in reply to IRC vs. Newsgroups vs. Web Forums
Preface: these comments are not directed at any person in particular, they are just the mad ravings of a tired channel op.
I'm sure the ops on EFnet #perl are a lot like the ops on DALnet #perl, where I'm an op: we spend a lot of time in the channel, so it's a lot like "home" to us (pathetic, but true). We're not trying to prove anything, we're not mean-spirited, we're just trying to keep the channel (generally) on-topic and make it a productive learning environment for everyone, including the ops. We have rules for a very good reason and we expect users to obey them--consider it the price you pay for access to our hard-earned knowledge and experience. Sure, there are ops who walk around with a chip on their shoulder. You should be mature enough to recognize that and just steer clear if you can.
Sit in a #perl channel for eight hours or longer at a stretch and watch some of the folks who come through. The real "Perl disciple" is the exception, not the rule. A lot of folks drop by looking for quick fixes to problems they don't even understand. They ask questions that demonstrate a total lack of effort and an unwillingness to learn how to test even ridiculously simple chunks of code. These same people often argue with people who give them correct (and often very detailed answers), or get upset when instead of an answer, they're asked a few questions about the nature of the problem.
If you want to get along on a #perl channel and actually derive some benefit from it, don't make an ass of yourself. Seems simple, but few people seem to realize that it's counterproductive to sit in an IRC channel and piss people off. Don't expect people to do your work for you, and by all means, learn how to use the wonderful tools Perl gives you. Learn how to run one-liners at your DOS or shell prompt, learn how to use the Perl debugger interactive mode, learn your way around the documentation that's included with every Perl distribution.
I think I speak for the other ops on DALnet #perl when I say that we enjoy answering questions about Perl when we can do so without surrendering our self-respect in the process. We enjoy tackling interesting problems, and yes, sometimes we'll even sit down and write some code for someone we enjoy chatting with and who actually seems to be learning something. We're part of the IRC #perl channel community because we like Perl, and we enjoy the company of others who feel the same way. Behave like an adult, treat others like you would want them to treat you, and have a good time. That's all we ask. And just so you don't think I'm a softie, RTFM!
I realize that this is probably not the most elegant prose to grace these pages, but it's late, I'm tired, and I needed to vent a little bit.