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am I paying vroom to continue his dictatorship?

by princepawn (Parson)
on Dec 26, 2001 at 14:19 UTC ( #134373=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

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(ar0n: wrong) Re: am I paying vroom to continue his dictatorship?
by ar0n (Priest) on Dec 26, 2001 at 14:50 UTC

    Once again, you're wrong.

    vroom has on many occasions given users the option to participate in 'governing' this site. A prime example of this is the editors group. Not just that, but also the ability for 'normal' users to consider nodes for deletion, and suggesting new features.

    There's a pmdev group for users that are interested enough in helping out with the development of the site. vroom's proven many times (especially when you're able to catch him on IRC) to be open minded and willing to listen to suggestions you might have. Ask jcwren, Petruchio or scores of other users.

    In fact, due to the fact that vroom has a day job, I'd be willing to claim that this site has pretty much been running itself for the last few months. How is that a dictatorship?

    If anything, I'd be more inclined to call vroom a concierge than a dictator.

    Yes, it's true that vroom has the final say in what pmdev patches he accepts, but the same goes for Larry. Do you have a problem with that, too?

    ... I guess that's the Perl way, just keep agglutinating things from here and there, allowing them to be the way they are and coalescing into bigger and bigger wholes...

    What's your point?

    [ ar0n -- want job (boston) ]

      This reminds me of something I've been wondering for a while.

      Why pmdev? AFAICS, the powers of pmdev are:

      1. The ability to read the code of PM
      2. The ability to post to a section of the site for suggestions for changes to the monastery that vroom reads and sometimes picks up from.

      Why not open the ability to "use the source, Luke" to the masses? I've brought this up once before, in Let the doors open wide!, but (I think) put it very poorly, and didn't suggest this in particular.

      Don't like the powers that vroom keeps to himself? Write a patch giving users more power, post it on Perl Monks Discussion, and see what people think. Perhaps somebody who is on pmdev will pick it up.

      Wonder just when Node Reaper appears on the chatterbox? Use the source, Luke.

      The reasoning behind pmdev seemed to originally be to keep vroom from getting flooded by patches. (See pmdev user group, the original announcement of pmdev.) But I don't see how the first point helps this.

      Any takers? Will I have to replace the "Largest XP sink" link on my homenode? <G>.

      James Mastros,
      Just Another Perl Scribe

Re: am I paying vroom to continue his dictatorship?
by grinder (Bishop) on Dec 26, 2001 at 14:44 UTC
    If you don't like the way things are run, you can always leave...

    I quite like the way things are being run here, thank-you, and I am certainly happy that someone else has to deal with the nitty-gritty of keeping the server running, the OS patched, the bills paid, the connectivity up and a million other mind-numbing details.

    I am a member of pmdev and so I get to peek behind the curtain. It's pretty cool to be able to do that, and I have even posted a couple of patches.

    I do a bit of housekeeping from time to time, and I try to make sure recently posted nodes are approved as often as possible when I'm around.

    That's power enough for me. Although I must admit I lust after the power to wield the dustpan and broom.

    I've always been very curious about Americans' propensity to squabble over the perceived misuse or not of public money. I have to say it's always baffled me. In this particular case, I think every cent is money well spent.

    g r i n d e r
    just another bofh

    print@_{sort keys %_},$/if%_=split//,'= & *a?b:e\f/h^h!j+n,o@o;r$s-t%t#u';
Re: am I paying vroom to continue his dictatorship?
by vroom (Pope) on Dec 27, 2001 at 21:35 UTC
    First off not a dime from the offering plate or YAS has ever or will ever go to pay for my work on the site.

    However, if he is now part of YAS and receiving money from them

    Secondly, PM is a part of YAS. I am not. They don't own me. Nor do I receive money from them

    When YAS was talking with us about the possibility of slurping up PM they didn't want to change the way the site was managed because by and large it works. They wanted to make contributions tax deductible and tap into several different areas for fostering Perl development.

    YAS also provides a better caretaker for PM than perhaps a nice company that wants to see the site succeed but is spending money rather than making money on it. One of YAS's goals is to promote Perl and Open Source development.

    I'm not sure what you're looking for out of this site. At the very least it's provided you a forum to state your problems with how it is run. That's a lot more than you'd get as a lot of places.

    The U.S. has a representative democracy because it works better than a true democracy. If everyone had a vote on everything things tend to rapidly degenerate. The person or group who is the most convincing/charismatic/talks the loudest will be able to sway a large portion of the vote. Lack of consistent vision/direction is likely to cause more problems in the end. I'm guessing the founding fathers thought about this. This is also probably why Larry hasn't put a vote on to decide which features will go into Perl 6.

    I'd be happy to take nominations for someone else to take over the /reig?ns/ of the site. Hell, I nominate jcwren he's got a whole lot more time to code up cool PM-related stuff than I do it seems. We can all vote on it. I'd probably end up winning because of my mind control powers as a fiendish cult leader but I digress.

      Personally, I believe the originator of this discussion is on some really good drugs. Before I became a member of PM this year, I just silently read the posts, hoping to increase my knowledge of Perl (which has been quite successful). However, when my boss came to me and asked me to write some applications that had requirements beyond my (at the time) knowledge of Perl, I knew this was the place to seek the wisdom of those that have been using Perl for years. When I posted questions, there were some that said: "Blech!!! Win32!!! You're a loser!!!" On the other hand, most replies were incredibly constructive, and helped me build the applications that were required of me.

      I don't believe that this site should be changed one bit (in terms of 'ownership,' etc.). The engine ain't broke, so don't fix it. I think most would agree that we are thankful vroom, japhy, merlyn, tye and some of the more famous monks work to provide us not only answers to some of our more obscure questions, but a place for us to discuss them in a mature fashion.

      Thanks again for allowing the community to use and contribute to PerlMonks,
      I don't know where princepawn was coming from, but it seems childish almost to a good laugh the way he puts it "reign over this site" and another one "dictatorship". I had commented on his somewhat out of line post once and therefore wouldn't turn this one into a chance to repeat myself. However, I'd like to take this opportunity to simply say that this site fulfills it's purpose by and large. I'm a perl hacker for some time and it is my greatest pleasure to be a part of this community that has been built around this site.

      YAS was definitely right by supporting For one, I know that this site and a great number of intelligent and selfless monks has drawn me closer to Perl. Say, I haven't spotted a single question that has been posted to this site and that didn't receive due attention. It almost seems like if one were to put every single question/response on this site together, it would amount to volumes of very indispensible information on Perl and it's techniques.

      There's more that I could say, and only a few things that could be said and that would be completely wrong (in judgement etc).

      "There is no system but GNU, and Linux is one of its kernels." -- Confession of Faith
(ichimunki) Put down the pipe.
by ichimunki (Priest) on Dec 26, 2001 at 18:14 UTC
    My god man! What the hell are you smoking?!#

    vroom a dictator ruling with an iron fist? The man barely has time to use the site, much less root out his detractors and mess with them! The janitors are the ones with the real power around here and they almost never use it.

    Next are you going to complain how Larry has been lording it over the Perl development process and using his undue influence to shape the language? Give it a rest.

    vroom has given us all a lot of his time to set this site up, to make sure we can connect, and to work out the deals with YAS in the first place. And to try and paint him with this brush is just plain crazy. Perl Monks is one of the things that make the Perl community such a great thing to be a part of, and it is because of vroom's hands-off style, hard work, and dedication to us users. Thank you, vroom!
Re: am I paying vroom to continue his dictatorship?
by footpad (Abbot) on Dec 26, 2001 at 21:43 UTC

    If funding the operation of the server that provides access to some of the sharpest--and most experienced--minds in the industry can be considered a dictatorship, then...yes, you are. On the other hand, if you choose to view it as ensuring that said access remains available, then it's really a no brainer.

    Think about it. What sort of control does anyone have over c.l.p.m? How about /.? None at all. At least here, you have a chance to contribute more than just content.

    Or would you prefer to pay $40--per conversation--for the priviledge of speaking to someone who may or may not have basic training in the tool you're using to pay your bills?

    What I find frustrating is the knowledge that I've personally contributed more than 10% of the total collections reported in the Offering Plate. (Well, okay, I also find other things frustrating, but we can discuss that screed another day.)

    If the way this site is run bothers you that much (and it appears to, given that the prior discussion appears to have made no difference), you could always register a domain name (I note that is available as of this writing), install your preferred noding package, and run it the way you see fit. One of the beauties of the free-enterprise system is that there's always room for someone with a better idea to try it out.

    We'll miss you around here, of course, but if that's what you want to do, I wish you the best of luck.

    By the way, I should mention that (like vroom, merlyn, and many, many others) I run my own technical information site (deliberately unlinked as a) it's mostly off-topic and b) the Perl stuff desparately needs to be re-written). And I am very careful (read: controlling) about what gets posted. While I'm not the only content creator, it's my (real) name in the WHOIS registry and on most of the bylines. Given that, I wish to ensure that the material presented is as accurate and complete as possible. If that makes me a dictator in your eyes, so be it. That's your choice.

    However, another title may also apply: editor. If you've worked with a professional publication team, then you know that editors care about expressing accurate information well. Yes, the original authors lose a little control over their creativity when they submit materials for publication, but since I'm paying the bills and giving away the content (without banners or affiliations), I feel perfectly justified in my stand. Feel free to disagree; that's another beauty that we enjoy: the freedom to hold, express, and (preferably) learn from different views.

    I'm not saying that vroom is editing our posts, but am perfectly comfortable with the idea that he has the power--and option--to do so. Personally, the fact that he's delegated some of those duties reassures me. The fact that he's added community-driven moderation tools for maintaining node quality tells me that he is not a dictator, but a team player interested in providing a place for like minded people to gather and share their experiences, frustrations, and knowledge in the name of mastering Perl and using it well.

    Speaking of which, can we get back to the tasks at hand?


Re: am I paying vroom to continue his dictatorship?
by larsen (Parson) on Dec 26, 2001 at 14:48 UTC
    Sorry princepawn, I've downvoted this post. I was a little embarassed about it, because it could be an inspiring node, leading to interesting discussions about the nature of the Monastery and its position in YAS. But your point is so far from mine, that I have --ed it.

    I've never had the feeling that Perlmonks is vroom's realm, dictatorship, or something like this. I see it as a very good community, where users has the possibility "to polish, improve, and showcase their Perl skills". vroom controls the site in the sense he admins it: making [Ee]verything working fine, applying patches written by pmdevs and so on. As far as I know, he's not paid for it. If he could be paid for his services to the Perl community, I'm only glad.

Re: am I paying vroom to continue his dictatorship?
by Spenser (Friar) on Dec 26, 2001 at 21:54 UTC

    It's ironic to me that vroom is accused of having a heavy hand in managing this site.  I always thought that vroom's presence was hardly noticable, very unintrusive.  Sure I see his name here and there, but I also see this site very much as community controled and see vroom as a facilitator.  I admire vroom's style as in keeping with the 37th 17th chapter of the Tao Te Ching:

    The existence of the leader who is wise is barely known to those he leads. He acts without unnecessary speech, so that the people say, "It happened of its own accord"

        -Translation by Stan Rosenthal

    You're right agentv (see below), it is the 17th chapter.
    I updated the comment above and the link.


      I admire vroom's style as in keeping with the 37th chapter of the Tao Te Ching:

      I looked through several translations and didn't find exactly that. (Actually, on further check, it appears as the 17th chapter.)

      So here's the translation from my favorite version (by Ursula K. LeGuin)

      When the work's done right, with no fuss or boasting, ordinary people say, Oh, we did it.

      But I also found something in the 37th chapter that I liked a lot. Again, from the LeGuin translation:

      The Way never does anything and everything gets done. If those in power could hold to the Way then ten thousand things would look after themselves.
      or (from the Thomas Cleary translation):
      The Way is always uncontrived, yet there's nothing that it doesn't do. If lords and monarchs could keep to it, all beings would evolve spontaneously.

      Sort of sounds like a plug for Open Source, eh?

      ...All the world looks like -well- all the world, when your hammer is Perl.

Paranoia Strikes Deep
by chip (Curate) on Dec 27, 2001 at 02:25 UTC
    What about YAS themselves? They are using donated funds, yet they have personal control over the disbursement of those funds!

    I understand now: We're livin' in a dictatorship! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help! Help! I'm bein' repressed!!

        -- Chip Salzenberg, Free-Floating Agent of Chaos

Re: am I paying vroom to continue his dictatorship?
by sparkyichi (Deacon) on Dec 26, 2001 at 21:41 UTC
    You have not seemed to have much luck with your recent posts. I do admire your willingness to be out spoken about what you believe, but I have down voted all of your recent posts because they all seem to be of an attacking nature. This may be the internet but the monastery is a place where we all try and be civil to each other to learn more about Perl. I suggest that if you are going to rock the boat that you phrase your thoughts in a more profession manner. People will then look more closely at what you are saying and not how you are saying it.

Re: am I paying vroom to continue his dictatorship?
by coolmichael (Deacon) on Dec 27, 2001 at 10:37 UTC
    I haven't voted in a long time. I've stopped being interested, and there hasn't really seemed like much of a point.

    I had to downvote this.

    Why would you expect the control of this site to be more democratic? I feel that this is a very community oriented site. We all have a voice, a say. If you have a feature you would like to add, suggest it.

    Vroom deserves the stipend to continue running this site. I can only imagine the amount of work that must go into administering this site.

    If you want more say over how this site is run, go get your perl site. Demanding, and pressuring Vroom to give you or anyone else more control seems petty. Why bother? This is really his website. We are nothing more than guests here.

Re: am I paying vroom to continue his dictatorship?
by ignatz (Vicar) on Dec 27, 2001 at 08:52 UTC
    Bad dictatorships: Hitler, Stalin. Good dictatorships: Beethoven, traffic cop, Larry Wall.
      A comparison to Hitler ends the thread, per Godwin's Law. Sorry.

          -- Chip Salzenberg, Free-Floating Agent of Chaos

        Being nitpicky, I'd say that was an example of contrast, rather than comparison.


Re: am I paying vroom to continue his dictatorship?
by digiryde (Pilgrim) on Dec 31, 2001 at 08:51 UTC

    The first thing I thought when I read this was "Troll". I have been on BBSs and such for almost 20 years. They always have Trolls that come and go. Some are by mistake (need to learn), some do it intentionally and enjoy the fuss (Trolls). If princepawn is indeed a Troll, the best way to deal with that individual is to completely ignore them.

    princepawn - If you really intended to word this the way you did, then grow up. If your wording was not intended to be abrasive, then apologize. All of us make mistakes at first, but with time most of us learn how to do it right and to apologize along the way.

    FYI - Running any kind of a content based system is demanding and delicate. The people running it rarely have time to micro-manage the site.
Re: am I paying vroom to continue his dictatorship?
by beretboy (Chaplain) on Dec 28, 2001 at 20:43 UTC
    Seems to me as if you just bit the hand that feeds you.

    "Sanity is the playground of the unimaginative" -Unknown
Re: am I paying vroom to continue his dictatorship?
by mr_mischief (Monsignor) on May 22, 2002 at 19:11 UTC
    And I suppose that because Bill Gates receives money from other companies and from home users, he should run Microsoft as a democracy, too?

    Representative government is only one of the foundations of Western civilization. Private ownership of property is another. I see no conflict between these two.

    The issue you try to make of this is simply your lack of distinction between a government protecting your rights and vroom's rights to private enterpise. You have every right not to use this site. vroom has every right to run it as he sees fit. Neither of these rights overrides the other. If you were forced to use this site, things might be different.

    Christopher E. Stith
    use coffee;

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