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a place for other monks?

by xiaoyafeng (Chaplain)
on Nov 15, 2008 at 17:46 UTC ( #723811=monkdiscuss: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

I think we need a place for non-programmer monks.

This idea comes from a non-programmer monk's cry. Personally, I don't agree some gurus' reply. Hacking, writing modules for CPAN or even program in perl ought not to be a requirement for join perlmonks. Some monks have been away from perl for some time would like to stay here but don't mean they still like to write code in perl. If we write a poem in perl, we could post on Poetry , if we write a snippet, we post it on Snippets, but if we named our puppy in perl or simply want to share a joke to monks, where do we post?

Meditations ? Perl News ? It seems a alternative, but the name keeps many people away.


I am trying to improve my English skills, if you see a mistake please feel free to reply or /msg me a correction

Comment on a place for other monks?
Re: a place for other monks?
by toolic (Chancellor) on Nov 15, 2008 at 18:29 UTC
    You can discuss any topic you want, any time you want, in the Chatterbox. It is not limited to Perl-related topics: politics, dog grooming, carpentry -- we've got it all in the CB.

    Unlike the Sections, there is no permanent record of CB discussions. But, I see no need to keep a record of non-Perl topics at a Perl site.

    I certainly don't spend much time on the internet, other than at PerlMonks and a couple other technical sites, but isn't the net overflowing with non-Perl forum sites? Don't Monks who crave non-Perl discussions gather at other sites?

    Are you asking for a dedicated non-Perl Section? I frequently search this site for technical information which helps me be more productive at work. Perhaps the maintainers at this site could comment on the affects of opening it up to all topics (rather than restricting it to mostly Perl-related). I fear it would dramatically reduce the "signal-to-noise ratio", and slow down the site.

    You do have the option of declaring a post as "Off-topic". But, I think keeping those to a minimum is desirable.

    Personally, I don't agree some gurus' reply.
    I don't understand the relevance of this comment to your main question.
    Hacking, writing modules for CPAN or even program in perl ought not to be a requirement for join perlmonks.
    There are no such requirements to joining PerlMonks. In fact, there are no requirements, other than choosing a name and password.

      You can discuss any topic you want, any time you want, in the Chatterbox. It is not limited to Perl-related topics: politics, dog grooming, carpentry -- we've got it all in the CB.

      Unlike the Sections, there is no permanent record of CB discussions. But, I see no need to keep a record of non-Perl topics at a Perl site.

      That is also one of the big disadvantages of the CB.

      Its transient, unless you are following the topics you will not be able to keep up with the discussion even with the help of the CB history.

      Many Monks who have a lot to offer in the way of experience in other areas switch the CB off, at least with a specific area they would have the opportunity to contribute if they wanted to.

      As to the comment that it would "attract quite a bit of attention and newcomers (along with quite a bit of trash, I'm sure)"

      There's nothing wrong with attracting newcomers, after all that's what PerlMonks is all about and any unwanted material could be dealt with in the usual way.

      UPDATE

      For example a discussion like this could never happen in the CB.

        You say, "For example a discussion like this could never happen in the CB.", but there's a section for discussing Perl Monks itself. Seekers of Perl Wisdom, Meditations, Tidings, Obfuscation, Poetry, Perl News, and Tutorials are each a section for a different type of discussion, too. Perhaps you just mean that a longer conversation is more difficult to carry on in the CB, and that's true. There's a permanent place for anything that is topical which needs deeper discussion than the CB offers.

        Diluting a topic-specific site with permanent completely off-topic discussion threads defeats the very purpose of having a topic-specific site.

        The Chatterbox being transient can be a drawback, but it can also be a positive thing. I don't really care to have "Good morning. What's up?" taking up disk space, showing up in searches, and otherwise being a pain in the posterior. For on-topic discussion, there are many sections. Our scratchpads and home nodes can be more permanent than the CB and less permanent than discussion nodes. Your scratchpad and home node don't even need to be topical to PM if you don't want to use them that way. The CB is for chatter that doesn't need to be saved. I'm sure you don't document everything you say during the day offline. Why do so online?

Re: a place for other monks?
by ambrus (Abbot) on Nov 15, 2008 at 18:47 UTC

    See also Out of Place. I'm not here for teh perls. I'm here for the community.

Re: a place for other monks?
by zentara (Archbishop) on Nov 15, 2008 at 19:48 UTC
    I would like the idea of a Section called "The Water Cooler". emulating the water cooler/coffee pot in offices, where people gather in their spare time and BS. The Chatterbox does serve that function, but it is very emphemeral, and messages only are visible a short time. It would be nice to to have nodes. Of course it would be hard for the janitors to keep it clean, and control content. It would probably become very political.

    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth Remember How Lucky You Are

      The Chatterbox does serve that function, but it is very ephemeral, and messages only are visible a short time.

      Thanks, zentara! That's what I want to say. some guys (including I) can't stay here for long time. and They don't want to their post was written in water.

      I am trying to improve my English skills, if you see a mistake please feel free to reply or /msg me a correction

      With you suggesting a place such as "Water Cooler or Lounge Area" it may stand a chance of being adopted.

      Hopefully other Monks may pick this up and give their views, I have always been in favour of a section that is open to areas other than Perl

        I am not very keen on this idea for all the reasons mentioned on the thread. But if it does gain any traction, could it at least be named something that reminds me of a monastery. "water-cooler" has unpleasant associations with work and the real world.
        I'd vote for "Life, The Universe, and Everything" as the name of the section -- something about 42 paths to enlightnent and there's more than one way to do it come to mind!! :-)

        Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks

Re: a place for other monks?
by koolgirl (Hermit) on Nov 16, 2008 at 02:30 UTC

    I am actually torn here. See, I am quite intrigued by zentara's idea of a "watercooler" type of section, because main stream society is generally not interested in a lot of geek discussion, so a social outlet for programmers, located where we could simultaneously learn, research, code and have some nice relaxing social interaction (getting to know our fellow monks, making new friends, etc.) is really quite a cool situation to contemplate.

    However, I also share toolic's views, about the potential for slowing down the site. Off-topic sections, would attract quite a bit of attention and newcomers (along with quite a bit of trash, I'm sure) and since I too often search and research through the site to increase my knowledge of the language, productivity and understanding, as I'm sure countless other monks do on a daily basis, I'd have to say that the need and demand for that particular benefit, is not worth compromising. Then again, how big would the compromise be?

    Would it create a wonderful oppurtunity to get to know each other on a closer level, make friends and ultimately nit together a network which could now include a more social aspect...or would it create such a distraction that not only would the site slow down, but the trash it brought and the janitor's inability to keep such a busy section clean render the whole thing useless?

    As I said, I'm torn. Our monks always have such good points to make about each suggestion, that just about everything brought up can be made interesting and worth a thought. One of the reasons why I love this place so much ;)!

      about the potential for slowing down the site

      One thing that could be done, and would probably be needed, would be to only allow registered monks to post to a social area. If anonymous monks were allowed, it would quickly fill with spam.


      I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth Remember How Lucky You Are

      I'm a little ambivalent myself. As said many times by many monks, PM is about Perl; there are an infinite number of choices for every kind of discussion already available.

      However, there is a social dimension to a community, even of geeks discussing their favorite language. Almost all of us feel the need to go off-topic now and then. The CB is an outlet for that, but is really ephemeral. I almost never participate because it's essentially real-time only, and I just don't click often enough to keep up.

      zentara's idea about limiting an off-topic forum to monks with a certain XP level (say 1 to 3) is really good. That would help keep it a community thing, not just another free-for-all. In fact, it should be invisible to the outside world. Maybe it should be excluded from search, too. Also, it could be a time-limited thing, anywhere from a week to a year. But more than the CB's 3 minutes.


      sas
        ++ zentara and xiaoyafeng. Both very good ides; limiting posts in the "watercooler" section to monks, and then limiting those monks to certain levels, really would be excellent ways of filtering the spam/trash/etc.
Re: a place for other monks?
by Erez (Curate) on Nov 16, 2008 at 09:10 UTC

    Hacking, writing modules for CPAN or even program in perl ought not to be a requirement for join perlmonks.

    While there isn't any requirements to posting here (as one can post without registring), there is a matter of question about the essence of the site, or the purpose of it, which is:

    • An attempt to make learning Perl as non-intimidating and easy to use as possible.
    • A place for individuals to polish, improve, and showcase their Perl skills.
    • A community which allows everyone to grow and learn from each other.

    Now, you may argue that item three there allows for anything from "Which new video card works best with WoW's expansion" to "Post here the best looking American Idol contestant", but, in view of the overall concept, those, and similar posts might be in dissonance with what the majority of visitors/contributors of this site expect.

    but if we named our puppy in perl or simply want to share a joke to monks, where do we post?

    If you look up references to this site you'll notice that it is toted as a first-class, professional, source for Perl knowledge and wisdom, rather than a "cool community of people, some of which tend to talk about Perl". The majority of visitors, either casual or recurring expect this of the site, and wouldn't want the Perl parts to be lost in the noise.
    This is reflected in the way the Chatterbox is designed, to not preserve logs, so it won't become an integral part of the site.

    And while on the Singal-to-Noise subject, there are many good, great, and amazing communities in the online world, on and off the WWW. There is only one PerlMonks. I suggest that it would be much easier to find a similar minded place for general posts (Everything2?) rather than dilute the PerlMonks strict (according to your POV) Perl-only nature. It's not a question of "my way, or the highway", but more of a "There are lots of roads you might find better suited, can we keep this one the way it is?"

    Meditations ? Perl News ? It seems a alternative, but the name keeps many people away.

    Apparently the sections are named thus for a reason, and that is to deter people from abusing them, and ultimately, this is why the site is named "PerlMonks" and not "The Monastery".

    "A core tenant of the greater Perl philosophy is to trust that the developer knows enough to solve the problem" - Jay Shirley, A case for Catalyst.

My 2¢
by Your Mother (Canon) on Nov 17, 2008 at 18:51 UTC

    There is a huge downside lurking even beyond the reasonable critiques already made. The posts this week would have had Obama v Blah v MidEast v Israel v Iran v Godwin.

    There are plenty monks here with whom I would have violent and probably acrimonious disagreements if we opened the gates to politics, philosophy, etc. And since I have a low tolerance for that, even being on the sidelines, I'd just leave. While the topics remain Perl(ish) I can respect and even admire these same persons. It's quite stabilizing. I don't visit other forums for pretty much this reason. They don't specialize enough and the signal to noise on almost all I've seen or tired is not good enough. Viva la PM!

      Absolutely agree with Your Mother on the virtues of a politics free zone, but since you brought the subject up, I really think you ought to agree that......... edited by the abbot
      While that is definitely a risk, just the thought of reading a lively debate between BrowserUK and some other [poor] individual has me drooling for movie style popcorn!! :-)

      Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks

        Couldn't agree more++ Argel

        BrowserUk's discussions with other members of the community have made for very interesting reading and at times amusement, long may they continue!

        Good discussions between very intelligent people (for the most part) who hold differing views is to be applauded, all can learn from it.

        Why should that discussion be limited to just Perl, when those said same people have a wealth of knowledge on other subjects to impart.

        Given the option of a "Water Cooler" you could choose to subscribe to that section or not.

Re: a place for other monks?
by spiritway (Vicar) on Nov 18, 2008 at 04:24 UTC
    Much as I sympathize with the plight of non-programmers, I think that PerlMonks is for those who *use* Perl. I don't see the point in trying to open it up to everyone. There are plenty of other sites where one can enthuse about their passions, including Perl, without being programmers.
      That's really dodging the issue since we can just tweak the suggestion to an off-topic section for people who do use Perl. Then what?!

      Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks

Re: a place for other monks?
by tweetiepooh (Friar) on Nov 21, 2008 at 16:27 UTC
    While I love general discussion areas of forums they do tend to go down a couple of routes depending on the "hobby horses" of those taking part. Most of these discussions are in full flood elsewhere and while I enjoy taking part sometimes they don't seem to achieve much.

    The CB is much like the water cooler in that you only get to see/hear if and when you go there. If you are away or bring a flask in you "miss out" and the news looses its appeal and context if repeated elsewhere. Probably due to the loss of immediacy and intimacy with folk taking a brief rest away from the coal face.

Re: a place for other monks?
by apl (Monsignor) on Nov 23, 2008 at 17:25 UTC
    On a purely practical level, if a Watercooler section were to be added, I'd like to see Super Search have a (default) option to exclude that section from searches.
Re: a place for other monks?
by jdporter (Canon) on Nov 25, 2008 at 17:08 UTC

    Thanks. You've given us Yet Another thread to list in I think there should be a new Section on PerlMonks for Jobs/Modules/Quizzes/Perl6/Newbies/OffTopic/etc.

    I personally believe that encouraging off-topic posting by having a section dedicated to it would leave PerlMonks looking like Slashdot. If you're not familiar with it, spend a few days having "interesting" discussions there. There are plenty of people there who will share your geeky interests. If you like it, then that's a good place for you. If not, come back here. Hint:

    Another possibility is use.perl. Many interesting folks in the Perl community — including many who do not hang out at PerlMonks — have journals and threaded discussions over there.

    Beyond that, there are PerlMonks-related groups in most of the major social networks, such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn. Check it out.

    Now, having said all that... Meditations is the best place here to start a discussion about which Perl quines people have tattooed on their pets.

    Between the mind which plans and the hands which build, there must be a mediator... and this mediator must be the heart.
Re: a place for other monks?
by hsinclai (Deacon) on Nov 26, 2008 at 04:02 UTC
    Perlmonks' strength and value lies in the fact that it is only about Perl. Please, no watercooler, no off-topic, no ads, no social networking, no !Perl, no over-the-top-XP-whoring (oh all right, a little XP whoring is ok).

    Keep it pure :)

    Harold

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