Many monks have mixed feelings regarding off-topic posts. The general consensus seems to be that we'll allow them if they're clearly flagged as such (by prepending OT to the subject lines) or are somehow linked (however obliquely) to the use of Perl.
Proposal: Create and maintain an Off-Topic Links node similar to Outside Links. (Yes, I'm volunteering.)
The idea being to collect a variety of links pointing to information obliquely related to Perl. For example, many monks normally wouldn't point folks to this site, unless the problem involved troubleshooting a problem using MIME::Lite so send email messages from an NT/Win2K system. Yet, we periodically posts starting with "I know this isn't Perl related, but I know that some of you know something in this area..."
Perl serves many uses. Such a resource could help others increase their use of Perl and/or solve other problems encountered in their work.
Each of us has (I believe) a stable of links we use on a regular basis. Sharing those could help all of us improve our efforts to provide quality services to our respective clients
Perl is generally not used in a vacuum. Indeed, it's very nature as a glue language almost ensures that you're going to need some non-Perl knowledge to get your work done. For example, merlyn has described the use of cron jobs in his articles. The first time I read such a discussion, my first question was, "So, um, where's a good tutorial on setting up cron jobs?"
Help document the references and knowledge we tend to assume that people have. For example, one of my earliest discussions with merlyn revolved around the terms "bad meme" and "cargo-cult programming." While appropriate links were posted in response, that occurred after requests for clarification. Having such a resource available might reduce the number of such posts.
I believe it would help reduce the line noise that some periodically complain about in CB.
Since most of us are trying to better our skills and our services, this may also help target such efforts more effectively, preventing those wanting to learn from wasting time on useless sites.
It might help combat the exclusivity image that turnstep recently brought to our attention.
Risk of added line noise.
Counter: I don't think this would be a problem, because I see the adminstration being handled through private /msg's.
Duplication of effort. You should be able to find good links using a decent search engine
Counter: I disagree. Consider, for example, the quality of the hits on this query. I believe this would help focus OT education and problem-solving by providing links that have already helped someone, not just random hits selected by a keyword parser.
It's not Perl Related
Counter: That's true...but the problem being solved may be surfaced with a Perl script. Also, the skills may be ones that most experienced Perl Hackers take for granted.
It's not really a problem
Counter: No, but it might help anyway.
It's a distraction
Counter: Perhaps, but since I'm volunteering, that shouldn't be a problem.
If you like the idea, what would you like to see? How would you envision the structure of the node? What categories would be useful, which ones would be useless? (Let's agree to set aside the advocacy issues in advance; I'm assuming that a good forum for getting ODBC answers would help someone.)
Initially, I'd like to see it contain links to tutorials, books, reference material, coding practices, support sites, and so on. I'd even like to see a good lists of general reference information.