OK, having taking a beating in that recent thread, I realized the problem is that many separate things I believe were getting collapsed and miscommunicated. So, I've taken a moment to step back and try to get things to be more clear for myself.

Let's start with my ethics of open source. I believe that for open source to work, there must be give as well as take. Now the "give" might be in the form of code, but it doesn't have to be. For example, it could be participating in mailing lists or online forums, such as monks. It could also be bug reports or smoke tests. It could even be simply sending feature requests to developers, or working with conference coordination. Or perhaps just promoting open source within an organization.

Now, to be a member of the Perl community, I believe someone should have the open source ethic as I just defined it there (give and take). I also believe that someone should be aware of the existing docs, including reading the FAQ from time to time, and also reading good books. From here, we would see that being a member of the Perl community means you know that it's not PERL, because the FAQ says so, and the good books say so.

This leads me to the next phase: using PERL as a shibboleth to sort out whether a job-seeker or potential employer is plugged in to the community. I believe this is valid, because I believe that using Perl means being aware of perldoc, and the FAQ, and the FAQ talks about "PERL". Also, using Perl effectively means being plugged in to the community, and that also leads you to discover that nobody ever calls it "PERL". So, a resume that lists "PERL" is written by someone who isn't plugged in. And an employer who spells it "PERL" is either a third-party (which I hate to respond through, personally), or a work environment lacking the Perl community connection that I need to be happy.

Finally, as a completely separate topic, I would not hire someone who wasn't both good at Perl, and plugged in to the Perl community. Spelling it "PERL" would be sufficient evidence of failure of the second condition there. Do I expect every employer to follow my lead? Of course not. That's a personal conclusion. And can you be great at Perl without being a member of the community somehow? Most definitely, but that doesn't make up for the other requirement for my hiring.

So hopefully, that sorts out where I am a bit better. You may disagree with any part of this, but hopefully now we can discuss this using terminology that I failed to establish in that last thread.

-- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
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