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Ressources for Acme namespace cultural implications

by Smonff (Scribe)
on Jan 08, 2021 at 15:16 UTC ( #11126606=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Smonff has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Hi dear Monks and happy new year to everybody.

Got a Perl culture request. I am searching for some information (presentations, conferences, articles, etc.) about the Acme::* namespace, it's purposes and cultural meanings in the Perl community. For now, I have this list:

Ruth Holloway described Acme as:
A testing ground for the release process, so that a new contributor learns how to create and release new modules before doing something more serious
In Advanced Perl Programming it's written that
The Acme:: modules use extremely advanced or clever techniques in order to do something totally frivolous
and that
The Acme namespace was set aside for wacky, explosive, or Heath-Robinsonian modules, and has very quickly become one of the more densely populated namespaces on CPAN.
For what I can understand the CPAN Acme namespace is for Perl experiments. But I also see it as a namespace for a kind of conceptual art (not only ASCII art and stuff), but really art that is made of Perl, about Perl. What makes me think of this is Acme.pm that seems to be only an auto-reflexive module all about the glory of CPAN and modularization. Those things could very much be displayed in a Museum of Modern Art, I wouldn't complain. By the way is there any records of Perl code entering the Museum? Aside than running the website ^^... I guess I kind of answered my own question by asking, but I am sure some Monks would like to give more guidelines. Thanks for reading!

🌸

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Ressources for Acme namespace cultural implications
by eyepopslikeamosquito (Bishop) on Jan 08, 2021 at 21:10 UTC

      Thanks for this great detailed answer. I have now a better understanding of the Acme secrets. I disagree with people saying that the Acme thing is "only a joke" or "something that shouldn't be considered too seriously". I mean, I understood the humor implications, but some of the Acme modules are available in the Debian packages! Therefore those cultural pieces are more than only programmers folklore and become a bit more serious, despite of the initial very funny authors intentions.

      🌸
Re: Ressources for Acme namespace cultural implications
by afoken (Canon) on Jan 08, 2021 at 19:40 UTC

    See also Acme Corporation (from Looney Tunes).

    Alexander

    --
    Today I will gladly share my knowledge and experience, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so". ;-)
      hello, the wikipedia article miss another important fact: during the early sewing machines era, among vibrating shuttle sewing machines (1880s-1890s period) Acme was both a name of a company (Acme Keystone Manufacturing Company, a bit later ~1910) and a machine name (Acme by J. A. Titus & Co 1886 1887). See some pic.

      We must consider these machines as first hi-tech objects breaking into common people lives (at least in western countries and Europe). Names of this kind of things sometimes remains in the spoken language used per antonomasia (ἀντονομάζω, antonomázo, "to change name"), in the same way nowadays we can address to a fast car as a Ferrari, or to a genial people as an Einstein.

      Given the meaning (hightest point) and the imaginary backgroud it evocate, such name, as sometimes happens, revamped one century after and for casual circumstances, as to be used inside cartoons.

      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.
        in the same way nowadays we can address to a fast car as a Ferrari, or to a genial people as an Einstein.

        Not so much in my enviroment. But there are other examples for what I think is the same effect:

        • Tempo for all kind of handkerchiefs made of paper, not only the ones sold using that brand name (mainly in Germany)
        • Kleenex (Germany, USA?)
        • UHU for wet universal adhesives (Germany)
        • Tesa or Tesafilm (Germany), Sellotape (Britain), Scotch Tape (USA, Canada) for adhesive tape, especially clear tape
        • Selters for mineral water (Germany)
        • Walkman for pocket-sized cassette players (Germany, worldwide?)
        • Xerox for photocopier machines, the action of using them, and the generated copies (US, Canada?)
        • Matchbox for die-cast toy cars (Germany, worldwide?)
        • Kärcher for high-pressure cleaners (Germany)
        • Google for any kind of internet search engine, and for using such engines (worldwide?)
        • Vespa for any kind of scooter (Germany)
        • Fön (named after Foehn wind) for hair dryers (Germany).

        The Fön brand is a little bit unusual in my list. All other examples are still recognized as brand names, but Fön is not. It became a common word like radio or bread. Only experts still know it is a brand name that may get you in trouble when using it for hairdryers. The Fön / Foen brand was registered in 1909, bought in 1957 by AEG, sold including AEG in 1996 to Electrolux. While it is still in use, it is no longer aggressively used in marketing.

        Asking for a Kärcher in a shop will get you a Kärcher machine, and nothing else. Asking for a Walkman will very likely get you a Sony machine. Asking for a Tempo might get you some cheap clone, especially outside shops. Asking for a Fön will get you any hair dryer, rarely one made by Electrolux.

        The German orthography reform of 1996 changed the official spelling from Fön (the brand) to Föhn (like the wind Fön was named after). This might avoid brand name issues, and the context usually is so clear that you won't confuse the wind with the hair dryer.

        Alexander

        --
        Today I will gladly share my knowledge and experience, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so". ;-)

      Sounds like even more interesting to me if a fictive corporation is involved.

      🌸
Re: Ressources for Acme namespace cultural implications
by LanX (Cardinal) on Jan 08, 2021 at 19:33 UTC
    My short description for ACME is
    • "don't take this module seriously, it's definitively not meant for production"
    This covers experiments, demos and jokes.

    Cheers Rolf
    (addicted to the Perl Programming Language :)
    Wikisyntax for the Monastery

      Seems to be a popular opinion, but since some of them are in the Debian packages, I would say they are in production per se. I wish some programming languages historian would write a PhD on the Acme bestiary. It would really worth it.

      🌸
        Do you have examples?

        I was only able to find packages related to ACME Protocol which is another beast and namespace.

        Cheers Rolf
        (addicted to the Perl Programming Language :)
        Wikisyntax for the Monastery

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