# and believe me, Perl is still alive... still alive!...

Zbigniew Lukasiak zzbbyy at gmail.com
Wed Dec 10 11:40:25 GMT 2008

On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 11:28 AM, Denny <london.pm at metamathics.org> wrote:
> On Tue, 2008-12-09 at 23:28 +0000, Tim Sweetman wrote:
>> > Although I think there are two further things that would help:
>> * A Perl user group that didn't just insult n00bs when they turned up
> I agree with this very strongly.  In which context, can I call to your
> attention that 'n00b' isn't generally meant in any complimentary light.
> The words 'beginner' and 'newcomer' adequately cover what you probably
> meant, without throwing in derisory overtones.
> This is one of my little personal crusades, so don't feel too singled
> out  :)
> I really do think that Perl has already suffered very serious damage
> from the way the middle-to-senior members of the community treat
> newcomers - it almost put me off Perl myself, when I joined #perl on
> freenode (linpeople.org then) about nine years ago and got insulted
> about 200 times as much as I got helped.  Fortunately #linpeople were
> much friendlier, and that's why I'm here now (and why I'm staff on
> freenode now).  I suspect the prevailing attitude is why so many young
> developers have turned to PHP over the last ten years - it's got a
> community that welcomes experience-free beginners who need hand-holding
> and help to find which of them have the potential to be good developers.
> Yes, we're turning away all the script kiddies and other idiots.  We're
> also turning away the 1 in 100 (or whatever) who could learn how to
> write a properly designed large application - in any language.

I concur very strongly on all your points.  One thing to add to this
is that at the time of the Perl boom - people still believed in
TIMTOWTDI and it was officially allowed to write Perl baby talk - this
is from Programming Perl
(link to copyright infrining material removed)

"Most important, you don't have to know everything there is to know
about Perl before you can write useful programs. You can learn Perl
'small end first'. You can program in Perl Baby-Talk, and we promise
not to laugh. Or more precisely, we promise not to laugh any more than
we'd giggle at a child's creative way of putting things. Many of the
ideas in Perl are borrowed from natural language, and one of the best
ideas is that it's okay to use a subset of the language as long as you
get your point across. Any level of language proficiency is acceptable
in Perl culture. We won't send the language police after you. A Perl
script is "correct" if it gets the job done before your boss fires

I am sure that this attitude was an important part of the initial Perl
success.  It is true that many of us became a bit disillusioned about
it after the encounter of certain Perl script archives and similar
enterprises disseminating bad Perl code, but I think this has been
fixed for a long time.

Zbigniew Lukasiak

More information about the london.pm mailing list