes to the site.

Those are just off the top of my head, the list could go on for pages. There are a few other languages that could fit with at least a couple of these points. In time I'm sure a Python Monks and a Ruby Monks will pop up, but I doubt they'll become as successful as this (rapidly growing) website.


Comment on Re: Perl monkish sites
Re: Re: Perl monkish sites
by crazyinsomniac (Prior) on Jun 14, 2002 at 01:09 UTC
Re^2: Perl monkish sites
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on Jun 14, 2002 at 09:16 UTC

    I think the reason once again can be found in the fact that Larry designed Perl from a linguist's point of view, rather than a mathematician's. Obfuscation (ok, it's there for C too), poetry, the brevity of code, it's all part of the common theme that Perl feels much like a natural language; more so, at least, than your average programming language. The fact is that while you can do fun stuff with other languages, it is fun to be doing stuff with Perl. No other programming language quite manages to be an end in itself the way Perl can be. Meanwhile, you can get actual jobs done in Perl as well, and very well so in fact.

    As a result, and I suspect that's true to varying degrees of all the Perl enthusiasts, I tend to regard the journey as the destination as far as coding with Perl is concerned. I don't lose sight of the goal, but the getting there is as much fun as playing with the result. That's something other languages somehow lack, which makes their following mere communities, as opposed to Perl which has a culture.

    Makeshifts last the longest.

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