Perl publishing and attracting new developers

gvim gvimrc at
Wed Sep 18 15:22:06 BST 2013

On 18/09/2013 14:59, Joel Bernstein wrote:
> Again, I seriously wonder if you're trolling

Wikipedia defines trolling as:

"a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or 
upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic 
messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), 
either accidentally or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers 
into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic 

- Sowing discord: not guilty
- Starting arguments: not guilty
- Upsetting people: not guilty
- Inflammatory: not guilty
- Extraneous: not guilty
- Off-topic: not guilty
- Intent of provoking an emotional response: not guilty
- Disrupting on-topic discussion: not guilty

> difficult concept: where do you think books come from? Without people
> proposing them, they don't get written. If you want more books, have you
> considered writing one? Someone has to. I'll expand on this below.

My question was about what others perceive to be the reasons for the 
dearth of Perl books and the lack of range in subject matter compared 
with the proliferation of new titles in the Ruby and Python communities. 
I have already commented on my qualification for writing a book on Perl.

> As far as I can tell from talking to authors and publishers, the amount of
> work a book requires (and do note that e.g. Packt have released books which
> had skimped on the required work and as such read like bad first drafts
> rather than finished titles) is not adequately compensated by the author's
> cut of the sales that even a popular Perl title manages. This is the major
> reason why publishers aren't queueing up to produce more books.
> Additionally many of the key titles were written years ago and haven't
> required updating. So the chances of a Perl book selling well are small. At

Really? Perl Cookbook, for example, is badly in need of an update as is 
Object-Oriented Perl now that we have Moose.

> the very least you need an author prepared to make no money and give up
> significant time to produce the content, and a publisher prepared to devote
> editing/typesetting/etc time to producing a book that will generate little
> to no profit. Basically it's a small market that requires anybody who wants
> to enter it to give up a profit motive or any reasonable price on their
> free time.

These considerations also apply to Ruby and Python authors but it hasn't 
stopped them pumping them out by the barrel-load.


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