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One-Eyed Kings

by davorg (Chancellor)
on Oct 22, 2001 at 19:09 UTC ( #120550=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

In the Kingdom of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is King.

Perlmonks is, of course, a great resource. It's a fantastic place for people to come and get help with Perl problems. I don't need to convince you of that fact, you already know that.

But, like much that is good about the Perl community, Perlmonks has a problem. The problem is that many of the people who need it most don't know about its existance. Out there in Script-Kiddie-Land, there are thousands of people who are using Perl and are unaware of the Perl community and how useful it could be to them. For every person who started with Learning Perl there are at least two who started with Perl and CGI for the World Wide Web or CGI Programming 101 and therefore didn't get the good start that most of us did.

I assume you all know this. What you might not know, is that many of these "less accurate" Perl books have their own support web pages. In these "Kingdoms of the Blind" people with very little Perl knowledge flounder about trying to help each other with their Perl problems.

I mention this because I've been frequenting the support pages for the two books that I mentioned above. I think that the presence of people who know more Perl can make a difference to these people. Already I've convinced a few people to start using strict and -w. More clueful people visiting can only be a good thing, so I'd like to encourage you to spend some time visiting these backwaters of the Perl universe.

If you're interested the support pages I was talking about are listed below:


"The first rule of Perl club is you don't talk about Perl club."

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: One-Eyed Kings
by grinder (Bishop) on Oct 22, 2001 at 20:19 UTC

    Unless there was something that escaped my attention, the forum at the first link "Perl & CGI for the World Wide Web", there is no way to view a whole thread in one hit. You have to view the thread response by slow, painful response.

    It just goes to show how spoilt we are with the Perl Monks UI. I had a similar experience a few months ago with VB World, or whatever it is called, (think: a Perl Monks for Visual Basic hackers). Reading a thread there is only marginally less painful than pulling out your nose hair -- it makes your eyes water.

    On the other hand, the second link "CGI Programming 101" at least has the decency to present a question and its reponses all in one page, so I might just check it out from time to time, when I'm feeling particularly altruistic.

    But that first site, unless they revamp their design, well, they're on their own. Sorry.

    g r i n d e r
Re: One-Eyed Kings
by George_Sherston (Vicar) on Oct 23, 2001 at 02:19 UTC
    Anyone who isn't sure that davorg is a Saint, as well as a saint, should review this thread and marvel at his patience and generosity.

    One thing this makes me wonder is whether someone who asked those questions would get such a helpful response here. This is not a site that suffers fools gladly. And perhaps that's a good thing, in the long run, as the standard of the threads stays pretty high. But perhaps we also ought to make a bit of an effort to be missionaries as well as monks and welcome people who seem to be asking dim questions.

    I speak as somebody who is scarcely out of the dim question phase himself, but perhaps thicker skinned than most. I think PM cd be quite intimidating for just the kind of person who needs to be here rather than in the kingdom of the blind.

    My other thought is about CGI Programming 101, which was my first exposure to perl. I confess I found it very useful. And why was that? Well, because I knew *nothing* about computer programming. In the early 90s I wrote some Lotus 123 macros - that was it. And a lot of the other online tutorials started at a level I wasn't at. Now, looking back and actually knowing enough to put what I learnt then into perspective I realise that it caused me a lot of trouble - by teaching me to parse form data with a cut 'n' paste snippet that I never understood, and by letting me off using strict and warnings, etc etc. But conceivably I would not have got into the position of being able to know how unsatisfactory it was as a course, if I hadn't followed it (well, the free chapters, anyway).

    Evidently there is a need for a tutorial that starts from the ground floor, but which builds in good practice from the start. Should be possible. May in fact exist. I haven't seen it done.

    George Sherston
Re: One-Eyed Kings
by cLive ;-) (Prior) on Oct 22, 2001 at 20:20 UTC
    I just followed one of the threads you have been on, trying to help a newbie, and I think the best answer is to point them to PerlMonks.

    They seem to be going round in circles. Perhaps if they got welcomed here, they could deal with the problems they're having through the chatterbox, with a few pointers in the right direction?


Re: One-Eyed Kings
by clintp (Curate) on Oct 23, 2001 at 00:35 UTC
    As an FYI....

    PerlMonks will be mentioned as a resource in an upcoming SAMS book on the topic of CGI/Web programming (not by me, tenatively titled "Designing with Perl").

    It would have been mentioned in the second edition of the Teach Yourself series or the Developer's Dictionary, but I had a helluva time trying to get vroom's attention before the editing deadlines this summer. (Hi Tim!)

    I make a point in my books to point people back to the community resources whether that be, clp.misc,, IRC channels, or whatnot. At least I can leave a pointer to good resources outside of the bookstore. And since PM is a new kid on the block, you'd do well to spend time making yourself visible in these more established places since conscientious authors have been sending people there for years.

Re: One-Eyed Kings
by TStanley (Canon) on Oct 23, 2001 at 03:24 UTC
    For my part, I have a link to here from my site on jcwren's server, although my site doesn't have a whole lot to do with Perl (its my A+ certification site).
    And last weekend, I was wearing my camel code shirt at a local store, and one of the cashiers mentioned that he used Perl and that it was his favorite language. I immediately pointed him here, as one of the best places I know to get a question answered, or just to plain have fun.

    There's an infinite number of monkeys outside who want to talk to us
    about this script for Hamlet they've worked out
    -- Douglas Adams/Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

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