There are in particular two issues I have noticed that are not helping making perl more accessible.
- There is the old TIMTOWTDI/syntax issue which is also considered an asset of perl. Compared to java, perl has many more operators, symbols etc, which have different meanings in different context, and that is confusing and sometimes troublesome. Both newcomers and returners feel insecure. I think its hard to learn and to remember.
- Good guides, though I feel the community is very helpful, I also think that perl compared to ruby are lacking in relation to free open guides and examples. Ruby is blessed with its video and web tutorials, which are very user friendly compared to the perl offerings, maybe because Ruby have been 'hip' and have been embraced by the mac crowd that may be more experienced in communicating in a clear and visual fashion.
Learning perl should be more fun and cool, not feeling like you have to read through a bunch of formulas in advanced math. Learners that benefit from faster yes experiences that are actually useful, will feel empowered and are more likely to show off and distribute in celebration which creates hype(if thats whats desired).
One nice idea would be a website thats catering to users of different nature. That would be a website with individually targeted areas towards the following roles:
- web application developers
- system administration tool developers
- desktop application developers
Such a website with a professional and user friendly presentation could feature application examples, video tutorials, slideshows (like those uploaded to slideshare, just more focused on actual problem examples), etc.
I am well aware that those who could provide useful examples and tutoring through such a site rather like to do it through books and seminars from where they earn a living, but then if you don't want to build a crowd, don't expect there to be a crowd. Though some say we already are.