in reply to
Parallels Between Perlmonks.ORG and Religious Cults (Retirement Announcement)
Well..the minute I saw the subject of this post, not to mention the author's name, I knew it was bound to be interesting, or at the very least entertaining. My initial impression is a simple one:
You are taking all this *far* too seriously.
It is after all *just* a programming language. It's not life, some of the more fervent members of the community notwithstanding. It's simply a tool, and often, it is the best tool for the job at hand. By all means, if another language, whether it be RUBY, C, C++, Java, BASIC, or straight up, bit-flipping Assembler is a better tool for a particular task, then USE it. Don't use Perl. I would do the same thing, and I think many of the Monks here would agree with me.
That being said, however...if you *do* decide to use perl for a particular task, after *you* have decided it was the best tool for the job, then you sound a bit silly when you complain about it's shortcomings. If there was something better, then you'd be using that, wouldn't you? That's just simple logic.
Certainly you must know you are inviting flames, and criticism if you come to *any* community that it built around a fondness for a particular subject, and you take it upon yourself to criticize that subject. This is doubly true if your criticisms are unfounded, based on incorrect assumptions, not researched, or just wrong.
I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during your aforementioned discussion with the Zen priest. I'm extremely curious to know if it was the validity of your argument that angered him (cause you were right), or the fact that you presented an argument that was unfounded or just goofy, and kept belaboring the point. Being a practicing Taoist (which shares many concepts with Zen and Tibetan Buddhism), I know how difficult it is to upset someone who has been around long enough to attain the status of a preist. If it wasn't that difficult to upset him, then he must not be very comfortable being a Zen Buddhist.
As far as voting is concerned, I never downvote, and I am inclined to agree with someone else in this thread who said they are not sure of the reason for having downvotes. I understand that bad perl is bad perl, and in certain situations that can be dangerous, but I think an explanation as to the 'correct' way is better than a downvote any day. I usually upvote posts that prompt discussion. One of Perl's many mantras is "TMTOWTDI", and I like to see some of the different ways to do various things. I think that "bad" posts invite that sort of discussion, and as a result, they get upvoted by me, as well as some of the replies that presented good advice/solutions. Towards the same end, I upvoted this post, because in spite of the fact that I disagree with most of it, and it is obvious flame bait, it *did* provoke some good discussion (as well as a few flames), and I think that is by and large a Good Thing(tm).
As for the site? You're right, the site would be largely useless without the input of the users. However, when becoming a member of any organization, you agree to abide by its rules. And the simple fact remains, if you don't like the rules here, you are of course, welcome to leave. Which is another glaring difference between PM and a cult. Cults generally have a problem with people leaving. [: All of us who signed up understood that there are rules, and I think there are some good ones here. I think the experience system is a great idea. Other bulletin board type sites base rank solely on number of posts, where PM does it based on the quality of the post as perceived by the community at large. Of course you're going to have people who always downvote, or who always get downvoted. But I think it still manages to give a fairly accurate portrayal of the general consensus.
Ah well...I've rambled enough for one afternoon. Back to work.