|Perl: the Markov chain saw|
There is nothing wrong with canonizing Larry Wall. The man is an excellent communicator and facilitator -- as well as technically brilliant. Plus he has no problem with integrating different, often totally opposing view points. That's pretty rare.
All good traits to aspire to. I wish I could listen and understand and synthethise as well as Larry.
I agree that Perl's strength is in the community. Look at CPAN, look at the vast body of code and algorithms out there (donated free out of others blood sweat at tears). Look at the people prepared to spend their time helping others.
To give an example of how this works: I used an algorithm yesterday from this node 67956 (thanks bjelli) to put together code that would have taken me a week on my own. It took me 4 hours; to put this in perspective, this is replacing C code that's been running badly and buggily for 2 years. I didn't want to replace it because I didn't think my skills were up to it. 4 hours.
I'm grateful - which means I'm motivated to contribute more (such as I can) - which means the community keeps growing. This is a virtuous circle - if you find the community helps you, give back, it's in your own interests.
Another facet to the circle, strange as that may seem, the more support there is out there for Perl, the more it will be used. The more it is used, the more people will make a living from it. The more making a living, the better support it will get. Selfishly speaking, this is good - I'd far rather code in Perl than in C or pretty much anything else I know. And it's good for employers too, the cost of development with Perl is extremely low (not that I have stats to back this up).
It's all good. So, um, thanks Larry :-)
"The future will be better tomorrow."