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A newish monk ponders

I have been moved by Run your own perlmonks! to write this missive which had actually been in my mind for some time before I read that node.

As those who have read some of my posts, or looked at my homenode will realise, I am not your average Monk. At 49 years of age and with an education that does not include computers but is steeped in engineering (electronics and communications), mathematics and physics starting in 1970 I think in fact I am anything but typical. I am only a recent enrollee in our order. When I first saw the site I thought, wow, this is neat. But I worried that it would be like so many other "user communities" I have looked at, tried out, and ultimately abandoned. Then I had some troubles with Perl and Tk. So I thought, well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

And how my attitude has changed. in the Monastery I see evidence of a true user community with a genuine spirit of affability and generosity. You cannot consider a USENET group or an IRC channel a community, unless you would gladly welcome a seemingly limitless band of hecklers and unrepentant spammers into your midst.

Every question I have asked here has been answered. The answers have not always been 100% accurate, but generally they have sent my in the right direction. In response, I now try to answer questions where I think I have something genuine to contribute.

Perlmonks came to me in the shape it is. It has already proven itself to be a wonderful resource, but why would I want to change it? And why would I want to be wanting to change it willy-nilly? The Run your own perlmonks! originator seems to want a wider, more open access to the codebase so things could be changed more easily. If you will pardon the age-realted remark - Hippy communes didn't really survive you know!

A community will survive when it has a goal for itself, when it has leadership sensitive to that/those goa./s and when their is a co-operative spirit to move towards the established and agreed upon result. If vroom and the other gods were to sit back and keep oly a gentle hand on the tiller then I suspect that perlmonks would rapidly become unrecognisable to most of us as incremental change would drive it in the direction each developer chose.

It seems to me that vroom et al have a clear vision for perlmonks. At this point I am happy with that vision, because it offers us a place where we can discuss our chosen subject without the noise and clamour of the world outside. Okay, some monks get a little bitter every now and again. Darn it, I used to be like that when I was lecturing at University! "Why can't they just RTFM!!!!" (or RTFTB in that case!) then they wouldn't ask such stupid questions! But hey, we are all human. When did YOU last read the manual on the latest gadget you acquired before you tried using it? And when could you find the manual when you needed it a week later? Go on! Own up :)

Sure I can think of enhancements to perlmonks. Here's a few:

  • An off topic question section - Say SORW (seekers of random wisdom) where monks can ask non-perl questions without 'polluting' SOPW.
  • Do away with anonymous monks. If something is worth saying, identify yourself with the remarks! Many anonymous posts seem to be critical (thus avoiding a -- for the writer) and often unwarranted. But if you want to make a critical remark just own up to it and take the judgement.
  • Don't even THINK about taking away the CB! It is almost as useful as the rest of the site.
  • Keep doing what we have been, it is very obviously working.

Finally just a word to all who read this, thank you for helping Perlmonks to be what it is. I enjoy the experience here immensely and I hope it continues to be passed on for generations to come!

jdtoronto


In reply to What is PerlMonks anyway? by jdtoronto

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