in reply to Parallels Between Perlmonks.ORG and Religious Cults (Retirement Announcement)

I too have been following some of these threads for a while, and more than anything I'm rather amused by it all. Personally I feel that you are blowing this a bit out of proportion, though I will admit that any community (such as the one around this site) is going to be defensive about it when they see unfounded accusations.

Your initial posts always approached problems as if they were bugs in Perl. They never tended to acknowledge the fact that you just don't understand how things are supposed to work, which invariably ends up being the problem. Blame that on Perl's "buggy" behavior or on its "inconsistent" naming and syntax quirks, whatever. I've never had these problems. A couple of your posts, though, do express some things that Perl is weak on, or something that might be useful to change, but with all of the other crap that you tend to post, people tend to get into the habit of shooing you away than seriously thinking about it, so your one or two posts with real content (even though it's still shrouded in that "this is a bug in perl" attitude) is lost in the noise.

Now, on to your post:

I was a perl monk before there was a I spent large amounts of time trying to learn the intricacies of Perl and bought lots of books to support my efforts.

For someone that's been hooked on Perl for over two years, you sure haven't grasped a few seriously fundamental concepts such as scoping and context very well. In addition, most people finally figure out reading the manuals and online documentation is a great way to answer questions far earlier into their exploration of Perl.

I launched an attack on some aspects of the Perl language

And then you complain when somebody got annoyed?

The following post strongly exemplifies an unwillingness towards dissenting viewpoints

No, the material you quoted was trying to ask why you would go to a Perl site and post unfounded, flawed anti-Perl propaganda. He even goes to say that people probing Perl's weaknesses is fine, but most of your assumptions in your original post were flawed, and the way you approached the language in your head made things unnecessarily complicated for you. There were other posts in that thread that I thought did a better job of saying this. Apparently you misunderstood them as well.

After a brief period of discussion on the subject, he got angry and changed the subject.

Was it that you were questioning his faith that he was angry, or because of the content and style of your argument? I'm seriously laughing to myself trying to think of what that conversation went like. If it's been anything like your Perl posts, I'm sure he got annoyed and frustrated with you. I wonder how long it took, what with him being a Zen Buddhist and all.

Then one day, I learned that a person named dibona had no experience and yet his picture was up there.

I think it's fairly documented that the requirement for pictures only at level 6 was made later in the life of the site, and exceptions were made for some of those that had already posted pictures of themselves, upon request.

Looking at this statement, we again see the element of unquestioned authority.

So, umm, like, what do you propose we do? Assuming we all hated Vroom's style, should we rise up against the fascist rulers of PerlMonks? Should we take the site by force, placing it under a democratic rule? Another benevolent dictatorship? Get it through your head: Perlmonks is a web site. Vroom built the site, vroom owns the domain name, vroom is responsible for the hardware. If you dislike this, you know where your back button is. There is no government here. It's just a freaking web site.

While he does own the domain name and he did develop the site, these elements are the skeleton and without user-contributed content, the site would be useless.

Wow, I wonder how such an evil and fascist leader has managed to keep our cult following loyal. I very nearly take offense at all of this labeling. I could care less who vroom is or what he does with his time. I thank him for providing this site to me, because I find it an invaluable resource and a great means for me to further my knowledge and Perl skills by interaction, as I've nearly hit the limit of what I can learn with books. I come here for the site and its content, not for its webmaster.

Unfortunately, this has led to an us-versus-them mentality, with the "them" being other programming languages.

I disagree totally. True, some will be defensive of the first/only programming language they've learned, but more enlightened/educated folks will see the wisdom in the "use the best tool for the task" mantra. Perl is fantastic for rapidly developing solutions, so in a sense it is a swiss army knife of programming languages, making many Perl advocates advocate Perl for most any task. When developing a large project, however, it pays to examine the alternatives and judge different languages and environments. Anyone that disagrees probably just doesn't have much experience with other languages, or in Real-World application development. I hardly think these people qualify as The Voice of the community.

But regardless of the reason, there is no system of checks and balances in place at perlmonks.

It's just a web site.
It's just a web site.
It's just a web site.

Seriously, if you have a problem with the way something's going down, by all means ask for enlightenment. If you're the type that isn't easily enlightened, escellate it to the owner of the site. If he isn't receptive, consider that your goals are contrary to the will of the site and/or its users. Try to understand the other point of view and stop whining about it.

Upon announcing that I was in fact metaperl, my entire suite of posts to date all uniformly dropped in reputation.

By how many points? 3? 5? This probably reflects the number of users that really hate you. I don't hate you, but it isn't fair to judge an entire site/community based on the actions of, like, 1% of its userbase. There will always be people doing stupid and annoying things. You had to have expected this when you made your post.

The fact that this post earned a reputation of -11 within minutes of posting

Perhaps because the whole thing read like a cheap advertisement? Here, let's post an all-out assault on how ugly, inconsistent and generally crappy the Perl language is, and then let's secretly follow up with a post under another name about how this other great Perl substitute language doesn't have these problems. I mean, come on. It all comes down to that "use the best tool for the task" bit. Ruby is pretty new, and I've read about it a bit. For a structured C or Perl programmer, it seems syntactically very different, so that's a big hurdle. But in the end, if it can reliably do everything that Perl can do, with the same elegance and efficiency (in coding), it may be a valuable resource.

To further coerce like-minded behavior, the reward of picture rotation is reserved for only those who please the sitemaster.

I suspect that if he truly did this to you (the rest of us just get a picture form element on our info edit screens), it was a very very special case. You should feel honored that he took the time to express his distaste for you. He never says anything to me.

I am now a hated person at this site.

I don't hate you. I think some of your posts lack common sense or a reasonable effort to research terminology or concepts prior to posting, but hey, lots of PM posts are like that. Some of your other posts seem to be attacks on the language because you don't understand something, and I like those types of posts even less.

You'll figure it out some day, I hope, whether it's here or somewhere else (" search of a village.")

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