Your skill will accomplish
what the force of many cannot
You sound like we should make the process of learning perl very hard, so it will attract only inteligent people.
Not very hard. Just a little harder than very easy. Intelligence says nothing about quality of life, but it does say something about which jobs are good for you. And yes, I do think we'd benefit from trying to attract intelligent people, and not-attract (not saying "get rid of") people who need instructions like Nice work! You have begun to learn Perl by writing a complete program which gets input from a user and prints output including a modified version of their input. Stop for a minute and think about how cool that is. That's something I'd expect in an interactive Hangman, after having guessed the word "elephant". Or no, not even kiddyware says Stop for a minute and think about how cool that is.
By the way, let's pretend *we* are intelligent and spell the word correctly.
One thing that can kill a language to a programmer is the learning curve.
A good thing, IMO. I am convinced that anyone who is afraid of a learning curve will continue to be afraid of learning later on, even after having learned the basics. These are the people who still ask basic questions after having used Perl for over a year and are then offended if you refer them to perlintro or Beginning Perl.
Are Perl and PHP idiotic languages compared to C and Java?
Perl and PHP are dynamic languages, C and Java are not. The comparison isn't terribly useful. Perl, PHP, Ruby, Python are all in the same realm and yes, PHP is an idiotic language compared to any of the other three I mentioned.
there's no point to be rude just because you have more knowledge than other people.
I agree. But I do want to add that there's also no point in being overly friendly and hand holding, because that'll only make them depend on us, while many are very capable of finding out how things work on their own.
If you don't have the patience to answer the "idiots" just don't do it.
For some, it's patience. For others, it's just time. But you'd get back both groups if there were many less newbies asking questions that are answered by tutorials (good ones, like this one and this one).
Ok, it's an idiot piece of code. Stupid really, but it was my name running on my MSX screen (a B&W TV) that made my interest for code to arise.
Please note that there is a difference between writing a small program that helps you realise how cool programming is, and thinking the small program you wrote itself is cool.
You are generalizing a whole community of programmers because of some.
Not I am generalizing the Perl community, others are. It's not my opinion that we're a bunch of elitist arrogant people. Only some of us are. (I won't deny that I may be one of them.)
[PHP] tries to put things in a nice, clear way
The result is certainly clear and friendly. But not correct, good enough or nice. The only thing about PHP documentation that is better than Perl documentation is that they have this short domain with handy shortcuts to documentation, like http://php.net/print. But that's no longer a problem, as I now used tnx.nl for that, with Perl documentation: http://tnx.nl/print :)
I've made a PHP script that parses text and checks against more than two million words in a database and then format them with bold and colors. It runs in less than one second. That's a good performance, IMO.
Good enough isn't the same as good. And this really depends heavily on the machine you use, and its load. I am absolutely certain that the same program written nicely in Perl will run even faster.
Well, I live for dynamic sites, so it suits me perfectly. Am I an idiot because of this? Why "building dynamic sites" is seen as a poor implementation of code?
I said PHP is useful only for dynamic content, and I said that PHP is idiotic. This does NOT imply that having dynamic content is stupid, or that people having dynamic content are idiots.
Have you ever imagined the web without dynamic content?
No. But I do note that today, mostly initiated by PHP, many web sites that effectively serve static content are now dynamic. A program/script is run for every requested document, and this puts heavy load on the server. At first, this isn't a big problem, but when you start to wish for real static content (because the server is under too heavy load), it's usually too late, and more complex changes are needed. This is because although PHP is really a powerful templating language, it can't easily be used outside the web server context.
I still didn't found any reasonable arguments to make such a serious statement.
Have a look at this and the pages it refers to.
If you do this you will be excluding people and thus making the community smaller.
It'd limit the growth, but it would not actually make anything smaller.
Allow differences, allow newbieness, allow idiots. Put a smile on your face when you see a newbie question.
I do all of that. But that doesn't mean I think we should encourage non-programmers to become programmers. I'm convinced good programmers are more or less born like that, and that they only need to learn to use the appropriate tools.
Try to remember the time when you were the newbie and you did your best to improve. The time when you thought for hours before posting a question and still were affraid of being critiscized for your newbieness.
Sorry, I never went through such a phase, and can't imagine what it would be like, either.