A few people have asked me about my .sig. It all comes from the talk Why Perl Advocacy is a Bad Idea that I gave a couple of times last year. Thanks to chip for the whole "Perl Club" idea.

I've now come up with a complete set of rules:

The First Rule of Perl Club
You do not talk about Perl Club

The Second Rule of Perl Club
You do not talk about Perl Club

Third Rule of Perl Club
A laptop crashes, breaks, runs down. The hack is over

Fourth Rule of Perl Club
Only two programmers to a pair

Fifth Rule of Perl Club
One bug at a time

Sixth Rule of Perl Club
No Java, no VB

Seventh Rule of Perl Club
Hacks will go on as long as they have to

Eighth, and Final Rule of Perl Club
If this is your first night at Perl Club, you have to hack


"The first rule of Perl club is you do not talk about Perl club."
-- Chip Salzenberg

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: The Rules of Perl Club
by jmcnamara (Monsignor) on Dec 13, 2001 at 16:36 UTC

    I lay claim to the eighth rule, here. :-)

    I was thinking in terms of clpm however, so my first rule was "You do not talk about CGI".

    BTW, it is worth having a look at Joe Schaefer's reply to the above post.


Re: The Rules of Perl Club
by thinker (Parson) on Dec 13, 2001 at 17:03 UTC
    Hi davorg,

    I had often wondered about that sig, but just didn't know how to ask without mentioning .., well, you know what.

    Perl hackers will trade secrets on how to best hide the fact that they code in Perl from all but the most clued up of their colleagues.

    I have a cunning plan for this. <whisper>Check my sig </whisper>



    Just another tcl hacker,
Re: The Rules of Perl Club
by strfry() (Monk) on Dec 13, 2001 at 23:09 UTC

    i almost hate to admit it, but you've got a point with that talk of yours. when i first came to perlmonks, i was simply flabbergasted at the amount of knowledge, cooperation, and well, community within the perl community{1}.

    and yet this makes me pretty possesive of my nice, for-the-most-part highly intelligent Perl community. like you'd mentioned, it could really suck if every Visual Basic coder in the world suddenly discovered Perl and it's glory. (We'd have e-mail clients that would be vulnerable to .pl worms in no time!)

    does this make me snobbish, or stingy? maybe a little..

    ofcourse, i also have to concede that if the Perl community as a whole, and/or perlmonks had been secretive at the time i joined, i wouldn't have had the opportunity to find such a wonderful community. i might even have given up on Perl completely - i highly doubt it, but one can never know. I wouldn't have been able to ask any of our resident Perl book authors questions on which was best to learn what from, or any of numerous things that this site's helped me with. so maybe, just maybe it's a Good Thing [tm] that it has such an open and free admission. (:

    anyways, that's my $0.02. and i might even deserve change. <g>

    {1} the main reason i was amazed at this, was because i'd never seen anything of the sort for another language. i think this is sad, since while i'll always be most at home while coding Perl, i do use other languages on occasion. 'The right tool for the right job', and all that. it'd be pretty keen if i could find something like '' or '' to check my code against. (: [back]

      Er... you do realise that the talk was a joke, don't you? I don't believe a word of it. I don't believe a word of Perl for the People" either - but I presented them both at the same conferences in order to maintain the cosmic balance :)


      "The first rule of Perl club is you do not talk about Perl club."
      -- Chip Salzenberg

        a joke?? umm, yeah! of course i knew. (: seriously, as it was in meditations, i figured i'd chew on the concept some and rant a bit on the pro's and con's of such an idea anyways.

        (Perl for the People simply scared me into silence (: )

Re: The Rules of Perl Club
by BazB (Priest) on Dec 13, 2001 at 23:57 UTC

    I started writing this comment by saying that I'm not sure how much I agree with this one, however as I go rambling on I do see the point.

    As everyone can see from my home node I'm a Perl newbie.
    I've already asked a number of what are probably stupid questions to a couple of my fellow monks who have substantially more experience than I, however I'm learning.
    I hate to think that I'm another dreaded unwashed initiate that is poluting the Perl gene pool, but one day I hope to give back to the community, so I hope everyone will help me out until I get to that stage.

    I'd like to think that's the difference between a good Monk and a bad one - the wish to one day stand as a saint amoungst mortals, and be able to pass down the knowledge to those that one day hope to be able to do the same thing.
    If only the hope, and eventually the ability, to contribute is not the One True Path, then I'm open to suggestions :-)

    The reference to Fight Club is a good one however - word of mouth, hearing things through the grapevine is probably the best way of establishing a strong, like minded community.

    I think the probably the most important thing regarding the Perl communities I've seen is that not only is the average Perl hacker smart, they're/we're a friendly lot - long may it continue.
    The last thing I like to see from a community, no matter how closely knit is the aggressive flaming of newbies who ask Yet Another FAQ. Toast 'em a little, point them to right place in the docs, but keep it gentle! :-)

    Just my 2p.


Re: The Rules of Perl Club
by Spenser (Friar) on Dec 16, 2001 at 14:41 UTC

    I particularly like rules 6 (no Java, no VB) and 7 (hacks go on as long as they have to).  And, yes I realize this was meant as a joke, but it does speak to something found in this site and in Perl and in us, doesn't it?

    The genius of Larry Wall, in conjunction with the Perl community, is that he has created a linguistic work of art that we all seem to take proprietary pride in, even those of us who have only recently joined the "club."  That's not an attitude of separateness or snobbery--it's pride and appreciation for the art form.  What Larry Wall and the rest of have accomplished in Perl is a simple notion of turning computer programming into communication, into language.

    We don't need to talk about Perl Club, or Perl, because it speaks for itself.

Re: The Rules of Perl Club
by atcroft (Abbot) on Dec 14, 2001 at 15:40 UTC

    As another relative newbie to this site, may I offer a suggestion-when you say "club", subconsciously this can be taken as "I'm a member and you're not." Perhaps a better way to put it is not a "Perl club" but a "Perl brotherhood", in which we welcome those seekers of understanding looking to see if Perl may help them. (At least this latter version is how I have felt since finding this site.)

    (And yes, I was hoping that was meant in jest, or at least after the fashion of Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal (1729).)

    As to BazB in Re: The Rules of Perl Club , I understand and share the feelings you expressed. The difference between a "good" and a "bad" monk, it seems (at least to me) is that a "good" monk is willing to offer a hand back to those coming after, sharing the wisdom s/he has gained rather than hoarding it greedily.

    I am also reminded of a quote from Fred MacMurray as Prof. Ned Brainard in Son of Flubber (1963), on trial regarding one of his experiments, and being asked about encouraging his students to try things and fail, his response was: "Anyone who falls flat on their face is at least moving in the right direction -- forward." (It is one of those quotes that keeps me going through days when I think the floor tile pattern looks remarkably like my reflection.)