in reply to So it's homework - so what?
As a postdoc researcher I was considered a font of all knowledge by both academic and postgraduate colleagues and as such was frequently asked (by the postgrads) for answers concerning (in my opinion) basic questions. After a short while I ( in discussion with another postdoc colleague) decided that the aim of postgraduate research was to "RTFM". This attitude did not comply with my ethos of being one who was always willing to teach the unknowledgeable. So I decided not to directly give any answers or just shrug my shoulders with a terse RTFM, but instead I directed my understudies to the library, with advice on where to look for the answers. As such I was often accused of never actually giving an answer.
I considered then that I had struck the perfect balance between helping said undestudies and satisfying myself that I was not being used as a prop to do their work.
I the case of Perl and this website, this surely is the place to come for answers, however if Monks feel that the question is too menial for direct illumination or that directly answering it would be tantamount to doing someone elses work for them it would better to direct the unexperienced to a place where they could at least get a head start on their quest to find the answer they are looking for.
At least then the illuminating monk would have the satisfaction that they had helped a novice on their journey to the true meaning of what we study and live by.