I'm a devout Hindu and it shows on my home node. Ethnicity is also important to me. For those who don't understand my .sig, it is my name in the Unicode rendition of Gujarati script. But do these factors affect my participation here or my work in general? I think not mainly because I don't see how it could. I suppose I might be more likely to use examples, variable names etc. from my own culture but in practice I don't seem to.
If people feel freer to mention their religous leanings it is due I believe to the nature of perl itself. Most program languages are designed by killjoys. They are designed to erase all traces of the presence of the programmer. It's not that there are more atheists over at cobolmonks but free expression is not tolerated in their culture. Unix and C became popular because they partially broke out from the "programs do; not express" mentality but not totally and then there was a counter-revolution in the form of C++. Perl took the playfullness of Unix and made it into a founding principle. Perl is quite literally poetry. It is about the programmer as artist. So perl programmers feel freer about bringing in religion, art, music, literature and all the other forms of human expression. You would probably find a higher proportion of nudists amongs perl developers than the general developer population!
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