in reply to
Homework threads aren't necessarily evil
I think I have to agree with dragonchild on this one. I think the Monastery benefits from interesting and non-standard questions regardless if they are homework questions or not. Most of the time the replys that the people seeking knowledge get are very well explained and this might actually help them to understand Perl better.
Here is my try to categorize "Homework" questions:
Trivial questions where the person asking the question does not seem to show any interest in finding the answer him/herself or even understanding the answer.
These sort of questions should probably be frowned upon and the answers would probably point only to the documentation chapters rather than pre-packaged solutions. there might be some exceptions to this, as it is possible that it is not a homework question at all (maybe someone, who is programming in other language had a very quick need to write a perl one-liner? Though everyone should probably be able to ditinguish such people by their attitude and willingness to understand the problem that they are having)
Some homework questions might be easy enough, but the person who gives the question is showing enough interest in understanding the problem rather than just solving it and forgetting.
These sort of questions should probably be answered in a tutorial form and may even spark some discussion. Even if they don't help the person who asks them (and by "don't help" I mean "they learn nothing from it"), these answers could be reused by the people who are learning Perl. I know that I benefit from even some of the trivial questions by reading their answers.
Then there are interesting and non-standard questions.
I think it doesn't really matter if it is a homework question or not and if the qustioner is interested in it or not. We like solving non-standard problems. And these sort of questions spark by far the most discussion. However, homework question are usually not terribly interesting by definition.