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Re^5: A wholly inadequate reply to an Anonymous Monk

by Your Mother (Canon)
on Apr 23, 2010 at 23:28 UTC ( #836628=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^4: A wholly inadequate reply to an Anonymous Monk
in thread A wholly inadequate reply to an Anonymous Monk

Marketing

Q: How can you market Perl 6?

A: You cannot. It's not ready for the market. I'd argue it's not pre-alpha. You can run it and write useful things with it today. But it's not stable enough or close enough to feature complete to be something that any sane tech managers would be bundling up as the engine for a vendible product.

The question this leads to is "What will happen if you try to market Perl 6 now, aka, too early?" The same thing that would have happened to Apple if they'd tried to market the iPod early. Ridicule, skepticism at best. Loss of attention. High resistance to adoption on launch.

PR

Q: How can you do public relations for Perl 6?

A: Like Perl 5 has begun to do. Iron Man Perl, EPO, Summer of Code, etc. Should you? No, not yet! The only thing it can serve to do is fuel skepticism and ridicule again. How many years did it take for Perl to get out from under the "it's too slow" meme? Ten? It only finally has because Java was, and Ruby is, slower still so most of the rats finally shut up about it. Imagine another ten years of that shite because the world at large experiences early, unoptimized Perl 6 which makes Ruby look like Erlang.

External PR for Perl 6 cannot help anyone. It just serves to cause sideshows like the last couple threads and reinforce the idea that there is confusion simply because there are some who are confused. I'm not a Perl 6 dev or even a user, I've written fewer than 10 toy scripts in it so far, but I knew the answers to most of the concerns because I pay attention to the community.

Perl 6 smells wonderful to me but it is half-baked. Only a desperate, addled chef rings the dinner bell now.

Now, this–

We've had 10 years of very productive Perl 5 development. It would have been very interesting to see what those 10 years would have been like had some of the uglier parts of the core been deprecated in favor of some of the features in Perl 6.

–has been refuted in this thread already as both impossible and actively detrimental to the goal it sets out. If you haven't worked on the implementation of those parts of the core, this feels mildly insulting and just disconnected from reality. It's the "Why can't I have a pony?" again. Because ponies are really actually not as easy as they look to a little kid.

If you're not going to get personally involved in developing and writing code for Perl 6, just pretend it doesn't exist or frankly it seems to me you're actively hurting its progress. These discussions—which are outside of the regular lists, meetings, and decision making process—don't clarify or improve the prognosis and they are, obviously from the OP, actively irritating and potentially detrimental to the only persons trying to deliver the thing. I've nearly quit projects before from getting critiques, even ones I may have deserved, which were delivered out of turn or without etiquette. I can't imagine what it would be like to deal with it on a continuous basis. I wouldn't blame anyone who wouldn't put up with it.

Q: Do you want Perl 6?

A: Backseat driving can only serve to slow the trip down and make the drivers start to hate their task. No one does, or can be expected to do, a good job when it stops being fun. Help keep it fun. If you're still impatient, go evangelize for Perl 5; it's better all the time and its critics are easier to counter.

(update: speling.)


Comment on Re^5: A wholly inadequate reply to an Anonymous Monk
Re^6: A wholly inadequate reply to an Anonymous Monk
by moritz (Cardinal) on Apr 24, 2010 at 07:33 UTC
    Suppose for a moment that I buy your argument that it's too early to do marketing for Perl 6 - then how should we attract contributors, when nobody knows about it? And without contributors, how are we ever going to get to a point where it's ready for marketing, by your reckoning?

    Saying "Don't to marketing for Perl 6 yet" is basically the same as saying "Don't bother at all".

    Perl 6 smells wonderful to me but it is half-baked. Only a desperate, addled chef rings the dinner bell now.

    I for one don't try to announce Perl 6 as a finished dinner. If people ask me, I plainly tell them that Perl 6 isn't very mature yet, but if they care I still try to drive their appetite - after all some people like it when their steak isn't cooked through, or to pinch a bit while cooking.

      I see your point. I was speaking specifically to the idea that the world outside the Perl community needs the marketing. I think marketing there is a mistake and has more downside than up for the immediate future. I also think marketing is a mismatch with attracting contributors. Marketing, at face value, is attracting buyers. I know we're talking about it in a broader sense but I think it's an important distinction.

      It probably is the time to ramp up the call for participation and use internally. When devs like me, firmly in the "not an internals hacker" type, are starting to get interested on our own, we probably just need a bit more direction from the "core" team. I'm a good example. I'm smart enough to help with certain pieces but by no means smart enough to dig in from the top and find where I should be trying to help.

      This is difficult timing also because Perl 5 got *much* more interesting in the last 2-5 years. Moose, Plack, DBIC, Catalyst, DateTime, KiokuDB, FormFu, and so many more… I'm just starting to get good at some of that and it's fun and exciting and takes all extra tuits. And Perl 6's discussions are often awfully meta. The kind of stuff that only about 15 of the "Saints in our Book" can even follow. So it's intimidating as much as exciting.

      A core of tutorials and projects could go miles to getting the mid-level devs like me more engaged. It would be a huge amount of work for whoever took it on though and it might be early even for that. We're the second wave. The ones who will do a lot of the "ant" work of carrying pebbles from Perl 5 to 6 ("porting" CPAN). The really smart cats who should be on the job now, seem to be to me. I'm personally in no hurry and I don't see that anyone is doing anything wrong while working on Perl 6 in any capacity he or she chooses. So don't mistake my disdain for much of this but-what-if/where's-my-pony for criticism. I'm just happy it's chugging along at any speed.

      Um… I seem to have written myself into a corner without any strong finisher. Go team!

        I was speaking specifically to the idea that the world outside the Perl community needs the marketing.

        You seem to think that all (or most of) the Perl 6 contributors come from the Perl community. That doesn't match my experience. About a third of the people in #perl6 who voice their interest in helping with Perl 6 don't know perl 5 (or the community) very well.

        A core of tutorials and projects could go miles to getting the mid-level devs like me more engaged. It would be a huge amount of work for whoever took it on though and it might be early even for that.

        I've started with the documentation work with the 5 to 6 blog series, and now a Perl 6 book (work in progress) (together with others). I'd love to get more feedback on either, or ideas for good examples to use.

        (Off-topic: finding good (short, instructive, non-contrived and practical examples is quite hard, and takes up much time).

        From a technical point of view, the time for porting modules to Perl 6 has almost come. Pure perl modules that don't rely much on IO work fine. For example I ported Date::Simple to Perl 6 in about a day - no huge difficulties due to missing features or stability.

        For modules that mostly implement algorithms, now is actually a good time :-)

        But you're right, for the average Perl 5 hacker it's probably too much effort right now, due to missing docs and module infrastructure.

        Perl 6 - links to (nearly) everything that is Perl 6.

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