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Perl Monks monastery vs the Vatican

by Steve_BZ (Chaplain)
on Dec 09, 2014 at 21:14 UTC ( #1109810=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Perl.

I understand that Perl Monks is a monastery and that we all regularly meditate, fast and pray to the great Perl god through his divine representative here on Earth, the prophet Larry, may his name be for ever hallowed. We dine off olive stones and we desk-check our code before typing it onto punch cards.

I recently heard about a new religion that is doing the rounds with young people (hippies I think they are called) they have these things called Smartphones (a bit like a portable 3270 vdu), and they use a different monastery to us, called Facebook. It sounded threatening, so I looked to see what our Great Competitor is doing

Imagine my surprise when I saw they had a FacebookLike button on it. Call me old-fashioned maybe, but it seemed oddly sacrilegious to my way of thinking. And even something called the "g+", it's either a new compiler or it's that thing that Brother Masters and Sister Johnson were describing in 1957. I feared the worst.

So there seems to be this thing out there called "Social Media". If the Great Competitor is using it, may be we should reconsider our position, or maybe the Trappists have got it right. Maybe we should all take a vow of silence. Only to be broken with our morning chant of: use strict; use warnings; print @_;

Brother and Sisters I earnestly ask for your views on this difficult matter.

Yours in faith,

Brother Steve


Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Perl Monks monastery vs the Vatican
by morgon (Priest) on Dec 09, 2014 at 21:59 UTC is an adress the devil told you as this is a private site that has nothing to do with the holy seat.

    The proper vatican site is at and there is no like-button or any other abomination to be seen there.

    I hope that settles the question you blasphemous heathen.

      *See :P Canon revisionists outpace the heathens!!!

Re: Perl Monks monastery vs the Vatican
by QM (Parson) on Dec 10, 2014 at 11:41 UTC
    It doesn't make sense to me to have a "share" button on nodes in general.

    1) The anonymous color scheme is lame, so sending new people here who aren't logged in causes headaches. This could be fixed, but it's there to be a bit irritating so new people register.

    2) Liking a site on social media is pretty lame, unless it's addressing a specific need at a specific time to specific people. Otherwise it looks like marketing, and we only need a smidge, and we get most of that from Google and word of mouth, I think.

    3) There are very few places to get the kind of interaction we have here in the monastery. Stack Overflow is close, but they have too many rules, prioritizing accuracy over participation. (What? I can't vote because I haven't contributed sufficiently? Lurkers get no respect.) If there's something to share, share the node link. Which you can do with the free nodelet hacks mentioned. I wouldn't mind seeing one for G+, but then, I didn't really want my G+ account associated with my perlmonks account. So I'd just share the link, probably summarize the content for the tl;dr crowd, and be done.

    BTW, some people try to ask questions on LinkedIn groups. Not very effective, as not many people pay attention to that. Questions go unanswered, or answered poorly, for days and days. And since everyone "knows" everyone else, sometimes the urge to be nice gets in the way of a much needed "WTF are you doing that for?"

    4) FB and other sites are typically used in a "friend zone", such that only friends can see your posts. But good content should have wider availability. And it's often annoying to wade through the cat videos and aphorisms to find the technical content you want. You don't go any old coffee shop for advice on building nuclear power plants, why would you go to any old social medai site to read about Perl? Sure, there are special coffee shops and special zones on social media that may apply, but it may take a long time to find them, and they popup and disappear at a whim. Perlmonks has been here (takes off shoes...) a long time.

    Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of

      Well maybe it doesn't, but we should at least go through the thought process of considering what advances there have been in the last ten or more years.

      Look at this from 2012 Repainting the Monastery

      Why don't we have a toolbar to make editing easier? Why is the edit box so small? Because it was designed on a 640x480 machine and no one has changed it!

        Interesting ideas. Since you haven't been around here as long as us (*cough*) old-timers, you've probably not read the posts about how the hardware and site is essentially free to us (but please find the donut button), and updates are by people with real jobs who help out because they have the skills, motivation, and time to do so. It's supposed to be a lean mean content site. As such, it should load very quickly on a phone, assuming a few personalized settings to reduce the sidebar clutter.

        On my Firefox, the edit box is resizable. I don't look into that sorta stuff much, I take it for granted, so I'm not sure if there are some server side settings that will improve those kinds of issues.

        Toolbar? I basically taught myself some HTML by wanting to post here, so I think it's a help, but I can see how someone wouldn't want to remember how to enter a less than or a bullet list. I can only offer that you might write it in something else and paste in the HTML equivalent, complete with custom site tags. Sorry.

        I've also seen some folks wrestling with fancy sites that do all that sh*t for you. It's a nightmare, because you need a plugin for this, and a plugin for that, and this plugin isn't compatible with the framework version, or the other plugins you need, or your security plugin, and your hosting service doesn't allow SSH except from registered IPs and Tuesdays in months with the letter A in them. So the people with the most motivation to contribute content spend most of their time keeping the system from crashing, burn out, and find something more productive to contribute to.

        If you want a pretty site, that's easy for our collective parent-in-laws to use, please feel free to start one. But this site is the way it is, because it is useful to its members, and has a reasonable barrier to entry for mischief makers. There's also some degree of growing into the community, by fiddling with all the knobs (and being told you're a knob sometimes).

        Seriously, the only thing I've felt a very small need for is some image capability. But everyone seems to find someplace to host a screenshot or a big text dump, at least for a short time. Since the site hardware is essentially provided for free, I wouldn't want to waste storage space on cat videos for the sake of the rare screenshot.

        But if you have a burning Perl question (and sometimes not even Perl), and you want a quick, accurate, efficient answer (really, all three are available most of the time), post your question here. I've had little questions that had 10 replies in 15 minutes, which unblocked my $work, and made me look impressive in the eyes of the boss. (Thanks to all of those responders over the years who have helped me out, put up with my stupidity, and let me post more questions and answers anyway!)

        So please don't take this the wrong way. Many have come and said "Why are you so far behind?" And the answer has always been, "Why do we need more than this?". It's like NASA spending millions to develop a zero-G ballpoint pen, while the Russians are using pencils. We like suggestions, and we consider all reasonable ideas (and sometimes the unreasonable ones). Then like anything else, it comes down to what to do, who has the skill, and who has the time. Many "nice to have" ideas have fallen by the wayside for lack of any of those three points. Mostly we only need pencils here. Sometimes we'd like to have zero-G ballpoint laser GPS quantum tunneling time machine teleporting 3D printers. But then we'd become rich and famous, and we couldn't stand for that.

        Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of

        You can configure your edit box. Mine is textarea {width:70em; height:35em;} (via the Display Settings).
        لսႽ ᥲᥒ⚪⟊Ⴙᘓᖇ Ꮅᘓᖇ⎱ Ⴙᥲ𝇋ƙᘓᖇ

        Why is the edit box so small? Because it was designed on a 640x480 machine and no one has changed it!

        Actually, my edit box is a gvim window spawned via the ViewSourceWith Firefox plugin. Because any browser textbox is gonna be miserable next to a real text editor. This reply itself is about the limit for anything I'd type without spawning something more capable than anything in the browser anyway...

Re: Perl Monks monastery vs the Vatican
by GotToBTru (Prior) on Dec 09, 2014 at 21:30 UTC

    Sorry, I don't see what the problem is. I'm on Facebook, and enjoy the interactions there, but it would never occur to me, for instance, to ask somebody there about Perl, or to share a CUFP-type accomplishment. That's for social interactions, not technical, not professional.

    1 Peter 4:10
Re: Perl Monks monastery vs the Vatican
by Corion (Pope) on Dec 10, 2014 at 08:27 UTC

      Hi Brother C,

      But it's not about individual Monks doing it, it's about a Marking plan for the Monastery, and through the Monastery for Perl itself.

      People like Brother Gabor szabgab do a fantastic job, but not everyone has the resources and bandwidth to do that.

      Where is the Monastery's marketing plan?


      Bother S.

        Can you explain why you feel the site needs a marketing plan? Thanks

Re: Perl Monks monastery vs the Vatican
by FloydATC (Deacon) on Dec 11, 2014 at 11:17 UTC

    We should do NOTHING, Facebook is THE DEVIL!

    No, seriously, please keep perlmonks.* exactly like it is, free from noise about Facebook, G+, Twitter, Reddit and what ever buzzword crap most other sites are bloated with these days. It all looks the same to me. They all have huge flash banners and youtube videos and clickbait ads and... and... just useless NOISE to keep you clicking.

    Due to its simplistic (and old-fashioned) design perlmonks.* works just as well on my Android phone as it does on my laptop and my stationary with three giant screens. No matter what OS or browser I happen to be using. If you find that it doesn't, there's plenty of room for you to customize the nodelets to your liking.

    -- FloydATC

    Time flies when you don't know what you're doing

      One of the nice things about basic designs like this is they work in pure HTML browser, such as Lynx, w3m, Links+, dillo, LWP, etc.
Re: Perl Monks monastery vs the Vatican
by tangent (Vicar) on Dec 10, 2014 at 06:54 UTC
    Wow, what a wonderful message. So uplifting!!! Thank you so much for sharing. And don't worry hun, I think you look beautiful in that dress xoxoxox
Re: Perl Monks monastery vs the Vatican
by sundialsvc4 (Abbot) on Dec 10, 2014 at 13:34 UTC

    PM is a crotchecy old site ... sometimes an extremely hostile one ... and yet it is (IMHO) the “Go-To site” concerning the Perl language.   It has, in addition to its regular daily activity, an enormous archive of previous posts, and a good search engine.   That’s why you come here, and that’s why you come here.

    PM is also an excellent code-writing service.   Post the bare sketches of an idea of how to solve a problem, and in a matter of minutes or hours several Monks will have done your work, or your homework, for you.   Probably in several different ways.   (This in spite of the occasional riposte that “we’re not a code-writing service!!”)

    Seriously, social-media sites are great for looking at pictures of fuzzy cats, but they are not “purposeful,” and they do not maintain a subject-oriented archive.   They exist mostly so that advertisers can find out what you’re having for dinner ... as you’re having dinner.

      Hi sundialsvc4,

      Everything you say is spot on.

      But technology today, and maybe I should have started here, is about a whole universe of new things, Android, Smartphone, Apps, Tablets AND social media. Maybe I'm using Social Media as a catch-all for this whole new universe.

      You sit in a train and 75% of the people on the train are staring at a small hand-held device, but they are not on PerlMonks and they are not coding Perl. In fact the Perl universe is closed to them from there.




        If 75% of the people on the train were coding Perl, we'd probably be getting paid a lot less than we do.

        I'm not sure what your complaint is regarding Perlmonks and smartphones. My phone has a browser, and I can use it to access PM just fine. I also use the browser rather than the awful Facebook battery muncher even though that's available. You see, that's the great thing about web sites: there are browsers everywhere.

        "You sit in a train and 75% of the people on the train are staring at a small hand-held device, but they are not on PerlMonks and they are not coding Perl."

        I doubt that even .01% of people on trains using smartphones (or such devices) are doing any coding. If you are trying to make a comparison between people accessing facebook and people accessing perlmonks then you're not going to prove anything.

Re: Perl Monks monastery vs the Vatican
by chacham (Prior) on Dec 10, 2014 at 16:08 UTC

    the great Perl god through his divine representative here on Earth, the prophet Larry

    Prophet?! Larry is the Perl god.

    Though, there are reports of a self proclaimed perl god. Note how he uses a capital G to support his heretical claim.

Re: Perl Monks monastery vs the Vatican
by sundialsvc4 (Abbot) on Dec 10, 2014 at 18:08 UTC

    Neither “social media,” nor the software-writing that makes it happen, is particularly mysterious to the penitents this Monastery.   I guess what I am looking-for in your thread is ... “what is your point, and what is your call-to-action?”   PM is a very special-purpose site, concerning a specific programming language (and the sort of programming that is commonly done with it, which is a lot of things).   How is it not accomplishing its mission now?   How would the addition of “social media links” or what-not, enable the site to accomplish its present mission better?   I don’t see it.

    PM is a best-of-breed resource for the Perl community.   It is also an excellent place to get insights from brilliant people concerning the sort of tough problems that Perl is routinely called-upon to address.   (A few of those people obviously hate my guts, but they’re brilliant, anyway ...)   Sure, it might look old and crusty, but, “looks are not what locomotives are for.”   PM is essential to the Perl language’s success, IMHO.

    Please make a case for exactly what you think the problem is, why we should address it, and exactly how we should do it.   Get specific.   And, always focus on the mission of the site.   Make a business case for what you have in mind.

Re: Perl Monks monastery vs the Vatican
by s-spd (Novice) on Mar 02, 2015 at 11:44 UTC
    Social media is the 'in thing', but sites like PM stay because of what they are. It is antiquated, but that is part of its charm, but best of all it is all about perl, nothing but, though you do need to think slightly differently to use it, compared to most other sites. :)
      you do need to think slightly differently to use it, compared to most other sites

      Perhaps because most sites today remove any need for thought or the requirement to form articulate speech to communicate such.

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