in reply to
Being a monk: why you'll love it, why you'll hate it
why you'll love it
Comments on why you'll hate it, and how to make thing lovable :)
- Perlmonks provides you with a place to ask questions, without feeling stupid. Even a badly informed question is well received here.
- Perlmonks uses 'the everything engine', and I just love the additions that tye and crew provide for the members.
- Perlmonks has forced me to learn more in my six months of activity than I learned in 2 years of perl programming. In fact, it has forced me to relearn much of what I already knew, because my most basic assumptions were wrong.
- you'll get bothered from discussion that aren't strictly related to Perl ("Hey! We ain't MySQL-Monks, are we?"); I always find these questions interesting, and am sad when they're reaped or downvoted. Just because they don't directly apply to perl, doesn't mean that they cannot be helpful. I think reading good responses to these questions could teach many monks a lot about data structures, etc.... (as you said you learn something new even about arguments that are not strictly perl, but are related to it (e.g.: UNIX shells, Databases, network protocols, security...); ). The problem is finding that thin red line between especially OT, and helpfully OT. For the most part, the majority of OT posts in perlmonks are helpful, and I believe should be kept. If you really don't want to see OT questions just don't read them. (Possibly an OT flag people can mark when submitting a node, so that users who don't want to read OT questions can set a preference to not do so? I'd like that a lot...) This is an issue that I believe needs to be further discussed.
- You'll get bored of replying to questions that are FAQs; Then don't answer those questions :) There are people who *will* answer them, even if you don't. Especially the Q&A editors. Plus, there aren't too many 'exactly the same' questions. I always look for a twist in the answers, and what I can learn from it.
- You'll ask questions that are fundamental for you, hoping to get good advice from experienced perl programmers or perl book writers... and you'll get none; Come onto IRC, or ask on the chatterbox! Sometimes people gloss over your questions, or other times the answer is unknown. Give your node some publicity if you desire a quick or good answer :) (or if you're an XP whore...)
What I feel perlmonks provides is a real life country club atmosphere, where all members are accessible to each other, whether they compete in real life, or have completely different stations. This allows those of us who are oblivious to the internals of perl to get advice from articulate, and friendly programmers, valued as the most proficient perl programmers alive. The atmosphere however is not conducive to 'practical' perl programmers, but to those of us who like to study the intricacies of the language, and hope to learn more, so that we may code with greater proficiency, as well as greater knowledge.
The country club provides a great resource for those of us who want to get ahead in life, but don't think that because you caddy or learn from a perl guru that you're going to be working with them :) The informal perlmonks environment doesn't create these types of relationships alone, and users generally will have to venture onto IRC, or some other medium to do so. If you want people to work with you on your projects, cultivate a relationship with them, or look for somebody who has the free time to willingly do so. Help, with project specifics, on the other hand, is what perlmonks is here for.