in reply to
PERL as shibboleth and the Perl community
"member of the Perl community" is still the sticking point in this discussion.
I suggest some more vivid analogies which that phrase potentially straddles (list by no means complete):
- bonfire -- core group of overseers, caretakers, and log givers surrounded by a potentially large group of enthusiasts who use the warmth for their own ends. So to speak.
- fusion star -- supremely hot core with varying layers surrounding it where the fundamental concentration of energy radiates outward for all to enjoy. Of course, there's a really damn hot corona, but nobody knows what to make of those types and so tend to concentrate more on the planets that benefit from the warmth. But this example is way too close to Larry's onion speech so we'll just let this lie for now because it would take an essay.
- municipal water supply -- central caretakers and many beneficiaries, most of whom never reflect on the benefit. But, that's what you'd expect out of people that have partaken of the flouride.
- barn raising -- community effort with tangible results. Classic give and take, but it's not held against you if you live too far away or the wheel falls off of your carriage on the way.
- hell raising -- community effort with tangible results. Classic give and take, but it's definitely held against you by the larger community regardless of how large you think yours is. Like arrows of time, this illustrates the asymmetry of give and take. (antonym: stone soup)
- termite mound -- Community effort with tangible results. Classic give and take, but you're definitely eaten and reabsorbed by the hive if you even think of wandering off or hell raising. Interesting side effect: core temperature.
- crystalization -- core strength surrounded by frenetic activity adding to the structure. Like termite mounds, this has certain advantages but the core is less pleased by flexibility. Side risk: being deemed a salt and being consumed by higher life forms.
- Hollywood -- Active core that supplies a multitude of avid fans and industry players. Given the attention span of the fans and general social network topology issues, however, there is a vast surplus of potential 'In' people that can never pass muster no matter how strong their passion. Sort of like a termite mound with lots of queens that accept members only by fiat, occasional inheritance, or every now and then absorbing the cream of smaller ecosystems.
- gourmet kitchen -- Head chef, sous-chefs, anyone else stay the hell away and eat. See Hollywood, but with more pinnacles and lower pay.
- black holes -- the attraction is inevitable, given critical mass. All are the Community. If you want to raise hell, see next universe.
- cults -- the One True Way is evident. Participate. Like termite mounds, but with a hefty dose of persuasion rather than mere instinct. Ironically, whereas individuals can raise little hell, the cult as a whole can.
- financial circle jerk -- very similar to a cult, but the unifying blindness is couched in greed based on economic theories. Not as likely to raise hell as a cult.
- library -- passionate core caretakers who live only to share with non participants. Until they don't return something, that is.
- homebrewers -- loosely knit group of people that share a common interest at all skill levels, always willing to share what they know, always willing to learn from others who share their interest, and who, at the end of the day just have a darn fine time doing it. And perhaps raising a little hell.
Having said all that, if you use PERL on a job description or a resume, then you're a wanker.