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Re: PerlMonks for newbies?

by jdporter (Canon)
on Feb 09, 2009 at 19:06 UTC ( #742529=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to PerlMonks for newbies?

IIRC, an analogous proposal was raised on comp.lang.perl.misc, probably more than twice.
One part of your idea, sequestering the newbie content, was even discussed here once, in Uber-newbie section.

Others have offered reasons why such a split might not be in the best interest of the community;
I'll address your reasoning. You allege four potential benefits:

  • Less newbie questions cluttering up PerlMonks
  • Understanding and welcoming environment for newbies
  • Less strain on the PerlMonks server
  • Easier to use interface (TinyMCE)

(The other bullet, "Higher level stuff would be directed to PerlMonks anyway", is not really a benefit; it's simply an attempt on your part to allay fears of one potential negative effect of the split.)

Those four "benefits" imply and presume four corresponding problems, extant or imminent:

  • Too many newbie questions cluttering up PerlMonks
  • Environment not understanding and welcoming for newbies
  • Server overloaded
  • Interface lacks modern ease-of-use features
So the question (which you have begged) is: Are these really problems at PerlMonks?

If they are, is a fork of PerlMonks really the best solution?

Your implied answer is "yes" on both counts. Here's what I think...

Too many newbie questions cluttering up PerlMonks

Negative. PerlMonks is a top-to-bottom community. If you are bothered by newbie questions, then the problem is with you, not with PerlMonks or the newbies. I think, statistically, having more novice-level questions than guru-level questions is to be expected.

Environment not understanding and welcoming for newbies

By "environment", I assume you're referring to people - the ones who regularly hang out in the chatterbox and the ones who reply to posts. This is undoubedly a problem, to some extent. But I differ with you on what would be the best approach to solving it. I believe that the preferable solution would be to fix this aspect of PerlMonks. Simply hiding people from it would do grave damage to PerlMonks: leaving a serious problem unfixed, and eliminating a large and vital part of our user base. See the rest of this thread for more reasons. :-)

Server overloaded

Unless you have reason to believe that monks' experience of the site is being measurably negatively affected by server load, you shouldn't care about this. And you should also know that the site sysadmins are actively working on improving performance.

Interface lacks modern ease-of-use features

Guilty. But the PerlMonks engine is constantly evolving, and it's not too late to bring those kinds of features into it. If you have specific ideas, please feel free to suggest them in PMD. Again - why should only the newbies get the goodies?


Between the mind which plans and the hands which build, there must be a mediator... and this mediator must be the heart.

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