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Re: Right answers for the right people

by Erez (Curate)
on Aug 28, 2008 at 07:20 UTC ( #707400=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Right answers for the right people

So please, do keep in mind who are you talking to. We do not want to scare people away, do we

Why not?
Sometimes you need to scare people. Some will go away crying, some will try again and be scared again, but some will go and read, study a bit, ask around, and try harder.

Similar to non *NIX users saying "Your OS is cool: it's stable, secure, and powerful, but why doesn't it do [something 'user-friendly'] like my OS?" To which the answer is "because then it wouldn't be able to stay stable, secure and powerful".

Same with Perl, if you are not willing to do some digging in, getting your hands dirty, testing, comparing, reading, learning, you won't understand why Perl is good at all, and why its better than "the other programming language" that you think so much of.

Stop saying 'script'. Stop saying 'line-noise'.
We have nothing to lose but our metaphors.


Comment on Re: Right answers for the right people
Re^2: Right answers for the right people
by Jenda (Abbot) on Aug 28, 2008 at 08:15 UTC

    There's scaring away and scaring into trying harder. And regarding the "something user-friendly" ... usualy the answer is "sure it can do that, install X if you need it.".

      There's scaring away and scaring into trying harder

      And for those who aren't motivated to invest some energy those are the same. And that's the kind of people you usually don't want in your community or project.

      Admittedly your example with the graphical debugger was quite extreme, and linking to perldebtut might not be the best answer.

      But I think that Erez' point was that there are cases where scaring people isn't wrong, and I have to agree.

      For example when people ask the same question on the CB here all over, and ignore our links to FAQs and documentation, or our questions for clarification, after the third or fourth repetition I tell them some that perl can't solve their problem (which is true, because perl isn't their problem; communication is).

      (I admit that I sometimes also tell them that PHP might be better for them, because I think they fit better into the PHP community. Yes, I'm an arrogant ass sometimes).

        Yes, I'm an arrogant ass sometimes
        a picture is worth a thousand words :)
Re^2: Right answers for the right people
by Mutant (Priest) on Aug 28, 2008 at 08:43 UTC
    Same with Perl, if you are not willing to do some digging in, getting your hands dirty, testing, comparing, reading, learning, you won't understand why Perl is good at all, and why its better than "the other programming language" that you think so much of.

    I agree, you should be willing to do those things. But maybe not on day 1 (or whatever) of coming to Perl from another language. It might be a culture shock for those people, and if we can (without too much trouble) I think we (as a community) should help ease them into it.

Re^2: Right answers for the right people
by ForgotPasswordAgain (Deacon) on Aug 28, 2008 at 08:49 UTC

    Stability, security, and power shouldn't be the ends themselves, though. They should be used for something.

    A train is stable, secure, and powerful, but it lacks certain features that an airplane has, like being able to cross an ocean. Trains certainly continue to be used today, but our overall system of transportation would be retarded if there were no airplanes, despite them being possibly more dangerous.

    I think a really powerful system would increasingly abstract away the mundane things, like debugging, so that our system of programming as a whole would become more efficient. I consider the fact that we still program by text to be kind of a technological failure/disappointment, kind of like our failure to travel to Mars.

      Travelling to Mars is within our capability but no-one wants to do so right now, but really what alternatives to programming by text do we have?

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