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Re: PERL as shibboleth and the Perl community

by Mutant (Priest)
on Nov 22, 2005 at 10:07 UTC ( #510704=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to PERL as shibboleth and the Perl community

Your comments are fair enough. However, I think you may be underestimating the size and value of the group of programmers who use "PERL". They may have no interest in Perl other than as a tool to do their job (and by "job", I mean an *actual* job that they get paid for).

To them, Perl is just like C++ or Java or C# or whatever. They may not bother to take the time to thoroughly read all the docs or the latest books - they don't need to. They just read the parts that they need - they've learnt dozens of languages before, there's no need to read a FAQ unless they actually have a question (the question "how do you spell 'Perl' simply doesn't occur to them).

So the question is, are these people valuable to Perl? To me, the answer is: yes, of course! Even if they don't contribute to the community directly (ie. in any of the ways you list), the very fact that they are using Perl is of huge benefit. Maybe at some point they will enter into the community (either of their own accord, or on the advice of someone else). Maybe they'll introduce other programmers to Perl, and they'll enter the community. Maybe they'll advocate Perl just by saying "it's as good as anything else I've used".

If anything, these are the kind of people Perl desperately needs more of. We have plenty of people who are passionate about Perl. If nothing else, these sort of people demonstrate to the world that Perl hackers are not just blindly dogmatic.
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Re^2: PERL as shibboleth and the Perl community
by delegatrix (Scribe) on Nov 23, 2005 at 17:32 UTC
    Agreed. Although to me, these users are already part of the community. Are we really that snobby as to exclude them by default?

    The 'perl community' as Randal defines it has long ignored perl users who just want to build applications with a tool that is available to them. They don't want to read forums, write modules, or go to conferences. They do their job without a lifetime committment to perl. These people are extremely valuable and it's that group that needs to expand.

    Perl hackers need to come back down to Earth and realize that a meritocracy may be fine for core developers, but a wide user base is extremely important. The perl community is not just p5p or #perl.

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