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Terminal decline?

by BrowserUk (Pope)
on Jun 11, 2015 at 05:37 UTC ( #1129976=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

A few numbers:

node number: date: days: 100,000 26/07/2001 200,000 23/09/2002 424 300,000 17/10/2003 389 400,000 17/10/2004 366 500,000 13/10/2005 361 600,000 14/02/2007 489 700,000 24/07/2008 526 800,000 08/10/2009 441 900,000 18/04/2011 557 1000,000 19/10/2012 550 1100,000 09/09/2014 690 ... 1130,000 11/06/2015 275 today. ... 1200,000 14/03/2017 (917)(projected) 1300,000 17/09/2020 (1283)(projected)

Those are the dates on which the N-hundred-thousanth node was posted; and the number of days to accumulate that 100,000 posts.

Today we will likely reach 1,130,000. It will have taken 275 days to do so. projecting forward, 275 / 3 * 10 = 917 means it will be another 2 years before this place reaches the next 100,000 milestone.

It took 25% more days to accumulate the 11th 100,000 than it did the tenth.

Based on the projection, it will take 32% longer for the 12th than it did the 11th.

And projecting that rate of decline forward means that we won't reach the 13th milestone until September 2020.

You don't want to know about the one after that; because it won't happen.

There are 2 choices

  1. Do something.

    Open our minds. Invite new blood. Fight to retain (or even return) old blood.

    Change something.

  2. Do nothing.

    Continue as we are; cloistered in our declining; deteriorating; smug little world.

    And die!

Your choice guys. I've tried to liven this place up. Posted what I hoped would be interesting questions. Proposed change. Taken the insults.

Now its down to the rest of you. Hide in the shadows pouring scorn and derision upon any and every suggestion. Or stand up and be counted.


With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
"Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority". I'm with torvalds on this
In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice. Agile (and TDD) debunked

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Terminal decline?
by Discipulus (Abbot) on Jun 11, 2015 at 08:56 UTC
    You probably right, the decline seems an evident curve here, the worst part (for me) is not the number of nodes but the lesser adherence with the reality. I try to squeeze my en-BAD to explain what i mean: while ten years ago posts on Perlmonks reflected the state of the Perl art and Perl itself was probably the best (if not only) tool to have many jobs done, now posts reflect more the particular needs of participants when outside of the monastery (even good) things happend and now Perl itself is loosing positions respect other languages.

    The CGI.pm example is prototypical from this point of view. It was the best around in the early 2000s, many posts at Perlmonks were about CGI and related, many monks were very professional on CGI if not author of some relevant module. Now we incredibly are in 2015. In web development a century has passed: barbaric invasion of PHP hordes, counterattack of .Net loyalists, occupation of visionary Javaists, proliferation of different devices used to browse, increased bandwitdh for everyone...
    Finally the Perl world reacted somehow producing tools and abstract views of the web: Catalyst, Mojo, Dancer and finally Plack and PSGI.
    So good things happened but outside of Perlmonks, only tangentially these things affected posts in Perlmonks, almost no protagonist of such projects are monks or are here on regular basis.

    Now, in respect to my presence here and the weight of my thoughts, i'm only a lazy sysadmin with the passion of Perl, as Perl is my only sane interaction with the machine. I'm not an expert in any IT field nor a scientist. I'm just curious and if I have a Perl idea i try it. But i just have no time to learn other languages even if i know could be interesting. So i'll be a programmer until some machine can run my Perl code. Perlmonks is my only online community: no other tech forums, no socials. So I can be limited but, as you can understand, i'm very interested in the progress of Perl and in the wealthiness of Perlmonks.

    That said i'm definitively for first option: do something, new blood, retain high experienced (in real life) monks.

    I'm not so sure that the way is to modify the form of the monstery. Or well, the site can also be improved as recently discussed adding an OffTopic section, but changing the form, in my humble opinion, will be not resolutive. More important is the content. We lack a lot in some state of the art perl techniques.

    New blood can be summoned also using the actual form of the monastery. My proposal: we can start some Meditation aimed to collect the contribution of monks with real experience. Materials from these Meditations must then be converted in new Tutorials to be posted in the apposite section. Content in this meditations can (or even must) be off topic too, because the world is not only Perl. These meditation can start with a proposal of the matter and a summary to be modified and filled by monks contributions in the thread.

    I imagined this for 'Perl and the Web - state of the art 2015' topic. This can also contain a lot off topic content: HTTP basics, jquery, css, deploying strategies, Apache tricks. Here around are many (also low level) monks with a lot of practice in web development. The result can be a first class material that for sure will attract here new blood. many different topics are obviously possible: big data, multithread applications, Perl for new devices, genetic analysis..
    For such purpose we can also try to invite external peoples or retired monks to add their contribute.

    here are my words

    L*
    Update: fixed some typos, thanks to chacham!


    There are no rules, there are no thumbs..
    Reinvent the wheel, then learn The Wheel; may be one day you reinvent one of THE WHEELS.
Re: Terminal decline?
by tonto (Friar) on Jun 11, 2015 at 15:32 UTC

    The number of nodes does not reflect the number of questions answered by searching and reading an old node. I do that all the time, I think I've found the answer to almost all my questions by reading something on PerlMonks. In fact, I think I've only asked one question myself.

    PerlMonks is a vast repository of good information, please don't count it out yet!

      I somewhat have to agree. At least to some extend PerlMonks will shrink in Posts/timespan, just because we a) have SuperSearch and b) Google does a nice job of indexing the site and c) Perl 5 is very backwards compatible and there are only so many ways on how to foreach over an array.

      What i really think is missing somewhat (and that may also be reflected in the amount of users using this site) is that PerlMonks doesn't seem to have many modern features - or they are well hidden. You know, things like embedding a screenshot (rather useful when talking about a GD problem) or Youtube videos. Having a standard way of linking our Youtube, Twitch, whatever profiles in our PerlMonks profiles.

      Maybe we could even think about searching for a streaming service that's happy to let us stream coding sessions (Twitch is not happy about non-gaming content) and some video-chats with multiple Monks answering live questions from users or even just discussion some Perl related stuff amongst themself.

      Also, a Javascript Plugin for posting (you know, without having to write HTML by hand) would probably make posting here a bit less pain in the seating arrangment.

      On a side note: It would be interesting to also see statistics on searches and directly accessed pages refered from external sites like Google.

      "For me, programming in Perl is like my cooking. The result may not always taste nice, but it's quick, painless and it get's food on the table."

        Embedded images? Embedded videos? Realtime streaming? Live video chats? Wow. Just imagine the wonderful new levels of spammy intrusion.

        You may think that this being a monastery is just a metaphor. However for most of us it is a place of learning, mutual co-operation and quiet contemplation. The day this site turns into the facebook-on-acid which you have suggested here is the day I shall leave.

        a Javascript Plugin for posting (you know, without having to write HTML by hand)

        Such things exist already as browser add-ons for those who feel the need. What I would rather see is that use of the preview button is enforced on first-time and anonymous posters (or even on all root nodes). That might just cut down on some of the format-free postings, you never know.

        This site is a brilliant resource. Don't kill it with the shiny.

        Just my tuppence.

Re: Terminal decline?
by davies (Prior) on Jun 12, 2015 at 13:48 UTC

    ++. I don't agree with everything you have said, but thanks for saying it. I think there are several explanations for the reducing number of posts:

  • As tonto said in Re: Terminal decline?, a lot of questions have been answered. Certainly the overwhelming majority of mine have. When I wrote RFC Tutorial - Deleting Excel Rows, Columns and Sheets, I think questions on that subject were coming up about once a month. I haven't seen any recently. I don't think that's solely down to me writing one node, but still...
  • We are getting less spam. I think it was about 5 years ago that we were getting a dozen a day. I can live without it. Update: the stuff I remember seems to be Aug-Nov 2011, so 3.5-4 years ago, but of course it's not the only spam peak. I slouch corrected. /update
  • We are getting fewer trolls. I can live without them, too.
  • Polls are getting poorer (all the best ones have been done) and, as a result, there are fewer replies. I find most polls fun, but I can live without them, too.
  • There is more competition from other languages than there was 10-15 years ago. This I like. Every language has its good & bad points and I would rather see code written in the best language for the purpose. If that means that less rubbish is being written in Perl, I can live with that.
  • Stack overflow. In consequence of my previous point, programmers have to know more languages (although, in my limited experience, there are a lot of Java programmers who don't agree, at least yet). It seems to me that there is an increasing number of posts here that are flagged as cross-posted on SO. This I understand. If a programmer with a good reputation on other languages via SO is posting his first Perl question, he's more likely to do it where he's known than to set up a new account here for what might be one question only. I'd rather have all things Perlish under one roof, but I don't see any realistic prospect.
  • I disagree strongly with you that PM is deteriorating. I don't think that the quantity of recent posts is the only criterion or even a major criterion. I find the quality of SOPW posts that appear now far higher than when I first joined. Yes, there are still some shockers, but that's unavoidable. Maybe that's down to the SO effect - more of the shockers appear there and only the really interesting questions make it here. If so, I can live with that. But maybe I'm being smug.

    Where I think more can and should be done is in talking outside the echo chamber. VirtualSue has been organising hack days at London Hackspace. This has drawn in one or two members of the space, who may realise that there's more to Perl than line noise. Similarly, the University of Westminster is very keen that the London Perl Workshop contain things for absolute beginners so that some of their students can come with no need for prior knowledge. Liz and Wendy have been very active in keeping a Perl presence at FOSDEM. In "Beginning Perl", Ovid advises students to create an account here. This is the sort of thing we need. If we want Perl questions asked and answered here, we need to tell all these people about this site. Otherwise, they are likely to go to SO, and I for one won't blame them.

    Regards,

    John Davies

      Unfortunately, I think your memory is wrong. From a (quick) survey of http://perlmonks.com/?node_id=3989;BIT=reaped%20spam;Wi;M, the period of high spam was 2013 & 2014; which means the stats for those years are highly inflated.

      Glad they are gone, but it make the overall decline worse.

      As for 'deterioration':

      Whilst quantity certainly isn't everything; and I agree that for the most part, the questions these days are better asked and answered; the interesting questions, good debates -- ie. learning opportunities for the more experienced among us -- are few and far between. And getting fewer.

      And, whilst I have no statistics to back this up; my gut feel is that the turnover of actively contributing monk's is higher and growing.

      Interesting questions occasionally draw out contributions from the more experienced monk's that attend regularly but don't often post. And those questions are usually the one's that have little or no direct Perl content.

      If people felt more comfortable posting those types of questions; maybe it would draw them out more often.

      And as the wealth of knowledge here is so deep; maybe that would attract more questions and more newbies to the site. If more people were visiting; then maybe they would also look at the Perl questions and be attracted to the language.

      For me, the saddest part of the last few days, is the prevalence of belligerent complacency.


      With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
      Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
      "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority". I'm with torvalds on this
      In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice. Agile (and TDD) debunked

        I've updated my OP to reflect the correct dates & the fact that you remembered a spam peak that I hadn't noticed or had forgotten.

        Yes, I too notice that many of the highest ranked monks don't come here nearly as often as formerly. I know that Davorg's reason is the security breach, but I have no knowledge of others. But there seem to be people like Athanasius moving up the rankings to take their places.

        I don't notice anyone trying to make OT posters feel unwelcome. I've found your algorithmic questions a source of fascination and the only time I've posted OT, I found the replies informative and courteous. I have noticed that some people are more concerned than others about posts being flagged OT, but nothing more than that.

        I suspect the "belligerent complacency" you mention may relate to the subject of whether an OT section would help. From the fact that I haven't posted in that thread, it's safe to assume that I don't care much either way. I think we could do more to encourage questions on this site, but I'm unconvinced that an OT section would make a noticeable difference. The raised hackles remind me of the narcissism of small differences, a greater cause of concern to me than many other things.

        Regards,

        John Davies

      Polls are getting poorer (all the best ones have been done)

      After giggling, /me wonders why this is so. Is it that there are not enough suggestions, or that the current pollsters have different tastes. If the vintage of the poll had anything to do with it, there are still plenty of unused poll suggestions from the golden era lying around.

      Perhaps this is due to hindsight. If more people reply to a poll, it is retroactively a good poll because it promoted a good (interesting or fun) discussion. For example, In this poll, I. The more serious polls, perhaps, even have less replies.

      Personally, i think the quality of the poll is not as important as how often it is changed. Keep it fresh.

        That took way too long to put together. :)

        Nice!

        Now it was easy for me to port to postgres (and it had to be 9.5devel as only in that (not-yet-released) version does rollup exist).

        (From the combination of dual and rollup I think I can conclude you concocted the above SQL on Oracle)

        (PostgreSQL 9.5 development is here: git://git.postgresql.org/git/postgresql.git ((it's pretty stable, always, and especially now that it is in feature-freeze (but NOT(!) for production of course)).

        I formatted it a bit to my and postgres' taste and I wrapped the whole thing in some bash tomfoolery to run the three CTE main-selects consecutively:

      Stack overflow

      Totally this. StackOverflow is the place to go for answers to programming questions nowadays, even in Perl.

      I'm courting the downvotes, but does it matter? Even as I reply to this I'm going through the cycles of remembering what a pain in the ass it is to post to PerlMonks. Preview, WTF?! Oh, FFS right... I have to use html paragraph marks here...

      Who mourns the ongoing fall of Sourceforge, when there's GitHub, GitLab, and all the other superior options? Anyone still using PerlMonks all the time is enjoying nostalgia, suffering from inertia, or both.

      So, I agree with BrowserUK's call to action to the extent that PerlMonks is past its prime. OTOH, I also agree with some of the other comments that it doesn't matter if you're getting what you want out of it. For getting stuff done, there's IRC, mailing lists/Google groups, GitHub, Metacpan, and StackOverflow.

      Just my $0.02.

        Your 2¢ would have been modded off-topic and closed on SO, you know… For all its pleasant, if buggy and sometimes awful (centenarians are not allowed; markdown is actually a terrible markup; leaving a page without pressing enter used to submit comments automatically; downvoting comments should be allowed), API it is the most joyless, chalkboard scratching forum I have ever seen; its culture is dreadful and aggressively, dogmatically uncreative. 90% of the good Perl answers there are from three locals and monks who participate in both.

        The good parts of its API could be adopted here and even improved. I’m on board as a dev if that choice is made.

        Whoops... forgot to hit the button to submit the votes I just toggled... well I'm not clicking all those radios again.
Re: Terminal decline?
by chacham (Prior) on Jun 11, 2015 at 12:19 UTC

    Nice research and writeup!

    Please bear with me as i ask, why do we need to do anything? What exactly is the problem? If the site fills a need, awesome. If it just isn't popular, who cares? To put it another way, do you want PM to have a large userbase and nodes just because? Or, are you afraid that the potential userbase is satisfying all their perl related needs elsewhere?

    Maybe PM is just reflecting the state of Perl in general. It used to be more popular, for whatever reason. If that's the case, the answer would be to make Perl more popular, not PM, per se.

    The community here is knowledgeable and the website provides a particular type of forum. I don't think the forum is particularly perlish; it can be used for other language too. Much like (iiuc) Javaranch became Coderanch (at least in name), PerlMonks could become CodeMonks with multiple monasteries, representing different languages. Assuming the forum and its presentation is nice, it should be popular with other languages too. Then again, this assumes the site is to be grown for the purpose of growth.

    It really boils down to, what exactly is the core problem? You have only (but nicely!) delineated its ill effects.

      It really boils down to, what exactly is the core problem? You have only (but nicely!) delineated its ill effects.

      The point is, something has to change.

      Would (say) an off-topic section save the day? Probably not.

      But it is:

      • Simple to implement.
      • Gives everyone, bar the belligerently myopic, what they want.

        Those still here that want to talk freely about non-Perl stuff have somewhere to do so without imposing their interests upon those that don't want to see it.

        Those that don't want to see it; just stay out.

      • It can't make things any worse.

        It could make things better. The worst that could happen is that nobody posts there. The best, lots of people do.

        There is no rational reason not to try it. If the worst came to the worst, and too many people posted there; it could always be deleted.

      I'm open to other ideas; but on past history, all those nay-sayers -- the cowardly little shits that yap anonymously from the side lines like enraged toy poodles whenever anything new or different is suggested -- haven't got an original thought between them; so waiting for them to come up with something is a fool's errand.


      With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
      Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
      "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority". I'm with torvalds on this
      In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice. Agile (and TDD) debunked

        It seems that whenever anyone suggests any changes to PM, there are a lot of responses saying that nothing is wrong with the way things are. If someone wants to make the site more user-friendly in terms of markup in posts, CSS, or whatever, they are often told that if people want that, there are ways they can implement those things on their own. I've noticed examples of both in this thread.

        When I have time, I enjoy trying to help answer people's problems here. I like PerlMonks. Nevertheless, it can be a less than welcoming place both in terms of user-friendliness and (sometimes) user's friendliness.

Re: Terminal decline?
by talexb (Canon) on Jun 12, 2015 at 15:43 UTC

    Speaking only for myself, I've been away because I've not had time to spend regularly on the site. The job, chorus and quartet rehearsals, keeping a house, and being a double Step-Dad has kept me busy enough.

    I think that behaviour's representative of some of the monks here -- they visit regularly for a while, then drift away, depending on the demands of their life. However, new members join, with some old and some new questions. And the community's still alive and well, as is the language. I would be more worried if development of the core language had stalled, or if key developers had moved on to something else.

    You have certainly livened the place up -- trying to come up with a good answer for some of your questions can be quite a challenge.

    We'll be here for some time -- that's my opinion. :)

    Alex / talexb / Toronto

    Thanks PJ. We owe you so much. Groklaw -- RIP -- 2003 to 2013.

      they visit regularly for a while, then drift away, depending on the demands of their life. However, new members join, with some old and some new questions.

      I agree it was always so.

      But my impression has been that for the last few years; new people come, stay for a shorter time and don't some back.

      In addition; the threads are shorter; there is less open debate; less to and fro and interchange of ideas. Basically, just less.

      And when I went looking; the stats; every which way I viewed them, backed that up.

      I'd love a couple of hours read-only access to the DB; then I could really extract some useful -- though probably depressing -- numbers.

      But, those I've already looked at tell enough of the story to allow me to be confident in my conclusions.


      With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
      Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
      "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority". I'm with torvalds on this
      In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice. Agile (and TDD) debunked

        One class of statistic which, I think, readily paints the picture is the reputation of undisputedly popular posts. The Best Nodes over the past year have rep in the 50s to as high as 90. In the old days, breaking 100 was not unusual. In contrast, today's 50 Selected Best Nodes all have rep over 99; 5 are above 190, the highest being 260. Not one of those 50 is later than 2008. Of course, nodes which have been around since 'the old days' have had more time to collect upvotes; but I believe that in general the vast majority of votes are cast on a node within the first few weeks of its existence.

        Another way to see something similar might be to look at the reputation of your own "best nodes". My 49 best nodes are all 2010 or earlier; and all of my nodes which are better than 90 rep (there are seven of them) are 2007 or earlier. No post of mine has hit 40 rep since 2012. I am not a prolific poster, though; someone like BrowserUK might have a more meaningful trend line.

        (Update: s/XP/rep/g for nodes.)

        I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.
        .. and being a double Step-Dad

      Sorry -- I usually try to make my text as compact as possible, and this turn of phrase may have been a little opaque. I have two Step-sons from my last marriage, and my girlfriend has two kids, to which I've become an honourary Step-dad.

      Alex / talexb / Toronto

      Thanks PJ. We owe you so much. Groklaw -- RIP -- 2003 to 2013.

Re: Terminal decline?
by wjw (Priest) on Jun 13, 2015 at 02:46 UTC

    I have been working with the Raspberry Pi and Arduino, using Perl on the RPi of course. This is a powerful combination.

    Might it help to re-examine the target audiences, and how those audiences use Perl? For example: If I look at the Arduino forums, I find that while what is there is all Arduino targeted, it is broken down a bit more than PM tends to do. I am not complaining here, simply examining and comparing.

    I also wonder if PM might consider 'pushing out' instead of expecting 'a natural in-flow' when it comes to new blood? Perhaps this and the previous question are related. I am not suggesting full fledged evangelism here, but perhaps more a look at the many facets that Perl could work so very well in. A lot of this site is about the language itself, not so much about the application of it - I may perceive that wrongly - but it is my perception.

    Just a thought... or two...

    ...the majority is always wrong, and always the last to know about it...

    A solution is nothing more than a clearly stated problem...

      I can only speak for myself, as a lurking visitor of many years. For me PM has become a place I enjoy visiting more or less weekly, to read learned disputes rather than to find relevant information about a particular problem I'm working on.

      These days Google / CPAN solves most of my problems, and I suppose this is typical for many professional Perl developers. That said, I still learn much from visiting PM about Perl internals and ways of doing things in Perl that I never dreamed of. I would very be sorry to see PM decline further, so I hope there are ways to bring more people into the fold. As already suggested, perhaps Perl 6 is the way forward? Though for me and my company, Perl 5 will remain the language of choice for years to come because of legacy systems.

      My deepest gratitude to the maintainers and contributors of PM, you still make Perl look sexy.

Re: Terminal decline?
by Enitharmon (Sexton) on Jul 09, 2015 at 22:10 UTC

    Chipping in my two penn'orth on this...

    The answer is probably yes, PM is in terminal decline. It isn't alone. I am or have been responsible or shared responsibility for a number of Internet forums and every single one of them has seen an exponential decay in participation. In some cases we've come to an amicable agreement that the forum has fulfilled a valuable function but that its time has been and gone and we really ought to lay it down and move on. In other cases (I'm thinking of one particular non-technical Usenet newsgroup in the .uk domain) we have noted the decline but have decided that that it still fulfils a valuable function and because thise of us left like it that way, have formed a useful network in the real world, seek help when in trouble, attend each others weddings and funerals, stay with each other when we travel around Europe. and have no appetite for That Other Place which has sucked so many of our friends out of the comfortable places on the 'net into the void, Inevitably some of us feel we have to maintain a presence in the void tyo keep in touch while others flatly refuse to go there. We like it where we are, unencumbered by advertising, pictures of kittens or the banalities of pre-pubescent celebrities. Most of use were early Usenet adopters and inevitably we're getting on in years.

    I may only be a humble acolyte – actually I'm a Quaker so have no use for such tags in principle – but I have been lurking for eight years now. Well, not just lurking, I have learnt a lot for being here and it's only recently that I've made up my mind to hang around a while. I have seldom if ever sought Perl Wisdom explicitly and I haven't dared to write a node but I have judiciously used the search facility to solve problems I've encountered. As others have said, most of the best questions have already been asked and answered. But I still think PM is a cool place to spend time. I like its quirkiness, something I'd be very sad to see die.

    With my Quaker hat on, I say don't rush into anything. I counsel careful, monkish reflection on what value the Monastery still has.

      Inevitably some of us feel we have to maintain a presence in the void tyo keep in touch while others flatly refuse to go there.

      That's a depressing viewpoint. This place still sees a continuous influx of new people; but I suspect that many of them do not hang around very long.

      We like it where we are, unencumbered by advertising, pictures of kittens or the banalities of pre-pubescent celebrities.

      I concur with that opinion. (I haven't change in that since I wrote; Hope that helps -- 1 year on. a long time ago.) And very few here I think would advocate moving far towards that kind of environment.

      But informally acknowledging that "perl programming" interfaces with and cuts across a wide variety of other programming fields and technologies by explicitly allowing questions and discussions that aren't necessarily just Perl; or even Perl at all at their core -- as by the addition/renaming of an existing section to an Off-Topic section -- doesn't seem to me to be either inviting that kind of change; nor beyond the pail for the vast majority of the regular respondents here.

      Whether it alone would be enough to revive -- or even just stave off further decline -- is debatable till the cows come home; but at the very least, it would do no harm.

      And if that happened; perhaps the single greatest contribution it would make to this place is confirming that change is possible!

      As others have said, most of the best questions have already been asked and answered.

      Sorry, but I just don't accept that.

      This industry is still evolving faster than any other in history; and faster than any individual can ever hope to keep pace with.

      For example, in the last month or so, I have personally had to completely re-access the break point ratio between cpu and IO at which multi-threading can be beneficial. All thanks to the order of magnitude improvement in throughput performance of PCIe connected SSDs.

      And generally, almost no one knows how to use cloud computing properly; nor how Perl fits in (out) there -- if at all.

      I could mention a dozen other areas where things are changing fast; but many of them are beyond my fields of expertise. Eg. Amazon AWS Lambda.

      As I said: faster than any individual can hope to keep pace with; but -- were it not verboten; either explicitly or implicitly -- collectively, we could at least be able to stay aware of the possibilities.

      An OT section, where such possibilities could be freely and openly discussed, could inject new life into this place; without it descending into another twitbook we'll-sell-your-soul-in-return-for-making-you-feel-loved-by-a-zillion-strangers-you'll-never-meet-and-would-hate-if-you-did site.

      I don't accept that all the questions have been asked; or that all the answers supplied to those that have are still correct or will remain so for more than a year or two.

      And I don't accept that the guidelines and rules that were considered applicable and relevant to this place when it was founded; remain so today.

      The only things preventing this place changing is hysteresis; and blind devotion to a rose colored past. And a lack of imagination.

      I think the desire is here; it is just regularly beaten into submission by statement: "This place is not a democracy"; which is just another way of saying: my ball, my rules.


      With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
      Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
      "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
      In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.
      I'm with torvalds on this Agile (and TDD) debunked I told'em LLVM was the way to go. But did they listen!

      I may only be a humble acolyte – actually I'm a Quaker so have no use for such tags in principle

      Noone has any use for the titles. They are just plain fun, along with the general rule that PM XP is just a game.

Re: Terminal decline?
by u65 (Chaplain) on Jun 11, 2015 at 13:24 UTC

    Young people learning Perl 6, and learning of its heritage and potential, is the Perl future as I see it. That should be embraced here.

Re: Terminal decline?
by chacham (Prior) on Jun 11, 2015 at 16:34 UTC

    Today we will likely reach 1,130,000

    FWIW, ali0sha provided it today, which, you responded too.

    Any other predictions? :)

Re: Terminal decline?
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 12, 2015 at 20:17 UTC
    Can you correlate these numbers with the amount of nodes spent bullying sundial?

    I'm not saying it's a causative relationship, but I remember this place being a lot less openly attacking back in the olden days.

      Then maybe you ought to read some old nodes. Plenty of acrimony and offense and monks leaving in anger after fights back then. sundialsvc4 has skated for years without posting a single piece of code that would compile or help another user while hand-waving paragraph after paragraph with enough buzzwords that it was impossible for a casual reader to know if the advice was truth or fluff. Fine, but at the same time going on and on about decades of experience and competence and range of skills…? No, not cool. It’s not bullying to call it out. I gave at least two warnings that I was about to start doing so. This isn’t a social site. It’s a professional forum for a scientific/engineering pursuit. SO would downvote every bit of it into oblivion without a scrap of the tolerance and attempts to kindly correct the path found here.

        Oh, there's probably another term for following someone around every time he posts something to pile on. Can't think of it. Stocking? Probably something that sounds like that.

        But I wouldn't want to disturb BuK's narrative.

        The difference is with fewer Monks, the vitriol is far more obvious. Especially in PMD. Like when Sundial responded in the thread about supporting HTTPS. It's been several months since I've been here, and seeing the pointless vitriol in that thread -- it feels like it's time to write PM off as a lost cause.

        There was the hack attack and joke of a response, gods encouraging a troll for close to a year, and the BrowserUK vs. the gods incident. All of these leave a bad taste in my mouth and are clear indicators that leadership at the top is the biggest issue.

        Sundial's presence doesn't help any either, but the users responding so negatively to his posts, even undermining legitimate posts like HTTPS highlight the real problem. And to make it worse, regular Monks are involved in this vitriol, including some with higher levels of access than most have, which once again highlights the lack of leadership.

        BrowserUK, I know you have more invested in this site than most, but at this point the only realistic path forward is to create a new site or join a better (modern features, community that is growing) site.

        Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks
        My deviantART gallery

Re: Terminal decline?
by aartist (Monk) on Dec 27, 2017 at 22:38 UTC
    Sep 24, 2017 at 12:49 EDT for 1200,000. 6 month after projected time. It may be stackoverflow effect or we have less Perl Beginners now to ask questions, or web-search has been so effective.

      So it took 194 more days (1111) than I projected to reach 1200000.

      I now project it will take 1554 days to 1300000, so December 2021 instead of September 2020.

      I suspect if we excluded the occasional spikes caused by sv4's relapses, it'd look even grimmer.

      So sad. Like the end of MASH, Cheers, Friends, BtVS, ...


      With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
      Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
      "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority". The enemy of (IT) success is complexity.
      In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice. Suck that fhit
        A reply falls below the community's threshold of quality. You may see it by logging in.
Re: Terminal decline?
by sundialsvc4 (Abbot) on Jun 12, 2015 at 01:48 UTC

    I honestly fail to see your point ... or, perhaps, to connect the data that you present with any compelling plan of action.

    But it is pretty darned great that the site now has 1.3 million posts!   Since the very beginnings of popular-Internet time.

    People have lots of ways to communicate with one another ... more than they have ever had.   They don’t spend time on forums like they used to.   They have other ways to socialize.

    However:   sometimes, their objectives are quite purposeful.   They are responsible for, or are writing, a Perl application.   They need an answer, a really great answer, and they need it right-now.   Now, the value of the web-site that they GOTO is not tied to popularity, post or hit counts:   it is tied to effectiveness.   How good of an answer can they get (by all points:   “technically accurate,” “well-rounded,” “considered, ” etc.), and how fast can they get it?

    And I would quite-frankly say that there is, and always has been, o-n-e site on the Internet which best fulfills that mission ... and that your web-browser is sitting on it, right now.

    (Face it, how many web-sites out there have any sort of “mission” at all, other than to attract hit-counts for erstwhile advertisers?)   :-/

    This isn’t the place to talk about World War III or the politics of your country, and the site does not particularly encourage this.   It does not publish a taxonomy nor provide a water-cooler.   If the “post counts” are not climbing so rapidly as they did when there was nothing out there, so what, really?   To me, it should always come down to:   how effective are we, at answering Perl questions?   (And, of what quality are the “1.3 million focused posts” that we today can Super Search?)

    On that score, this site has a lot to be proud of ... and, a history(!) of being so.

    Please, set forth your proposals for what specifically you would do for the site, to further broaden or expand its mission or whatever-else you wish to bring to the table.   No one here will question that you have earned your ticket.   But, do post-counts, alone, really carry your point?   Does the introduction of a “water cooler” section improve the quality of the vast database, or actually dilute it?   I am very interested, yet so-far skeptical and unpersuaded.

      I honestly fail to see your point

      Oh well. I tried.


      With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
      Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
      "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority". I'm with torvalds on this
      In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice. Agile (and TDD) debunked

        No, don’t respond in that way.   Please, make your case.

        You have quoted some interesting statistics, but that I personally do not find “alarming,” let alone “a portent of The End.”   (But I have been wrong, on at least two occasions ... well, maybe three.)   While I, and perhaps others, am not yet persuaded-of ... neither perhaps fully informed-of ... your premise and conclusions and subsequent recommendations, the subject is most-certainly not one to be closed.

        You’re not exactly the stranger here, even though someone (snicker ...) lately didn’t seem to know who you are.   What do you recommend that PerlMonks should do now, and why?   Whether-or-not these stats are tea-leaves pointing towards the end of the world as we know it, this site probably is more-than due for some facelifts and re-purposing, and your thoughts are to be valued.

          A reply falls below the community's threshold of quality. You may see it by logging in.

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