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It's possible that Larry Wall's greatest achievement was in creating a language that for some unknown reason encouraged communities to form up around it in ways that other languages can only be envious of.

I was thinking about that a while ago. Imagine going to a site like PerlMonks but for Java or C. Programming in Perl creates communities because talking about programming in Perl is interesting. A newbie question in Perl can easily lead to deep discussions about trade-offs of different ways of doing something basic. Try to imagine an interesting discussion centering around "How do I loop over two arrays at the same time?" in C.

Perl programming isn't just about "get it done" or even the usual questions of CPU- and memory-efficiency. The language encourages thinking about things like "how clearly does this express my intention?". The depth of the language gives just about everybody room for continued discovery. And the quirkiness of the languages gives us lots of "gotchas" (small and large) to bat around. The language isn't even "finished" so we get to talk about changes to it, both evolutionary and revolutionary.

Most languages are like stackoverflow: I have a question, I want the best answer. Perl is like PerlMonks: I have a doubt, I want to read an interesting discussion about it that is likely to go on a tangent. q-:

- tye        


In reply to Re: What is PerlMonks? (why Perl) by tye
in thread Belittling Beginners by ig

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