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What is PerlMonks? (Re^3: Belittling Beginners)

by Argel (Prior)
on Jul 27, 2009 at 19:44 UTC ( #783654=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^2: Belittling Beginners
in thread Belittling Beginners

There's the PerlMonks community, then the larger Perl community. What's not clear to me is how much you can separate them. It's easy to say you don't think of PerlMonks as a unit, and I definitely agree that the people are what make the community. But every group of friends needs a place to hang out. PerlMonks could feel like a large corporation, in which case it would die quickly. Ditto if an elitist attitude prevailed. To me it feels more like hitting the student center to get some studying in with classmates and friends back when I was in college. And I think the Monastery motif serves the community well. While it's fun to play off of the motif, I think it does help set a certain tone. And even though the titles are from Western Religion I have personally always felt PerlMonks has had an Eastern feel to it.

I get your point that PerlMonks isn't the site, but it also isn't just the people. It's the combination. Even the software we are using lends a certain flavor to the site. It's possible that Larry Wall's greatest achievement was in creating a language that for some unknown reason encouraged communities to form up around it in ways that other languages can only be envious of.

Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks


Comment on What is PerlMonks? (Re^3: Belittling Beginners)
Re: What is PerlMonks? (Re^3: Belittling Beginners)
by afoken (Parson) on Jul 27, 2009 at 20:16 UTC
    And even though the titles are from Western Religion I have personally always felt PerlMonks has had an Eastern feel to it.

    The titles are only words. Borrowed from the christian religions, but only words. Even Perl itself has borrowed from there: bless, and perhaps crypt and study. I think this are traces of Larry.

    The Perl community could have choosen a very different theme: bind, chomp, chop, die, kill, lock, no, tie, tied, truncate all sound like coming from a dark BDSM dungeon ... ;-)

    Alexander

    --
    Today I will gladly share my knowledge and experience, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so". ;-)

      Even Perl itself has borrowed from [Christian religions]: bless, and perhaps crypt and study.

      study comes from the modern meaning. I'm not even familiar with any religious meanings.

      crypt was copied from unix and derived from "encrypt". It wasn't borrowed from Christian religion.

Re: What is PerlMonks? (why Perl)
by tye (Cardinal) on Jul 27, 2009 at 20:34 UTC
    It's possible that Larry Wall's greatest achievement was in creating a language that for some unknown reason encouraged communities to form up around it in ways that other languages can only be envious of.

    I was thinking about that a while ago. Imagine going to a site like PerlMonks but for Java or C. Programming in Perl creates communities because talking about programming in Perl is interesting. A newbie question in Perl can easily lead to deep discussions about trade-offs of different ways of doing something basic. Try to imagine an interesting discussion centering around "How do I loop over two arrays at the same time?" in C.

    Perl programming isn't just about "get it done" or even the usual questions of CPU- and memory-efficiency. The language encourages thinking about things like "how clearly does this express my intention?". The depth of the language gives just about everybody room for continued discovery. And the quirkiness of the languages gives us lots of "gotchas" (small and large) to bat around. The language isn't even "finished" so we get to talk about changes to it, both evolutionary and revolutionary.

    Most languages are like stackoverflow: I have a question, I want the best answer. Perl is like PerlMonks: I have a doubt, I want to read an interesting discussion about it that is likely to go on a tangent. q-:

    - tye        

      Not having an explicit (Perl 5) language specification certainly does help unlike C, C++, Java, etc.

      StackOverflow regresses to the mean (of programmer attitudes). I wonder if Perl In The Nineties had a more typically haughty culture.
Re: What is PerlMonks? (Re^3: Belittling Beginners)
by Your Mother (Canon) on Jul 27, 2009 at 20:53 UTC

    I was thinking about this idea after the thread calmed down. I don't think PerlMonks has any intrinsic success factor other than Perl itself. I like what tye just said about it. I think there is another dimension to it as well. It's not only that discussing Perl is interesting it's that Perl attracts interesting personalities which makes agglutination natural.

    On a Perl list, I once made a rather strange inside joke on a completely obscure 40 year-old pop-culture reference from another country. Two well-known Perl hackers got the reference and even extended it. I was struck by how bizarre but entirely Perl-ish the exchange was. I wondered if the same exchange would even be possible, let alone likely, on a list for any other language.

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