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Five Years at the Monastery

by moritz (Cardinal)
on May 21, 2012 at 08:05 UTC ( #971571=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Five years ago I joined perlmonks. Before we discussed a strange regex feature on the German Perl IRC channel, and it spilled over to perlmonks. My first post came out anonymously, but I believe it is the only node I ever wrote anonymously.

Obviously I enjoy my time here, and I want to reflect on some positive and negative aspects of perlmonks. Positive things first:

  • Great community; most questions get answered quite well and fast
  • Friendly, helpful and witty community
  • The CB catches most off-topic discussions
  • Very nice link syntax ([mod://CGI], [doc://$@] etc)
  • Motivating and IMHO fair XP system

Most of my critisms relates to the technical aspects of perlmonks, which shows its age:

  • Poor Unicode support (try to use non-Latin-1 characters in <code> blocks)
  • Poor hackability: it's closed source, and even if you get access to the source, it's hard to set up a test system, and to get started hacking
  • Unnecessary high barrier to entrance. Why does one have to use <p> or <br> tags to get a somewhat readable node?
  • I feel that somtimes trolls get too much attention. I don't have a good solution for that, but sometimes I feel there must be more that could be done. (Maybe grey out nodes with reputation <= -5, hide them and their subtrees by default, and abolish Worst Nodes?)

I firmly believe that these problems are solvable, though I don't see myself in the position to solve them.

Most importantly I want to thank all the monks for teaching me incredible amounts about Perl and about Programming, and for providing me with interesting problems to think about.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Five Years at the Monastery
by davies (Parson) on May 21, 2012 at 08:31 UTC

    ++, but with a quibble. When I wrote Re: History now influences voting, I didn't have the power to consider nodes, and therefore could only downvote them. I now check Worst Nodes for anything that needs considering. Abolishing it would, IMO, make it more difficult for spam to be dealt with as quickly as possible. Besides, some of the entries (what is for key pls has just aged off) are too funny to ignore.


    John Davies

Re: Five Years at the Monastery
by aaron_baugher (Curate) on May 21, 2012 at 21:12 UTC

    I agree with pretty much all of this, especially the positives and the thanks at the end. I signed up years ago, but only became active in the last year, and I've already learned a lot and found many opportunities to help others. I've found it much easier to get "over the hump" here than at StackOverflow; by which I mean the XP/role system here seems to make it easier to get started building your reputation and increasing your access without needing to come up with the best first answer to some questions first. (I do think SO's reputation system is good; I just don't like it as well as PM's.) Anyway, it's possible to ease into things here no matter your level of expertise. Even if you don't have anything to say at first, just logging in regularly will eventually get you two daily votes which will grow over time into more, and in the meantime you're getting familiar with how the site works. It's a nice system.

    On the issue of the primitive edit box: I use a Chrome extension that gives me a button next to any textarea, which will bring it up in Emacs and let me do my editing there. I don't use it a lot, but I could use that in html-mode to edit my posts, and have a lot more features -- and the ones I'm used to -- than you'll ever get in a browser-based text editor. I think there are similar extensions for other editor/browser combinations, so that may be a viable alternative for people who are tired of typing HTML codes.

    I see very, very little trolling or spam here. Maybe that's because I come to the site through an RSS feed, and it filters out negative-score nodes or something? I don't know. But from where I sit, PM may have the best signal/noise ratio of any forum I've ever belonged to.

    Aaron B.
    Available for small or large Perl jobs; see my home node.

Re: Five Years at the Monastery
by stevieb (Abbot) on May 21, 2012 at 21:33 UTC

    Congrats on five years, and thank you for being here moritz. You've been an inspiration to me in my three year tenure, and I thoroughly respect how you handle yourself in all of your replies.

    You're also responsible for me delving into Perl6, which I'm glad I did.

    I hope you stick around. PM is a wonderful place with people like yourself inhabiting the Monastery.

      I, too, congratulate you and thank you for being here!
Re: Five Years at the Monastery
by Argel (Prior) on May 21, 2012 at 22:10 UTC
    Congrats on five years!!

    Regarding editing... Lets not forget having to do the ampersand thing for several symbols like square brackets and less than and greater than. And given the prevalence of BBCode, it can be a bit frustrating having to switch gears when creating posts here. And could we please have a <bq> shorthand tag for <blockquote>!? Or even <quote> to be more similar to BBCode.

    And I wish they had a plain text mode and check box to lets us choose (and default to plain text). Maybe put a separate text box in for entering code (where everything inside would automatically be treated like it was in code tags and readmore tags if appropriate. I suppose the argument would be many people would not use it properly, but that applies fairly well to the current situation as well.

    With that said, the cons are, at the end of the day, annoyances. It's like having major pros and minor cons.

    Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks
    My deviantART gallery

Re: Five Years at the Monastery
by xiaoyafeng (Chaplain) on Jun 05, 2012 at 10:29 UTC

    moritz ++

    during my perl experience, I more and more realize perl(5?) is not perfect language but perl community is perfect. on CPAN, you can find various treasure and on perlmonks, IRC and perlsphere, you always can find fast,warm answers of your question.

    That's why perl is far from die.

    One more thing off topic: I believe perl6 is far much more better language than perl5. and I can't wait to use it in product! keep moving mortiz!!

    I am trying to improve my English skills, if you see a mistake please feel free to reply or /msg me a correction

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