in reply to How to wake up the Perl community?

I originally learned php before finding perl. I had a need to create a database driven website and everywhere I turned everything screamed php, there was barely a mention of perl.

Now as a young programmer just out of university which language was I going to choose, the obscure language that nobody talks about or the one everyone shouts about.

That was many years ago and I of course realise now how much of a mistake I made. I have to wonder how many people make this same decision every year.

Before anyone says that I found my way to perl anyway so there is no need to promote perl, the only reason I did was that I grabbed the first low paid tech support job I could and that company happened to use perl. As the number of perl programmers goes down the amount of companies using it goes down which will reduce the number of people learning perl in this way and the cycle continues.

I don't believe perl will die if we do nothing, however I do think there is a risk of going the way of cobol.

I think one of the problems facing the people who are trying to wake the community is that they are talking to people who a focused on programming whereas what are needed are people willing to do marketing and promotion. These are things not everyone is interested in or good at and I think probably slightly off topic for any of the main perl sites.

My thought is perl needs a new site/group dedicated solely to promoting perl to new programmers and users of other languages. A place where marketing and popularity issues can be dealt with without annoying people who have no interest in these dirty subjects. A place where how to improve TIOBE position can be discussed without it descending into the same arguments we have all heard time and time again about its irrelevance. We all know its a meaningless statistic but a lot of people do not and I think we have to accept that.

If we can get all people interested in this side of perl promotion working together on a single goal then perhaps we can achieve something. To stretch your dragons metaphor, the trick is not waking the dragons, it is finding the right group of dwarves and a key

This is just my little story of how I started with the wrong language and my opinions on perceptions of perl. Sorry to ramble on.

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Re^2: How to wake up the Perl community?
by davido (Archbishop) on Mar 19, 2013 at 17:54 UTC

    My thought is perl needs a new site/group dedicated solely to promoting perl to new programmers and users of other languages.

    Sure, blogging about and creating sites about Perl might increase its visibility a little. But my personal feeling is that this is a battle that needs to be won at the grass roots of each local community where there exists a handful of Perl enthusiasts. Start a Perl Mongers group (or join a nearby one). Come up with compelling presentations; some should target the pros, and others should target newcomers. Get everyone you can involved -- developers, students, hobbyists, sysadmins, peripherally related individuals, anyone who will attend. Hold regular meetings. Encourage attendees to present on any topic that they find interesting, that can somehow be related back to Perl. Encourage attendees to bring a friend.

    Also look outwardly. Plack exists because Miyagawa wasn't afraid to learn from outside of the Perl community. But Plack arguably brings a modern relevancy back to Perl with respect to the domain that it addresses. So find ways to learn what makes other languages relevant, and bring that to Perl. Find things that make Perl relevant, and teach users of other languages. This open minded sharing benefits everyone, and keeps Perl fresh.


      Also look outwardly. Plack exists because Miyagawa wasn't afraid to learn from outside of the Perl community

      come now, the perl community has been looking outwardly since TheLarry created perl

      Plack exists because Miyagawa got paid to create Plack -- yes he got inspired by the prior art like we all do (and there is no reason to throw away bits that already worked), but it got created because someone put up the cash/time to fill a real-world need, and not as some kind of fear destroying marketing ploy

Re^2: How to wake up the Perl community?
by sundialsvc4 (Abbot) on Mar 19, 2013 at 19:26 UTC

    COBOL?   Not so fast.   Do you know how many millions of lines of COBOL are in-service right now ... doing exactly what they were built to do, millions of times an hour, on big-iron machines that are specifically engineered to (among other things) support them?   Or how much what-they-do is worth?

    Programming languages don’t “die.”   Nor do they particularly require “proselytes.”

      Yes I am well aware of cobol usage which was exactly my point. Cobol is still in use, in other words it has not died. However their are serious problems with finding new developers willing to learn it as older developers retire. This is a situation which I see could occur in perl without a constant influx of new young talent.

        That's great news for COBOL programmers, as they can charge $BIGNUM. To play devil's advocate, people who are good at perl should *encourage* it to become an unkillable niche language, a rare skill, so that we can bathe in money.