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Re^4: Breaking Out of the Perl Echo Chamber: A Call to Action

by Aristotle (Chancellor)
on Sep 19, 2008 at 03:15 UTC ( #712431=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^3: Breaking Out of the Perl Echo Chamber: A Call to Action
in thread Breaking Out of the Perl Echo Chamber: A Call to Action

If the Perl community fragments into people answering questions in several different places, none of them will be good places to go to get information.

This is a pretty absurd claim. I don’t see how you can credibly make this slippery slope argument given the fragmentation that already exists. I read use.perl but hardly Perl Monks, these days. I picked up p5p a year ago, which I was never reading before. I have never posted on comp.lang.perl.misc. Presumably at least one of these places qualifies as a good place to get information in your opinion. If so, how is your position self-consistent?

I found Perlmonks via Google

Congratulations. Now, considering how many questions we get on Perl Monks from people who say “I know this is not Perl-related, but Perl Monks is the best place for this kind of thing that I’ve ever seen, so…”, how likely do you think are people new to Perl to ask Perl questions wherever they happen to already be regulars?

Knowledge forking is bad.

… why? What possible advantage does knowledge hoarding offer?

Experts don’t have unlimited hours to try to keep an eye on many different locations at once.

That is why you don’t want all the experts visiting only a single set of venues.

groups of people with few or no individual ideas that just parrot the loudest talking point currently in use.

The Perl community only sporadically pays attention to the hot issues of the rest of the programming world and almost never tries to sell its issues to a wider audience as worthy of attention, and the rest of the world happily ignores the Perl community. We’re pretty set in our ways, we know what works for us, and we are happy to leave it at that. If you don’t see that, or what’s wrong with it, then I don’t think I can help; an echo chamber never looks like one from the inside.

your new clubhouse.

If you think I care about Stack Overflow, you must not have read my posts. Another distraction is really the last thing I needed. But I care about Perl.

Makeshifts last the longest.


Comment on Re^4: Breaking Out of the Perl Echo Chamber: A Call to Action
Re^5: Breaking Out of the Perl Echo Chamber: A Call to Action
by Your Mother (Canon) on Sep 19, 2008 at 03:29 UTC
    Ö why? What possible advantage does knowledge hoarding offer?

    I agree with all your general points but I also understand from where AZed is coming. It's not hoarding that's on point here, it's signal to noise.

    Imagine someone posts the most mundane Perl question on SOPW and I answer with something awful, dangerous, etc. How long will my post go uncorrected by another monk? 10 minutes? An hour? Maybe a half-day if it's a weekend and the original question was overly verbose. What if I respond in a seemingly reasonable and forceful rebuttal making my answer seem more correct? How long till I'm dogpiled by better answers and further corrections from a few other monks? It's not a hoard here as much as it is a pure vein.

    I visited StackOverflow a couple of days ago and started to reply to a Perl related question. Then I reread the 10 wishy-washy, naÔve, 100%-opinion answers that were already there and I said to myself, Ah, f*** this. No one is going to be able to see the pearls in the mud. It's the same reason I think I've been to /. 3 or 4 times in 11 years of being online all day.

    Seeing your OP here, however, makes me strongly reconsider spending time over there. Knowing other monks might be there definitely changes the lay of things.

      Then I reread the 10 wishy-washy, naïve, 100%-opinion answers that were already there and I said to myself, Ah, f*** this.

      Which is precisely the point!

      There’s a bunch of us over there now, though, and I’ve found most questions are already quite decently answered by the time I see them. Then I just cast votes where I think the answers should be rearranged. I don’t know if my call to action (which I first posted to use.perl) was at all responsible for this, but that turn of events is what I was hoping for – that it not turn into yet another place where no one is going to be able to see the pearls in the mud, like practically everywhere.

      Makeshifts last the longest.

Re^5: Breaking Out of the Perl Echo Chamber: A Call to Action
by AZed (Monk) on Sep 19, 2008 at 09:10 UTC
    I donít see how you can credibly make this slippery slope argument given the fragmentation that already exists. I read use.perl but hardly Perl Monks, these days. I picked up p5p a year ago, which I was never reading before. I have never posted on comp.lang.perl.misc. Presumably at least one of these places qualifies as a good place to get information in your opinion. If so, how is your position self-consistent?

    Because out of the places you listed there, only Perlmonks qualifies as a good place to find answers to a personal question. Use.perl appears to be news site/blogs, not community forum. P5P I hadn't even heard of until you mentioned it, and that's because it's a mailing list ostensibly devoted to further development of the language itself, which makes it a) a little difficult to find things in if you aren't tracking it continuously, b) somewhat inaccessible and difficult to find, c) not really oriented towards helping people with general Perl questions, and d) somewhat of a nuisance to maintain. Even now that I know about it, I'm unlikely to pick it up because I have more than enough junk cluttering my mail storage already. Usenet is... quiet, and has been for a long time. I got half of a functioning answer there recently, from one person, and it took longer to get it than from Perlmonks, even though I asked there a day later. I'm unlikely to bother with comp.lang.perl.misc again.

    If you're looking for an active web-based question-and-answer forum for Perl questions, Perlmonks appears to be it.

      I wasted a considerable amount of time repeating myself and waiting for answers that weren’t forthcoming

      Call me crazy, but I think it’s possible for more than one site and three mailing lists to be able to tell people that if you use Perl, you should have seen Moose (as an example). Call me crazy, but I think it should be possible to spread enough awareness that you wouldn’t have to wait ages before someone who couldn’t answer your question pointed you to Perl Monks because it would be widely known as the place to get answers.

      We’re not talking about answers to questions about how to detect exported symbols or how to fix a combinatorial explosion of backtracking in a complicated regex. I am talking about the most basic bread-and-butter questions. It should be possible to get those answered semi-usefully, regardless of where you go first, as long as there is anyone with just a bit more than the faintest beginner-level knowledge of Perl, just like it generally is for Java or Python.

      You seem to see it as some kind of political movement.

      I work in the medical IT sector. I am utterly tired of looking at shocked faces whenever I mention that we built our app in Perl. People look at us like we’re crazy (or, less charitably, stupid). We’re not using Java, as anyone in their right mind obviously would… we use (*holding nose*) Perl. The language that went out of style at the turn of the millennium.

      Compare to the reputation that Python and Ruby have. While there is a large group of people who will not lay eyes on anything but Java, these languages, which are essentially identical to Perl in terms of expressive power and devices, get a lot more respect, just because they weren’t widely heard of when Java arrived and imposed its nuclear winter of MBA compatibility on the computing world.

      Clearly, I do have a political motivation. Did you mean that question as a judgement?

      I’ve been at Perlmonks less than a month.

      Then maybe you simply haven’t been around long enough to notice the phenomenon. I am hardly the only one nor, by any stretch, the most well-known Perl personality to harp on this issue. Schwern, petdance, and others have variously ranted about how incredibly inward-facing the Perl community tends to be. It is not hardly a new topic, either.

      Makeshifts last the longest.

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