in reply to
PERL as shibboleth and the Perl community
I think it's good to have things that bind us as a community, and common speech is one of those things.
However, I think the distinction between PERL and perl and Perl is silly. I usually type it lowercase because I'm used to typing the command that way, and because it's linux-ish to lowercase as many things as possible, among other reasons. The same way I say bash instead of BASH, even though it's an acronymn. I have read the FAQ in perldoc, I understand the reasoning behind the distinction, I do try to "give" to the community in those ways in which I'm able, but I don't think it's worth worrying about the capitalization of the word "perl". If you judge people according to such criteria, I think you may misjudge people. I think it's very easy to read too much into something this trivial. It's possible to be plugged into the community without being exactly like everyone else in the community down to this level of detail.
This kind of thing reaches the level of dogma, in my eyes. There's no compelling reason for it (in my estimation) other than that it's proclaimed to be true by a source of authority. If I say "I needed to parse some text, so I wrote a perl script to do it", is there anyone who will misunderstand me, thinking I rewrote the interpreter itself? It's sometimes strange to see things like this being made into pseudo-religion. (Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with that; I've done my share of worshipping at the perl altar, but not when it comes to my precious choice of words. : ) )
Off-topic: This is the same reason I have no problem using comma splices, I feel that it gives a certain "atmosphere" or feel to a sentence that isn't possible using periods or semicolons, similar to a short pause in spoken language. Not all things that are "linguistically wrong" are the result of laziness or ignorance, some are the result of calculated independent choice. : ) So long as it doesn't hinder communication, I generally find nothing wrong with it.