in reply to Re^3: PerlMonks for newbies?
in thread PerlMonks for newbies?

I can understand you are being objective. Have you read:- Perl must Decentralize, Diversify and Colonize
What I'm talking about is very much in that vein.

Some people don't want this site changed in anyway. There is no way to please everyone. I've helped sites with patches and redesigns in the past. Some times it's really can well received and well appreciated, other times it's a lot of time effort for something that never gets used. In a long standing site like this there are always a lot of politics to get through. Updating this site really isn't an option.

Recently I saw people on LPM offer to update to help make Perl look more modern and alive. The offer was rejected. I myself have offered to update pages on main Perl sites that have clear HTML errors and look very dated, my offers have been rejected.

Don't think that I haven't looked at improving what is there already. That's an obvious first step. But when you've tried these things and you know what happens, then the experience lets you know it's a lot easier and more productive to start something new.

As I said in another reply the aim isn't to take helpers from PM, or any of the mailing lists. It's to create new helpers out of the people in the middle. Provide a new gateway into Perl, and new newbies.


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Re^5: PerlMonks for newbies?
by mr_mischief (Monsignor) on Feb 09, 2009 at 15:27 UTC
    I think the big mistake isn't that you want to develop a site for newbies. I think it's that you want it to work like PerlMonks except that it's for newbies. Make it more distinct in how it works instead of just in audience and in appearance.

    Having a tweaked PM but for newbies I'm afraid will lead to a ghetto in the middle. If one is the site for the inexperienced and one is for the experienced, then where do people go who the beginners site doesn't serve well but the more advanced site refers back to the beginner's site?

    I'm also afraid that telling people "you're on the wrong site" will just turn them off altogether.

    I think your site should be unlike PM in many ways. It should take a different approach to organizing material. Perhaps the tutorials should play a bigger role in the site organization. It'd be nice if some single-topic course material for the web had a home, for example. Articles on how to think about context from the very beginning could be helpful. Caveats about what dark corners of the language can be avoided while still getting useful software written would help lots of people I think.

    My problem isn't with another site. I think if your site complements PM then that's great. I just don't think it should be such a similar site as you're talking about with only part of the audience. Threads of nodes would still be a good idea, but I'm not sure you should have the same sorts of sections. The distinction of type of discussion here might be better on a site for new users broken into subject areas. Perhaps take the topics for the individual lessons in your beginning Perl classes and make a section of the site for learning and discussing each topic further.

    I think dividing people into the sites is a mistake, in short. Make the site work how new users expect and gear it to how new users are more likely to pick up knowledge. Make that site a knowledge site that can grow upward. Let PM be the wisdom site that can grow downward towards the newbies it may intimidate. You'll then get the people you want by topic rather than telling them which site is suitable for their experience level.