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The true PerlMonks Experience

by Anonymous Monk
on Nov 02, 2001 at 00:53 UTC ( #122668=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Take a look at your home node See those little entries at the top? One of those says "Experience" and is a pretty random number. It goes up, it goes down. Here's how it normally works. I post a question, it goes up by around 6, down by around 3. Note that I didn't specify whether the question was on topic, off topic, good, bad or even stupid. Here's what you have to keep in mind: that number doesn't mean anything. Nothing. Simple as that. "Experience" is a misnomer, it should be renamed "PerlMonks Experience", it has nothing to do with your perl experience, which is pretty much impossible to give a numerical value to. The range of ++ or -- votes you get per post is in a way dependant upon how high this number is. The number really defines how long you've been here, and how many people here like you. There are a bunch of people who will downvote a node simply because it has your name attached. This is not a set group of people, it's totally dependant upon who you are. merlyn likes to call these people "Personality Voters", as they vote on your nodes based upon your personality alone, nevermind the quality of the post.

Every question or answer I post from here on will be posted anonymously. This is because, I don't give a damn about what that number is. Nor do I care to gain the mysterious "level powers". I'm here to get help with my perl coding, and if possible help others with theirs.

Perlmonks has lost many users who were valuable assets to the community because of these "personality voters" and I would like to think that someday, these people will see that they are damaging a great resource by their childish actions.

The moral of the story is: I'm not here to be your buddy. I'm here to help and to get help, and that's how you should look at your own "PerlMonks Experience".

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
(Ovid - Utopia does not exist) Re: The true PerlMonks Experience
by Ovid (Cardinal) on Nov 02, 2001 at 02:10 UTC

    Definition of Utopia: A place that someone is guaranteed to hate.

    You really can't win if you're expecting everything to live up to your expectations because the second it does, someone will make a post like yours: "this site sucks because of X".

    As I think I made clear in Stubborn as a Saint, I'm hardly the greatest Perl programmer. In fact, I make some pretty boneheaded errors at times. Most of the Saints who have less XP than I do are probably better Perl programmers than I am. But, if you check Voting/Experience System, nowhere is the claim made that XP == ability with Perl. If it did, I'd be paid a heck of a lot more than I am now :)

    I don't know who you are and I don't wish to offend, but these posts contribute nothing to this site. No community will have everyone happy. That's because a community ultimately is comprised of people. This site is merely where this community happens to congregate. It's impossible to avoid personality conflicts and some people will consistently behave in ways that others find objectionable.

    I know that I usually receive a few personality "upvotes" on my posts. That kind of bugs me, too, but that's the way things are. I've chatted with quite a few monks who try to figure out why a relatively innocuous post gets plenty of XP. Who knows? Shrug it off. Admittedly, I've ranted about this same subject a time or two, but I usually come back to sanity and realize that in the long run, what's important is sitting down with a friend over a cup of coffee. What's important is hanging out with your brother and commiserating over ex-girlfriends. What's important is finding out what's meaningful to you, not what some anonymous person does on a Web site.


    Join the Perlmonks Setiathome Group or just click on the the link and check out our stats.

      I want to second Ovid here with more than a mere '++'.

      A (happy) saint myself, I'm not a particular good programmer. I mostly get where I want to go with perl, but always tripling over my own fingers. A large fraction (if not most) of the higher-level monks code better than I do (although I have my moments, I hope). Actually, a lot of the programming skills I possess I have learned here. tilly really must be mentioned in this respect, as he showed me many good practices, modest as he may be elsewhere in this thread. My case shows that you can be really sure that XP does not relate so much on perl coding abilities.

      The fact that I grew to be a saint here has some other background. Most of it comes back to that I really love being present here. And that I try to pass on the stuff that I learned.

      "We are not alone"(FZ)


        The 5 members of the Perl Cabal that I mentioned have at least 20 years programming experience apiece. That list includes 2 past pumpkings, and all have had considerable influence on the Perl language.

        In fact it is somewhat presumptuous for me to indicate that someone might, however mistakenly, mistake my experience as being on the same order as theirs...

Re: The true PerlMonks Experience
by bluto (Curate) on Nov 02, 2001 at 01:22 UTC
    You are right about PM experience != perl experience. However, if you don't care what your experience is then it shouldn't matter if you post as a "real" user. I'd suggest that you do that since one nice thing is that if someone has a question about a post you made in the past, or has updated info about one of your posts, they know who to ask/msg.


      And that nails the best reason why it is a Good Thing to be able to tie a user to a post.

      Your help is likely to be more effective if people are able to ask you questions about it, and if you are able to easily notice that someone posted a request for clarification. Therefore posting anonymously limits your ability to provide assistance to others.

      Furthermore if you aquire a reputation for good posts, people will go through your historical posts and run across posts that they would not otherwise have read. Which again improves your effectiveness.

      But that said, PM experience and Perl experience are rather unrelated. For instance I have more XP than chip, TheDamian, gbarr, Dominus or merlyn. But I do not consider myself more knowledgable about Perl or more experienced in programming than any of them...

Re: The true PerlMonks Experience
by japhy (Canon) on Nov 02, 2001 at 01:07 UTC
    That's a shame. I'm here to be a buddy to anyone else who likes Perl.

    Jeff[japhy]Pinyan: Perl, regex, and perl hacker.
    s++=END;++y(;-P)}y js++=;shajsj<++y(p-q)}?print:??;

Re: The true PerlMonks Experience
by mattg (Novice) on Nov 02, 2001 at 03:26 UTC
    Being very new to this site, I think you're getting a little too upset over nothing. The XP does mean nothing, so why does it bother you what yours is? I'm going to put words in the mouths of others here, but my impression of the system was that it was established to encourage people to post. Yes, it may result in people posting garbage just to try and up their XP, and some people ganging up to down-vote others, but it also is a very effective way to establish loyalty to the site. Everyone likes a challenge, and so giving people an XP game to play will keep them coming back. Perhaps a lamase-type section needs to be created where people can go to take a deep breath, maybe look at some pretty pictures, and relax...


Re: The true PerlMonks Experience
by John M. Dlugosz (Monsignor) on Nov 02, 2001 at 05:41 UTC
    I agree with others that it's good to be able to tie a post to a person. Even if its a private pseudonym, it groups the posts together by the =same= person.

    So, turn off your XP nodelet, and ignore the readout on your home node. If it really bothers you, write a proxy to filter it out of that page! Hey, we can filter out blinking GIF files and anything from, so how hard can it be to strip one line from one specific URL?

    And be sure to post the code. You'll get a lot of rep for it. <g>.


Re: The true PerlMonks Experience
by tretin (Friar) on Nov 02, 2001 at 02:04 UTC
    Why should I look at my own "PerlMonks Experience" in the way you do ? I don't mind having a name people recognize (well not yet but someday)... I have no problem being anyone's friend that needs help, or being able to be recognized when I myself need help.

    I do understand that you see a problem with XP because it has scared away users, but that's not necessarily a reason you shouldn't get a registered username...

    just my five cents (ran out of pennies!)
Re: The true PerlMonks Experience
by guha (Priest) on Nov 02, 2001 at 14:39 UTC
    I was a little surprised this morning when I entered the Gates, no not Bill, and saw this post.

    Yesterday I was thinking about the voting system and the possibel pros of --. I came up with none, -- is just anonymous flaming.

    My conclusion was that the radiobuttons ought to be changed to a single checkbox labeled AMEN, ie promoting good stuff, ignoring bad stuff.

    Works when rearing dogs anyway ;-]

      Very well put. Or, as demonstrated in an earlier response to this post, an "Amen" would probably be more apropriate. And I think the dog training analogy is appropriate here as well. All of us are, after all, attempting to train ourselves to be better perl programmers, simply by virtue of coming to this site. (Side note: maybe, to avoid the potential religious connotations of "Amen," which will invariably offend someone, maybe the button should read "Indeed," "Couldn't Agree More," "Darn Tootin'," or, my personal favorite, "Boy Howdy.") I know on one particular post of mine, I got -- by someone because they thought I was using a particular module incorrectly, when in fact, I wasn't. Silly, isn't it? Actually being downvoted because the person wasn't familiar with how I was using the module in question. But as with anything that involves a complex system (and the Perl community is nothing if not a complex system), there are always going to be weird exceptions and anomalies; weird things becoming strangely popular while seemingly very good things are brushed aside. You see it in movies, books, and music all the time. Quick example of what I mean. Several years ago, the movie "Dumb and Dumber" was playing at the same time that "Othello," starring Laurence Fishburn and Kenneth Branagh debuted. "Othello" didn't last a full week at the theatres in my home town, meanwhile, "Dumb and Dumber" was playing at two different theatres, on two screens each. What do you do? You shrug your shoulders, mumble something to the effect of "very strange," and go on about your daily business. With regard to the earning of experience, the simple fact is that, as mentioned previously, it simply doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. It is an indicator of roughly three things:
      1. You tend to be at least a modestly decent perl programmer
      2. You tend to be fairly active on this site
      3. You tend not to be a jerk
      I would argue that "experience" should be renamed "prestige." I think that is a more apt description of what it actually is. And besides, as the resident Eastern Philosopher (geez, I've put on my Philospher hat several times of late), somewhere along our journey to the destination, we realize that the journey *is* the destination. It is all about acquiring knowledge and experience, and ability to abstractly link the two. Only through that can we ever hope to have a modicum of wisdom.
      I second that. I have in my short time here never --'ed a post and am never going to regardless of how long I stay. There is a slight purpose to the -- in that flames or otherwise undesirable content may catch a lot of downvotes and thus bubble into the attention of moderators. But couldn't that just be handled explicitly by a "Condemn this post" link that reports a node?

      (Btw: Amen was a great idea to use instead of ++, nice attention to detail :) Inspired me to use "condemn" rather than "report" too :))
Re: The true PerlMonks Experience
by Tyke (Pilgrim) on Nov 02, 2001 at 14:03 UTC
    One of the valuable aspects of this community is that it provides the liberty to use it as you wish to.

    While I agree that it's easier for other monks to be able to tie a name to a post, in order to build up some sort of continuity; I also think that it's important that a monk can stay anonymous if (s)he wishes to. I can think of many other reasons to preserve anonymity other than personality voting. And when it comes down to it the quality of a node's content is more important than the quality of the name tagged onto it.

    Just my two 0.02E

Re: The true PerlMonks Experience
by TheEgolessMonk (Initiate) on Nov 05, 2001 at 14:08 UTC
    "Experience and knowledge alone may bring skill, but only when experience and knowledge are tempered with humility will wisdom grow"

    -- the Egoless Monk

    I don't know if it's what you want, but it's what you get. :-)

    --Larry Wall in 10502@jpl-devvax.JPL.NASA.GOV

Re: The true PerlMonks Experience
by Biker (Priest) on Nov 08, 2001 at 01:30 UTC

    I have to both agree and disagree with Anonymous Monk.

    There are advantages having the XP system. And many of those. Just to list a very few that comes to mind:

    • Newcommers have to 'get into' the community before they can 'tell the community how things really are'.
    • You have to somewhat prove a certain level of seriosity before you can participate in more advanced activities.
    • (As already mentioned) It makes people come back. Regularly.
    • Etc.

    For the one that couldn't care less of the XPs, well why not just ignore them?

    I do see another danger with the XP system. Since XPs are given by the Brothers and Sisters in the community, there is a huge risk that only those nodes that pleases the big masses will collect reputation. This is a bad thing (Trade Mark used with permission) for creativity and individual thinking.

    If people don't dare propose (or argue for) solutions that they don't believe will please the big masses in the Monastery, there is a risk for draught in the flood of creative ideas. If people only write what they believe everyone else will agree with, then were are we going?

    Therefore, I strongly urge everyone, and so most the new members of this community: Please, say what you think, propose what you think is the best solution. Do not just state what you think is 'politically correct' with the intention to collect XPs.

    Remember: The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable.

    Biker says: f--k the world!!!!
    /dev/world has reached maximal mount count, check forced.

      I don't think someone has to collect a very high XP level before he is listened to. I know that I personally have already memorized a couple names I see regularly and see regular competent replies from. The 30 posts I saw may be their first 30 or may be their post #2984-#3014, I couldn't care less.

      And the problem you see with good ideas being stiffled, I don't. Traditions become traditions because they're good practice. You can't easily question them without high competence, and personally I found whenever I questioned good traditions, my conclusions where that they are there for good reason. On the other hand, if someone has the competence to successfully question established "good practice", that competence will stand out in general.

      Without being able to back it up with too much experience (pun intended), I'd say the XP system works - so long as you don't use it as basis to judge the merit of people's contributions.
Re: The true PerlMonks Experience (Letter to a soon to be AM)
by mattr (Curate) on Nov 08, 2001 at 16:49 UTC
    The neat thing about your post is that no one need ever know when you change your mind!

    The corollary I guess is who knows if you follow through.. and how do we send supporting email?

    Without a handle name, you can't post code for review as easily.. and you are asking for help, right? Using a name also is a minimum signal implying an intent to reciprocate.

    As for "level powers", what I've seen of them so far is gardening needed to keep chaos from diminishing the value you have found in this site. (You would be exempt, but I enjoy it myself).

    Of course the ultimate in Perl, that incredible community artwork, is to post your own modules to CPAN or go on tour and teach, like Mr. Conway. I think you need to analyze your antecedents. Would there be a Perl with that kind of thinking? It started to solve a problem, but the CPAN is a big reason why people stay.

    The voting system isn't perfect, but it made this vibrant forum possible. If you go through with this, we lose a persuasive voice against the personality voters you despise. You could choose to be a ++ to the community that built the resource you want to use, instead of a --.

    Let's be constructive. I too have always thought we should do away with --. It is too easy for one bad hair day to wipe out a history of recognition, and the positive aspect of minusminus is limited to say the least.

    Instead of subtracting experience, -- could add to a separate censure total that fades, or heals, with time. And perhaps longtime users could vote more than +1, neutralizing -'s by paying from one's daily allotment.

    And how about if nodereaper made such decisions in the interests of community warmth and resiliency? He's overdue for a happy job! Also there's no reason why the system can't try to keep track of AMs internally to Reap those personality voters viroids back into the woodwork. Well, there's some ideas on what I also see as a weakness in an imperfect (but wonderful!) system. I wish you would reconsider taking pride in that somehow mercenary AM-hood, and join in more discussions about these ideas with your handle name in the clear. TMTOWTDI !

    Yours in Perl,


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