Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
laziness, impatience, and hubris
 
PerlMonks  

Re: IRC vs. Newsgroups vs. Web Forums

by Anonymous Monk
on Apr 15, 2001 at 22:49 UTC ( #72687=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to IRC vs. Newsgroups vs. Web Forums

It sounds like you are reaching a stage of Perl programming maturity where the appeal of the novelty of it all has whithered somewhat and you would like to get some work done. As personal advice I would say that yes reading the docs and a book should be helpful at this time.

Regarding the question of whether online fora have any value I would say that they most certainly do. When a complete newbie it can actually help to have someone refer to RTFM since you may be unaware of the FM. I recall tutoring someone who had been taking a Perl programming class at a nearby institution of higher learning. That person had already invested 6 weeks of his time (and I do not know how much money) into the course material. In order to get our session started he lead off with a simple question. Rather than answering it directly I opted to show that person how to find the answer in the online reference (perlfunc.pod). I was then shocked to find that the person had no experience with either the Unix perl man pages, perldoc, or Shuck on the Macintosh. It was surprising to me that his professor had apparently not bothered to mention these valuable resources. Oh sure they had purchased, through their campus store, the O'Reilly book Learning Perl which was a great text to be using. But the prof had not yet mentioned the wealth of online docs, how its organized, etc.

The nature of aquiring technical knowledge can undergo strange contortions. There are Perl pod pages that are simply reference material (e.g. perlfunc). There are Perl pod pages that are more tutorial in nature (e.g. perlreftut). There are Perl pod pages that are more Q&A style (e.g. perlfaq$n).

However none of the aforementioned pod docs are of the immediate human communication nature. I would venture that perhaps a course at a community college or meeting folks face to face at a Perl Mongers event would be helpful to you. There is something about the lack of anonymity in meeting folks in person that induces more politeness and respect than is typically the case online. So try forming/attending/organizing a Perl Mongers group in your area. When you are ready try giving one of more talks to the group. There is nothing quite like preparing a lecture to force you into learning the various aspects of a technical subject :-)

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Re: IRC vs. Newsgroups vs. Web Forums
by Anonymous Monk on Apr 16, 2001 at 08:04 UTC
    I was then shocked to find that the person had no experience with either the Unix perl man pages, perldoc, or Shuck on the Macintosh. It was surprising to me that his professor had apparently not bothered to mention these valuable resources. Oh sure they had purchased, through their campus store, the O'Reilly book Learning Perl which was a great text to be using. But the prof had not yet mentioned the wealth of online docs, how its organized, etc.

    Why is it that Perl books geared towards beginners, notably Learning Perl do not discuss pod and where to find the pod pages? As an author of such a book couldn't you provide your readership with a little more shelf life or longevity if you mention things like "be sure to check the online documentation that came with your Perl installation. Here is how to do just that..." or is it the case that designed absolescence in the publishing world is to be considered a good thing?

Log In?
Username:
Password:

What's my password?
Create A New User
Node Status?
node history
Node Type: note [id://72687]
help
Chatterbox?
and the web crawler heard nothing...

How do I use this? | Other CB clients
Other Users?
Others exploiting the Monastery: (5)
As of 2019-10-23 17:42 GMT
Sections?
Information?
Find Nodes?
Leftovers?
    Voting Booth?
    Notices?