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Re^6: Breaking Out of the Perl Echo Chamber: A Call to Action

by Aristotle (Chancellor)
on Sep 21, 2008 at 21:40 UTC ( #712892=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^5: Breaking Out of the Perl Echo Chamber: A Call to Action
in thread Breaking Out of the Perl Echo Chamber: A Call to Action

I wasted a considerable amount of time repeating myself and waiting for answers that weren’t forthcoming

Call me crazy, but I think it’s possible for more than one site and three mailing lists to be able to tell people that if you use Perl, you should have seen Moose (as an example). Call me crazy, but I think it should be possible to spread enough awareness that you wouldn’t have to wait ages before someone who couldn’t answer your question pointed you to Perl Monks because it would be widely known as the place to get answers.

We’re not talking about answers to questions about how to detect exported symbols or how to fix a combinatorial explosion of backtracking in a complicated regex. I am talking about the most basic bread-and-butter questions. It should be possible to get those answered semi-usefully, regardless of where you go first, as long as there is anyone with just a bit more than the faintest beginner-level knowledge of Perl, just like it generally is for Java or Python.

You seem to see it as some kind of political movement.

I work in the medical IT sector. I am utterly tired of looking at shocked faces whenever I mention that we built our app in Perl. People look at us like we’re crazy (or, less charitably, stupid). We’re not using Java, as anyone in their right mind obviously would… we use (*holding nose*) Perl. The language that went out of style at the turn of the millennium.

Compare to the reputation that Python and Ruby have. While there is a large group of people who will not lay eyes on anything but Java, these languages, which are essentially identical to Perl in terms of expressive power and devices, get a lot more respect, just because they weren’t widely heard of when Java arrived and imposed its nuclear winter of MBA compatibility on the computing world.

Clearly, I do have a political motivation. Did you mean that question as a judgement?

I’ve been at Perlmonks less than a month.

Then maybe you simply haven’t been around long enough to notice the phenomenon. I am hardly the only one nor, by any stretch, the most well-known Perl personality to harp on this issue. Schwern, petdance, and others have variously ranted about how incredibly inward-facing the Perl community tends to be. It is not hardly a new topic, either.

Makeshifts last the longest.

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