I could well imagine that this thread may change things in the Monastery. It seems to be the time that some level of nerve is reached that will make some valuable members of this community leave. So I'd like to tell you my 2 cents...
As has been said, it seems to be a natural thing that online communities at some time begin to suffer from lack of politeness, reasonability and content. I think this time is reached when the size of a community reaches a certain critical amount. In the beginning it is usually quite high level, there are the Long Years Perl Coders, which by probably all are saints. It's (almost) only them around because this place isn't well known, it is new and thus only the ones really interested in the content will come in. Of course more and more people look around having heard/read of that community somewhere. And when the people gets larger the original members (and -of course- the creators) are kinda proud, or at least somewhat touched. They proved to be a (more or less active) part in something valuable.
Unfortunately you get some disadvantages with the increase in interest:
Then with the Monastery you get the bonus of a voting system. OK, well, someone did a lot of work to implement a functionality that somewhat reminds me of former times when I did a lot of roleplaying. Even more: it might give the postings/nodes some kind of quality stamp.
But, as with many things, the well thought dynamics behind this mechanism, get out of the path that was paved for them. It develops a live of it's own and reveales some new rules: Uh, oh, Frontpage Postings get more XP; uh, oh, the first answer usually gets more than the others; uh, oh, some community related postings are voted higher than the Real Code I posted. And so on.
I try to look at this with the eyes of a scientist, trying to find the mechanisms behind, trying to explain to myself how this works - and feel content with it. Of course I'd like to see my XEmacs Skeletons or my First (and only) Perl Module be my best nodes, but currently my question about shebangs tops my list (which gave me a happy shudder this morning :-). But then, hey, what's the matter. btw: I'm not linking to the nodes on purpose: that would be xp whoring ;-)
The Monastery ist still a good place to stay!
I still can learn things from real good coders
I will try to be valuable (though maybe small) part to this community. That's how it works: simply keep up with the good things, and try hard to ignore the bad parts (that how life works, isn't it ;-)
Don't take it too hard. You are an important part of this!
Thanks for listening...