First, I love PerlMonks. It's the very first community I really felt a kinship with on the internet back in the day when CGI was king and Perl was it's handmaiden. And PerlMonks is still a great resource for connecting with people who really love and appreciate Perl and, more importantly, love sharing their love for the craft of Perl programming.

But I have to say that I think it's success has come despite the aging, creaking interface that is PerlMonks. Now, I don't want to be too harsh. In fact, I suppose part of PerlMonk's charm now is its aging, creaking interface. And I'm more than happy to put up with it and forego StackOverflow for certain questions simply because this is much more of community and it's less transactional than StackOverflow. There's lots of really cool people here and if you are going to be a proper Perl programmer and truly understand the culture of Perl, being on PerlMonks is kind of a requirement.

I also want to be careful not to crap on the people who operate this site. It still works good enough and I am grateful for the people who operate it. So thank you!

That said, every time I come to PerlMonks I have to wonder why the PerlMonks interface is frozen in 2001. Is it lack of resources? Lack of manpower? Lack of interest? Was the original PerlMonks code written in such a way to make it nearly impossible to upgrade the interface? A little bit of all of the above?

And from a marketing perspective, does sticking with an older interface contribute negatively to the perception that Perl is programming language of the past? I'm willing to bet a lot of potential new Perl programmers, who don't yet have the wisdom of the more seasoned folks around here, abandoned this site because of the interface. It's a shame because PerlMonks is just a totally awesome place.

And look, I'm not calling for a total overhaul. But even minor improvements would be great like not having to type HTML into the textareas or having to refresh the page to see new chatbox messages.

Yes, PerlMonks is good enough, but I keep wondering what holds it back from becoming just a little bit better. Any insight to satisfy my curiousity is appreciated so I can quit wondering.

$PM = "Perl Monk's";
$MCF = "Most Clueless Friar Abbot Bishop Pontiff Deacon Curate";
$nysus = $PM . ' ' . $MCF;
Click here if you love Perl Monks

  • Comment on So what's the deal with PerlMonks not changing in like 16 years?

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Re: So what's the deal with PerlMonks not changing in like 16 years?
by marto (Cardinal) on Feb 09, 2017 at 12:15 UTC

    "Yes, PerlMonks is good enough, but I keep wondering what holds it back from becoming just a little bit better. Any insight to satisfy my curiousity is appreciated so I can quit wondering."

    I suppose this comes down to what you define as "a little better". Improvements to functionality are added from time to time. From a UI perspective such topics are touched in periodically in Perl Monks Discussion:

    You can see from these posts and resultant discussions that the topic is discussed, proposals are made from time to time, UI changes prototypes and discussed. There are other interfaces to the chatterbox (Other CB Clients).

      Thanks for the links. But they still leave me to wonder why PerlMonks stagnated in the first place and why no one is working on making suggested improvements.

      $PM = "Perl Monk's";
      $MCF = "Most Clueless Friar Abbot Bishop Pontiff Deacon Curate";
      $nysus = $PM . ' ' . $MCF;
      Click here if you love Perl Monks

        Well you're asking in the right place, but I'm not the right person to give you a solid answer. Perhaps the gods will chip in. A theory, communities are built, the builders get older and often have less time to spare due to family or other commitments. As you progress in your working life generally more is asked of you, leaving you less time to spare. From the links I gave you, the framework in use here was forked many years ago from the mainline release. Are there fewer active everything developers around? Do those eager for change have the time to commit to learning and developing this? To the first question I suspect yes, I can only think of a hand full of sites still using this engine, which isn't to say they don't do it well (regardless what you think of the content, Slashdot still exists and I believe operates well under a reasonable load of traffic). Would there be more interest from the wider perl community of someone wanted to start an effort to recreate the site functionality in Mojolicious or Dancer2? Perhaps. I think there are many factors to this, and I'm not sure there is no one specific answer anyone can give you which will be accurate, I think more likely a combination of various factors.

        Why arenít you working on making the improvements you want to see?

        And I wonder why you are starting a new thread ...

        Cheers Rolf
        (addicted to the Perl Programming Language and ☆☆☆☆ :)
        Je suis Charlie!

Re: So what's the deal with PerlMonks not changing in like 16 years?
by Discipulus (Abbot) on Feb 09, 2017 at 12:32 UTC
    Hello nysus

    have you read the recent thread Let's Make PerlMonks Great Again!?

    You actual questions are very similar to mine in the above thread.

    You can also be interested in reading wise marto's replies about the engine that is behind our beloved site.

    Review also jdporter's answer that tell about the compatibility with the Everything Engine.

    About newcomers feared by the interface.. well i see many newcomers thanks back for the warm welcome and super fast and qualified help they received: by other hand if ask my son to write a post using html tags by hand..

    L*

    There are no rules, there are no thumbs..
    Reinvent the wheel, then learn The Wheel; may be one day you reinvent one of THE WHEELS.
Re: So what's the deal with PerlMonks not changing in like 16 years?
by Ratazong (Monsignor) on Feb 09, 2017 at 18:27 UTC

    Hi nysus,

    besides the question of manpower and/or willingness to change the appearance of the site: have you considered that some (or even many) of us monks like the current interface? I want to communicate about a language I use for scripts, so a text-oriented interface seems to fit. And I see no benefit of pictures, flashing, mouseover-activities etc.. So for me it is OK.

    Recently our company-intranet got re-designed. Yes - it looks better now, with all these huge pictures, and even decent animations, and many white areas so the site doesn't look crowded. You can see that it is the work of some professional designers. However the space for text is much smaller now, so I have to scroll a lot to read the articles or to find the information I need.

    I prefer functionality over modern optics, and that's why I see no need to change an interface that has been proven suitable since 15 years... but maybe I'm just getting old ;-)

    Have a nice day! Rata

      I don't care about how it looks. You can theme PerlMonks and fix that. What I care about is that it's not improving. At all. For example: typing HTML into a textarea? Why wouldn't I prefer to have the website add the HTML in for me automatically? At least give me the option to turn that feature on if I want it.

      $PM = "Perl Monk's";
      $MCF = "Most Clueless Friar Abbot Bishop Pontiff Deacon Curate";
      $nysus = $PM . ' ' . $MCF;
      Click here if you love Perl Monks

Re: So what's the deal with PerlMonks not changing in like 16 years?
by Anonymous Monk on Feb 09, 2017 at 12:09 UTC
    Why wonder when you can search?
Re: So what's the deal with PerlMonks not changing in like 16 years?
by Anonymous Monk on Feb 09, 2017 at 18:40 UTC
    The problem with your kind is that you want answers without having to understand them.