Well, there was that recent "contest" sponsored by vroom -
check out Post Election Day Perl. I mean, I consider
myself a novice, but I thought "what the heck, that's a
fun project." I totally blew an afternoon working on it,
and in the process did learn a bunch of stuff.
Hm. Maybe I'll have to come up with a cool contest like
that and buy someone a PM tshirt. Maybe someone else will.
jcwren has already done this on this node. The contest begins December 1st.
vroom also updates the "official" perlmonks quests page occasionally.. Perhaps we'll see updates to this page once he begins his Christmas vacation.
And no, I don't own 27 pairs of sweatpants.
Unless my eyes have been shut for the last few months, I
believe that we already have these in Seekers of Perl Wisdom
, Code , Snippets , and Cool Uses for Perl.
I may have missed a node or three but I think I got my
All you have to do is ask a specific question and it will
likely be answered by the many Monks here who love to help
(and possibly show off).
Showing off is a good thing , though, because that's how the rest of us learn from them.
You certainly have made your point, unfortunatly I think I may not have...
I was thinking about specific challenges .. puzzles if you will. Set over specific periods by experienced monks to stimulate discussion and ideas.
The nodes you have linked to are all great (I read them all) but do not if I read them correctly fulfill the role I was proposing. A challenge is often picked up in the form of a JAPH or some other programming gem, what I was suggesting was a way to pull these challenges together and make them more acessable by novices like me.
Why not use the existing questions in the areas mentioned by mrmick? In other words, consider looking at the questions and then deriving your own answers before reading the existing ones?
Also, think about various things you do from time to time. For example, I've worked on the following puzzles for my own amazement and education:
- A Gift Registry for my family site, one my in-laws, wife, and daughter can use to track wish-list items for Christmas, Birthday, and other holidays
- A decimal to hex converter that you can plant on your personal site and use from work, home, or wherever
- A POP3 email reader so you can access multiple email accounts from a single location
- A file listing program that sorts web pages by various criteria (age, filesize, last modification, etc.)
- A spider that polls certain sites for stock quotes and then writes the results to a personal page
- Another spider that collects the daily comic from various sites (Dilbert, User Friendly, etc.)
- A "telephone/contact" tracker so I can access email addresses, phone numbers, etc from my personal site.
- A bookmark organizer, again sharing links between home and the office
- A link verifier for maintaining link pages on a site
- A 404 Error registration system so I can know when users hit bad links on my sites
- A Yahtzee-style dice game.
- A cataloging system for tracking my comic books, my CD's, and my games.
And so on. Look at your daily life and see what types of information you normally need access to. If you can't think of anything there, then consider system maintenance tools (such as deleting all *.bak files or checking CPAN for newer versions of modules you've installed.), or hobby "helpers" (if you play RPGS, then how about a character generator. If you collect stamps, then a stamp database. Etc.) Bottom line: look for an interesting problem and then try to solve it.
By the time you do three or four such exercises, you should gain some confidence with the language, begin developing a personal styles, and start collecting a set of routines you reuse between projects.
If you can't think of anything that interests you, well, how about obtaining a copy of "Learning Perl" or "The Perl Cookbook" and then typing in the examples/recipes? When I did this, I found many different avenues of exploration and went from there.