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Re: suggestion perl6 section in perlmonks

by jffry (Hermit)
on Mar 26, 2010 at 18:15 UTC ( #831221=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to suggestion perl6 section in perlmonks

I want to comment on this assertion:

"Posts are assigned to sections based not on their subject matter but on their type of discourse."

This does not seem to be entirely accurate. The PerlMonks Discussion section is indeed a separation by subject matter. Questions and meditations about this site itself rather than about Perl the language go there. That is a division by subject matter.

If we exclude the PerlMonks Discussion section, then indeed that axiom holds true. So perhaps the self-referential nature of PerlMonks Discussion excludes it from the axiom. I think we still have a problem going into the future.

The reason that you did not divide by subject matter is because the subject matter was all the same: Perl. And in the past, "Perl" had one unified meaning. However, as we move into the future, Perl will have two meanings: Perl 5 and Perl 6.

Eventually, to reduce confusion and promote clarity, we will be forced to often specify which Perl is meant when we refer to Perl. This might be done via a different section or some other means, but I do not think the idea should be ignored.

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Re^2: suggestion perl6 section in perlmonks (!dichotomy)
by tye (Sage) on Mar 26, 2010 at 20:42 UTC

    Your first point is spot on. PerlMonks Discussion is a separate section based more on topic than on type of discourse (you can argue that it is for "meta discussions", but that is only partly true). But I also find that the bleed-over is quite low so it makes for a good section division.

    Your second point is completely bollocks, however. "Perl" did not used to mean "just Perl 5". Besides the obvious case of Perl 4 existing (and Perl 1, and lots of different versions of Perl 5 and lots of different distributions of each of those versions), we have discussions of Perl modules, Perl programming techniques, Perl on Win32 or Perl under Unix-like systems, Perl for GUIs, Perl one-liners, things only tangentially (or less) related to Perl, etc.

    Having a section for Perl one-liners would not work well. Sure, most Perl "scripts" you come across can be easily categorized as either a one-liner or not. That doesn't mean that most discussions either only talk about one-liners or never talk about one-liners.

    Similarly, any given Perl script either offers a GUI or doesn't. But a large number of discussions cover both GUI and explicitly non-GUI topics in the same discussion. And there are tons of topics that are neither "GUI related" nor "non-GUI".

    There will be questions that are strictly restricted to Perl 5 and questions that are strictly restricted to Perl 6. But there will be a lot more questions that either aren't explicitly about either one or that explicitly address both.

    In your scheme, into what section does one post a question "Seeking wisdom on moving from Perl 5 to Perl 6"? "Difference between Perl 5 and Perl 6"?

    The most common questions here boil down to "I'm trying to do $X". I suspect it will become quite common to get answers that include "... but if you use Perl 6, then you can ...". And even when that happens, it won't necessarily mean that the author of that answer is certain that the question's author isn't already using Perl 6. It will still be possible to write code that works just fine and identically between Perl 5 and Perl 6. Discussions are unlikely to be strictly "Perl 5" or strictly "Perl 6". Many will be "both" or "neither" and it will be quite hard to predict which of those categories the thread will eventually fall into.

    There is a much clearer need here. We need the ability to declare that a particular example of Perl code only works in certain versions of Perl. "use 5.008; # Requires safe signals" is one existing tool for such. There are other tools specific to the Perl 5 vs Perl 6 boundary. And these tools are not specific to PerlMonks and should not be limited to PerlMonks.

    Another tool that I very much like is quite simple. "perl5" (no spaces) and "perl6" (no spaces) are extremely useful for enabling searching and filtering of all kinds of things. Every search tool supports them (google, super search, "find on page", human eyes, etc.). Humans (and software) have no problem understanding them (despite Larry's worries about dropping the space from "Perl 6"). Please use those when appropriate.

    - tye        

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