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Re: Newby Query Comment

by davorg (Chancellor)
on Apr 11, 2001 at 17:56 UTC ( #71663=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Newby Query Comment

Warning: Gross Generalisations Ahead!

The problem here is that Perl is historically based in the Unix culture - and that means that people are expected to make a certain amount of effort to solve problems themselves before asking others for help. Because of this heritage, Perl comes with the most comprehensive set of free documentation of any software I've ever seen.

Most 'newbies' seem to come from a Windows background. The culture there seems to be to ask for help without doing even a minimal amount of research. When these two cultures meet, there's bound to be some kind of friction.

You should therefore see the gruff responses that you'll sometimes get as a kind of 'tough love'. We're trying to encourage you to research the solutions to your problems before asking us to give them to you on a plate. I'll be the first to admit that it's sometimes difficult to read that into our responses, but rest assured it's always there :) If you want to see people being really rude to newbies then check out the comp.lang.perl.misc newsgroup some time.

--
<http://www.dave.org.uk>

"Perl makes the fun jobs fun
and the boring jobs bearable" - me


Comment on Re: Newby Query Comment
Re: Re: Newby Query Comment
by voyager (Friar) on Apr 11, 2001 at 18:13 UTC
    I think you've put your finger on it. My background was/is IBM mainframe -> mac-> windows -> unix (sorta). The first time some unix guy told me to look at the man page I did. And then I sat there wondering what all that -a, -Xfile crap was. I couldn't believe that was the extent of the documentation, and the format in which it was delivered

    When I started learning Perl after almost 20 years of programming, I couldn't believe how stupid I had become because my brain hurt reading books like "Learning Perl" (sorry merlyn).

    My observation is that once you have gotten over the hump, man pages, perldoc, faqs all make sense and seem to be done the right way. But until you get over the hump, it often seems incomprehensible.

    While I think many of the initial responses like see perldoc -f blah are terse and off-putting, they are usually followed by several responses that spell out the answer. So the style of responses could sometimes be better, but in my case the help I get dwarfs any issues I might have with tone.

      Voyager,
      I think you have and other's have me 'pegged' correctly. I am a Win/Mac guy attempting to learn Perl. Thanks for your advice. Also you provided an insight to a resource that I was not aware of: perldoc -f I wasn't even aware that it existed. I just found it on my system and now I've got lots of reading to do.
      Thanks again.

      - Mission
      "Heck I don't know how to do it either, but do you think that's going to stop me?!!"
Re: Re: Newby Query Comment
by rchiav (Deacon) on Apr 11, 2001 at 18:17 UTC
    Great answer daveorg. I'm more of a Windows guy than a *NIX guy, though I see the same reaction amongst people who have put in a lot of time and effort into learning that are on the Wintel side. I think it comes from the fact that Windows is a OS for the masses, and the reason for this is because there's little thought required compared to *NIX systems usage.

    And to Mission, take what daveorg said and put it in this context. Perl is a community as well as a language. Part of the value system of the community is to research and dig into the language. I think that part of entry into any community is learning their value system. Call it hazing or an initiation, but it's the communities way of letting you know what's expected in the community.

    Rich

Re: Re: Newby Query Comment
by royalanjr (Chaplain) on Apr 11, 2001 at 18:27 UTC
    VERY nicely said davorg! ++ to you...

    Roy Alan

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