In an recent thread, Abigail and I have traded ideas about Baby Perl. Chromatic later sent me a /msg suggesting that Larry himself talked more about Baby Perl in "State of the Onion 2." In turn, this led me to all of the "Onion" addresses (along with another) which I dutifully read. While I'd seen a couple of them previously, it was very interesting to read them sequentially.

Besides reinforcing my opinion that Larry Wall is a very smart and wise person (not to mention a little strange--in a good way), this led me to ponder a number of recent (and some not so recent) discussions about Perl Culture, our community, and some of the various, um, reactions we've had with each other.

As far as I can tell, Larry doesn't specifically outline how he'd like us to respond to Baby Perl specifically. He doesn't seem to be the type of person to be so dogmatic. In these talks, he tends to speak (write?) metaphorically and leaves you to draw your own conclusions.

So, here are some conclusions I've drawn, expressed in the form of out-takes:

Yes, these quotes are taken out of context and, as we well know, context is very important--especially to Perl. Even so, I believe that they illustrate the intentions that Larry has for the Community and how he'd like it to operate. Even if I've mis-stated, misunderstood, or am otherwise mistaken, I think there are interesting observations to make regarding effective community practices by reviewing Larry's other writings.

I also believe that these ideas might apply to a number of current and (in some cases, thankfully) dormant discussions (including a certain non-public one currently in progress).

I invite you draw your own conclusions, after investing some time into the original material. For the really industrious, I also recommend Larry's own Perl page. Let's use these as a starting place to discover how we want to handle--and maintain--our little online home.


P.S. Please understand that I'm not trying to canonize Larry as a role-model. However, I do believe that part of the success of Perl lies in his personal vision of how things should work. Since many of us agree that the technical vision has worked reasonably well, it seems worthwhile to see if similar success can be found in his expressed ideas regarding Community and Participation.

Edited: 28 Jun 01, 15:08 (PDT)

In reply to Virtues of Community by footpad

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