Five years ago I joined perlmonks. Before we discussed a strange regex
feature on the German Perl IRC channel, and it spilled over to
perlmonks. My first post came out anonymously, but I believe it
is the only node I ever wrote anonymously.
Obviously I enjoy my time here, and I want to reflect on some positive and
negative aspects of perlmonks. Positive things first:
- Great community; most questions get answered quite well and fast
- Friendly, helpful and witty community
- The CB catches most off-topic discussions
- Very nice link syntax ([mod://CGI], [doc://$@] etc)
- Motivating and IMHO fair XP system
Most of my critisms relates to the technical aspects of perlmonks, which
shows its age:
- Poor Unicode support (try to use non-Latin-1 characters in <code>
- Poor hackability: it's closed source, and even if you get access to the
source, it's hard to set up a test system, and to get started
- Unnecessary high barrier to entrance. Why does one have to use
<p> or <br> tags to get a somewhat readable node?
- I feel that somtimes trolls get too much attention. I don't have a
good solution for that, but sometimes I feel there must be more that
could be done. (Maybe grey out nodes with reputation <= -5, hide them
and their subtrees by default, and abolish Worst Nodes?)
I firmly believe that these problems are solvable, though I don't see
myself in the position to solve them.
Most importantly I want to thank all the monks for teaching me incredible
amounts about Perl and about Programming, and for providing me with
interesting problems to think about.