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Re^3: Hockey Sticks

by BrowserUk (Pope)
on Jan 18, 2012 at 06:28 UTC ( #948482=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^2: Hockey Sticks
in thread Hockey Sticks

(I'm intrigued by your addition of an exclamation point!)

I guess that as you wrote it in all caps, that's how I read it, even if it wasn't there.

but it's as vibrant as it's ever been,

Hm. That's not the picture I see.

Author: Carl Masak <cmasak@gmail.com> Date: 2012-01-16 (Mon, 16 Jan 2012) Changed paths: M S02-bits.pod Log Message: ----------- [S02] fix tiny typo

At one time my inbox was filled with those. Now it is just a sporadic trickle that comes in fits and starts.

At its peek, it was ... I cannot describe it better than masak already did:

Pugs: The golden age

I remember stumbling into the #perl6 channel on freenode, still fairly dazed by the fact that someone was taking the Synopses and implementing them. Add to this that Audrey Tang turned out to be a frighteningly productive hacker with a magnetic personality which drew other people into the project like nothing I or many others had ever seen. Being on the #perl6 channel was like standing close to the eye of a hurricane; things just magically happened, either because Audrey had just landed another set of commits, or because someone had started a cool side project and was hacking on that, all the while bringing interesting ideas and thoughts into the channel.

For all the very genuine reasons for various key individuals need to take time-outs or withdraw, there is an underlying problem that is best summed up by paraphrasing a speech given to me by one of my old bosses when he came in and found I'd pulled another all-nighter:

I appreciate the productivity you achieve with your solitary way of working, but, the moment you appear to becoming indispensable to me, I will sack you.

Just be sure to document where you are going and why; and to delegate each step as soon as you know where it is headed. That way, if you are hit by a bus, I'll be able to carry on moving forward, even if things slow to a crawl.

Historically, I was lousy at letting go of my babies, but I learnt to delegate. I brought in a technical writer and made him project leader. He could take my scribbled, near incomprehensible ramblings, and with a few well targeted questions and some insistence, turn them into time-lines, milestones, action lists and progress reports. He ran the project better than I ever could, despite that he had little in the way of technical know-how or experience. But the key to his success was his insistence from about the 3rd week that I give him the authority to not just question me, but tell me I was wrong. I ceded that authority reluctantly, and benefited from having done so every day from that point forth.

Not just on that project with that particular TW, but on every subsequent project because of what I learnt from it. There has to be someone, divorced from the oohs and ahhhs of the bleeding edge, with the authority to pull the threads of a project in a consistent direction. That's what I see missing from so many OSS projects.


With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
"Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

The start of some sanity?


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Re^4: Hockey Sticks
by Anonymous Monk on Jan 18, 2012 at 07:45 UTC

    Perl 6 definitely missed Larry's first kick.

    Don't get me wrong Audrey, Jonathan, Stephan, Patrick are all great folks but they are not Larry. All of their contributions are great, but you need some one like Larry to give first initial push(First implementation of a project) to a project like Perl 6.

    Agreed Perl 6 is a rather more ambitious project. But it took around 7 years for Larry to get from Perl 1 to 5. And community is struggling for more than a decade now in regards to Perl 6.

    Communities are so much about their initial contributor. Community rewrites just don't happen.

      Yeah yeah

Re^4: Hockey Sticks
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Jan 18, 2012 at 07:46 UTC
    At one time my inbox was filled with those. Now it is just a sporadic trickle that comes in fits and starts.

    I agree with everything else in your post, but to be fair to Perl 6, the specifications really should be receiving a few small updates here and there. (Concurrency and parallelism need more work of course, but besides that....) The rate of change in the Synopses doesn't concern me.

    (If you meant all commits to Perl 6 projects have dropped off, then I misunderstood you.)


    Improve your skills with Modern Perl: the free book.

      (If you meant all commits to Perl 6 projects have dropped off,

      Hm. You seem to be right. I thought I was still getting all commits -- I certainly used to and I don;t remember stopping them -- but looking into my trash file I only have perl6/spec ones in there since I last emptied it. I'll have to take a close look through my filters and see what's what.

      But the point stands. On the basis of my less and less frequent catchups on the perl6 lists, there are far fewer contributors -- casual and committers -- now than even there were a couple of years ago.


      With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
      Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
      "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
      In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

      The start of some sanity?

        Some years ago we used to have a central repository for nearly all Perl 6 stuff, which was the pugs svn repository.

        It has been split up into several git repositories on github, and new repositories have been created.

        If you want to get a feeling for the commit activity in Perl 6 land, I recommend to open an account on github and follow the perl6 organization, the rakudo user and sorear/niecza. Of course that won't give you the activity in the module repos, but it's a good start.

        As for the quietness on perl6-language, that's mostly because discussions on that list haven't been very productive of late. It is filled with people who suggest major restructrings of syntax and object model in response to small problems, and who often don't have a feeling for what's there already in Perl 6, and what needs reimplementing. Taking a look at some discussion on p6l I do understand how people arrive at the conclusion that Perl 6 is vaporware -- those actually implementing stuff tend to stay away from p6l.

        Thus most discussions about spec changes happens on IRC, which seems to work out much better.

Perl 6 "golden age" (was Re^4: Hockey Sticks)
by raiph (Hermit) on Jan 18, 2012 at 10:06 UTC
    I guess that as you wrote it in all caps, that's how I read it, even if it wasn't there.

    My bad. I agree it was poor use of caps.

    but it's as vibrant as it's ever been,

    Hm. That's not the picture I see.

    Oh! I wonder how many people are seeing that?

    I'm guessing you're watching perl6.language (p6l). This list is focused on the language, and nowadays is mostly just commits to the spec docs. It does not reflect, for example, activity related to the compilers and other elements of implementation, except inasmuch as this activity uncovers problems that require spec changes, which is less and less frequently the case, even as the implementation pace accelerates.

    So p6l has been getting quieter and quieter, because the spec is ever more complete and stable, and this is a very good thing. The action is elsewhere.

    In contrast, #perl6 is abuzz with the right sort of activity a good 18-20 hours each day. For me the vibe is as awe inspiring as it was in audrey's Perl 6 heyday.

    At its peek, it was ... I cannot describe it better than masak already did:
    Are you quoting masak because you find him credible? Because he writes a good description? Because the workflow he describes rocks? Either way, if you look at the second comment posted to this Meditation, it's masak, and he said "This post manages to put into words, and better than I've ever managed, what's going on right now with Perl 6 and its implementations.".

    I chose to post this Meditation, after holding off posting one for the last few years, because of my sense that the vibe is very much back, the light at the end of the tunnel grows bright, and regardless, the productivity is remarkable. Niecza catching up with Rakudo was just a suitable excuse to celebrate what looks very much like a second golden age.

    With two "frighteningly prolific" coders (sorear++ and jnthn++), an extraordinary director (TimToady++), and a sizable supporting cast (I think I've seen contributions in the last couple weeks by masak++, moritz++, colomon++, Coke++, kshannon++, benabik++, tadzik++, felher++, muixirt++, tene++, mberends++, japhb++, snarkyboojum++, cognominal++, TiMBuS++, pmurias++, fglock++, Util++, flussence++, azawawi++, and hinrik++; in some cases LOTS of commits; I'm sure I'll have missed some folk -- my apologies), and the signs I see of compounding productivity, #perl6 is an exciting place to be, and I thought a PerlMonks Meditation was an appropriate way to share this news.

    No one is forcing anyone to do anything they don't care to do. If you prefer to ignore Perl 6 for now, that's fine. I thought some monks might instead care to take another look, especially because it's a whole lot of fun right now, always provided you know how to be nice to people. (Note that I very seldom post, because I struggle with that bit!)

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