A few weeks ago cosmicperl began a discussion about the pros and cons of a newbie focused satellite site for Perl Monks. The suggestion of a new beginners only site was not particularly well received, and instead triggered a large number of suggestions about how the current Perl Monks could be improved.
This is only one of many threads where suggestions for improving PM have been offered. In the coming weeks, I hope to construct a list of some of the more recent threads. I will also be reviewing them and compiling a list of suggestions that people have made for improving PM. If anyone else is interested in working on this, please make yourself known.
This process (and this post) is an outgrowth of the discussion we had last week on the thread Process for Site Improvement. We have at present no "official" wish list or mechanism for prioritizing suggestions for site improvement. In that thread jdporter suggested that for the time being, one way to get a better understanding of what changes matter to us monks would be to compile a list of suggestions from PM discussion threads.
Some of the proposals in PerlMonks for newbies? are very specific; some simply point out general areas where improvement might be valuable. I've assembled a list (below) of the various suggestions from that post in hopes of stimulating discussion on the following questions:
- Which, if any, of these suggestions do you feel are
valuable enough to merit further discussion?
- Do you see a consensus developing around any of the suggestions?
- What suggestions would you add that aren't already on
- What do you value most about Perl Monks and which of these suggestions enhance or build upon that?
- Which of these have in fact been implemented but need
to be better publicized?
- As we work through other threads and gather their suggestions what is the best format for organizing them? Do we want to see other "per-thread" summaries? What about consolidating all suggestions into a single list?
- If more that one person is involved in compiling a list of suggestions (and I really hope there will be), what tools does PM provide to help us coordinate our work?
- How would you prioritize these suggestions? What is the best way to keep track of a developing consensus about which suggestions are highest priority? Is there a way we could adapt the polling mechanism? Is a qualitative summary the best way? Some combination?
- To the members of cabal, and pmdev in particular: What would it take to actually implement the more specific suggestions - both technically and in terms of support from the wider monk community?
- What would you be willing to do to help make your favorite suggestion "happen"?
- This thread gives examples of suggestions, some clear and some overly general. If you were to write a How (Not) to propose a site improvement tutorial, what would it include?
- Was the format of this post helpful? What would you do to improve upon it?
If there is no objection, when this thread winds down, I will summarize the comments here and post the results so that we can continue to build on the discussion.
Note 1: My apologies in advance if I left out anyone's suggestion or misrepresented their views. If I have done so, please message me and I will make the correction.
Note 2:Many thanks to all those who gave suggestions privately and on the thread Process for Site Improvement about how to go about this task. They made this thread possible.
Suggestions have been grouped into one of the following categories:
- site not easy to use
- Aim9b at Re: PerlMonks for newbies? - could be more intuitive, more "challenging" than it needs be, but using too much GUI to do it, might make the site unwieldy for people still using dial-up
- freshen up site - site looks dated:
- Several expressed concern that "pretty sites" shouldn't be a substitute for strong content and
community and may even help to keep the community
focused on the needs of programmers:
- WSIWYG text editing interface would be easier for
- Simpler markup is needed
- Add preview mode for update
- Add preview mode for private messages and chatter box
- Improve quality/finability of documentation targetted at newbies
- Beginners section/"Beginner's corner" page
- cutlass2006 at Re: PerlMonks for newbies? - additional/better organized links to other Perl resources, e.g. "Here is the route to Perl6"
- Better site promotion is needed
- We need to make better use of social networking tools for community building
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