|Perl: the Markov chain saw|
Oh, I hope I'm not calling anyone 'dumb'... or for that matter, any offensive term. The topic of this tutorial is very basic. There is no real way to say that without implying that the reader is uninformed. In my day we had swimming pools with sloped bottoms; swimming lessons started at the shallow end. Genes were not discussed.
Jack can stand intelligent but uninformed and request you to define your terms all day. 'Identifier' is jargon; a valid identifier in one language might not be so in another. I see fewer issues with 'word' although you may mean that, too, to have a precise meaning. If you would state precisely, in primitive terms only, what perl considers a bareword then I'll try to work that in. But remember, I'm much less interested in determining the exact bounds of the term than in suggesting a general direction for the newcomer to look.
Many programmers value precision highly; so do I. But I know I need to bend to the newcomer who has not yet learned that value. Some code will run (correctly or not) without strictures; and after adding strictures the same code does not run but instead shows an error. In a more pedantic expression, execution of the code terminates with a fatal exception. I feel I'm on quite solid ground to say that the newcomer has little tolerance for the fine distinction that, of two lines of error text, one was emitted by strict and the other by the interpreter itself under provocation.
I sense a burning desire to cram in as much information as possible; I resist this. I'm more inclined to cut and simplify; even at the risk of loss of precision. Sometimes worse is better.
I've said twice now that I intend to remove the lines:
My feeling is that I was wrong to use an abstraction; I now intend to show in that section the actual errors produced by the examples, by way of introduction. Since I also intend to rewrite the examples, this is not a ten-minute patch.
Unfortunately my alarm just this minute sounded, reminding me to hop in the shower and run out the door to pursue the grind. So I can't post the new draft today; I haven't finished it. Please accept my assurance that I won't post it until I've reviewed thoroughly all comments on the previous draft.
I'm not the guy you kill, I'm the guy you buy. —Michael Clayton