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Why does it seem as though Perl has the only community of friendly, non patronizing or demeaning, programmers? What is with every one else?

by Nathanp (Initiate)
on Apr 06, 2018 at 01:13 UTC ( #1212395=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Nathanp has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

  • Comment on Why does it seem as though Perl has the only community of friendly, non patronizing or demeaning, programmers? What is with every one else?

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Re: Why does it seem as though Perl has the only community of friendly, non patronizing or demeaning, programmers? What is with every one else?
by atcroft (Abbot) on Apr 06, 2018 at 01:28 UTC

    I am no expert, but here is my hypothesis. (And I will gladly admit where and when I am wrong, provided evidence to correct myself.)

    I think that communities take a lot of their characteristics from their founders and early members. The perl community was lucky enough to have a number of early members who not only set a tone that is (mostly) friendly and helpful to those willing to help themselves, but also thought consciously about the community that (they hoped) would develop, and as such set it on a path that has led to where it is today.

    (At least that is my take on it. I look forward to the comments of others on this.)

Re: Why does it seem as though Perl has the only community of friendly, non patronizing or demeaning, programmers? What is with every one else?
by dsheroh (Monsignor) on Apr 06, 2018 at 07:34 UTC
    I assume you're contrasting Perl programmers to the tendency in some circles for other-language programmers to take an attitude of "my preferred language is the best and all other languages suck". In my experience, Perl enthusiasts seem to be some of the biggest programming-language-polyglots around and, when you use several different languages, you're vastly less likely to say "every language except this one sucks".

    Plus, of course, there's the whole TIMTOWTDI thing. If you embrace the idea that there are many ways to do things within Perl, then it's easier to also see that Perl itself is but one way to do things in a sea of other languages.

    Or maybe it's just that there are so many people insisting "Perl is a write-only language", "Perl is dead", etc. that we started trying extra-hard to show the world that Perl really isn't that bad...

Re: Why does it seem as though Perl has the only community of friendly, non patronizing or demeaning, programmers? What is with every one else?
by Your Mother (Bishop) on Apr 06, 2018 at 03:31 UTC

    Because Perl Hackers are the greatest, most philanthropic, kindest, gentlest and most friendly, praiseworthy, beautiful, humorous, well-read, talented, and nice smelling persons in the history of not just Computer Science but all professions, arts, and humanities. If Perl Hackers have any flaw it could only be our painful, shocking modesty.

    But enough about me. Let's talk about my résumé.. :P

      If Perl Hackers have any flaw it could only be our painful, shocking modesty

      Vey amusing post - it's a long time since I've laughed so much at a post on perlmonks. (And it was a very healthy, wholesome laugh ... not my usual disbelieving, sarcastic and cynical laugh.)
      Nice !!!

      I'm reminded of a post from Karl Glazebrook to the PDL mailing list (a coupla years back), where he suggested that the collective noun for a group of python programmers should be a "smug".
      It got me thinking about creating collective nouns for groups of people who programme in other languages.
      I thought a group of Java programmers should be called a "wank", a group of C programmers a "claustrophobe", a collection of COBOL programmers an "anachronism", a collection of C++ programmers an "aloof", and a collection of perl programmers a "cemetery".
      Not so sure that everyone will agree, but ;-)

      Cheers,
      Rob

        Some more:

        • An Indentation of Python programmers
        • A Vulnerability of C programmers
        • A Scheme of Lisp programmers
        • A Division of Cobol programmers
        • A Conversation of Smalltalk programmers
        • A Garbage Collection of Java programmers
        • A [Heap|Stack|Array|Argument|Closure] of Computer Programmers

        • A Levity of Perl programmers
        • A Nostalgia of Perl programmers
        • A Regret of Perl programmers
        • A Lamentation of Perl programmers
        • A Poetry of Perl programmers
        • A Lazy Impatient Pride of Perl programmers
        • A    of Acme::Bleach programmers
        • A [Brotherhood|Amity|Pantheon|Bevy|Sagacity|Galaxy] of Perl Monks!

        See also:

        Updated: Added Lazy Impatient Pride to Perl collective nouns. Added Conversation of Smalltalk programmers.

        I thought a group of Java programmers should be called a "wank", a group of C programmers a "claustrophobe", a collection of COBOL programmers an "anachronism", a collection of C++ programmers an "aloof", and a collection of perl programmers a "cemetery".
        1. Java: a verbocity.
        2. Javascript: an anarchy.
        3. COBOL: a shrinery.
        4. Fortran: a numeracy.
        5. Lisp: a reDEFinery.
        6. C++: a commitee.
        7. C: a memory.
        8. PHP: a nursery.
        9. Haskell: an academy.
        10. Ruby: a rolling-stock.
        11. Perl: a memory.

        With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
        Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
        "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority". The enemy of (IT) success is complexity.
        In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice. Suck that fhit

        :P Thanks! I was doing one of the virtues, Hubris, while riffing on Ali. I wanted to do Lazy, just answering, "Because." But I'm too vain to take the downvotes for the joke.

Re: Why does it seem as though Perl has the only community of friendly, non patronizing or demeaning, programmers? What is with every one else?
by alexander_lunev (Monk) on Apr 06, 2018 at 07:29 UTC

    I think that the answer is in the profession of Perl programmers, which often are NOT the profession of programmer itself. People of different professions uses Perl for their needs, many of those are system administrators and scientists, not the professional programmers. And if it is a professional programmer, then usually he works on some old project, surrounded by mature colleagues.

    As a result, people who uses Perl usually free of programmers' snobbery (which i think is a phenomenon of the new IT culture, based on a fast success and all of this new-age-capitalistic-agile-scrum-sweatshop-shit), because they are not the professional programmers, or they are programmers, but the old ones, with more fundamental education and deep engineering culture. Young professionals often uses their knowledge to dominate in their work area, and now we see that modern capitalism form programming groups (developing in non-Perl languages) for faster developing, and young (non-Perl) programmers does not grow in a traditional engineering groups where mature colleagues can sometimes reason their young padawan to behave, but more in homo homini lupus est environment.

    And because of this Perl programmers usually more friendly, because their path is a journey of knowledge, and programming is a way to reveal answer, and not the way of intellectual dominating (which in my opinion is a refute of intellect itself and more in the nature of younger (non-cultured) than older people of all professions).

Re: Why does it seem as though Perl has the only community of friendly, non patronizing or demeaning, programmers? What is with every one else?
by bliako (Prior) on Apr 06, 2018 at 15:00 UTC

    C is a hacker's language in the sense that it will allow you to do anything you want even if it seems you sneakily bend the rules a bit. (If only I had a fish for every segfault I caused ...). And even if it has some distance from assembly, it will also allow you to be in close some contact with the hardware.

    Then C++ came and Java and each of them was more eager than its predecessor to distant programmer from machine and programmer from fellow-programmer. They were also blatantly trying to patronise the programmer into certain programming practices and restrict his/her actions. Recently one error in a C++ program made gcc spill out 500 suggestions of "perhaps you wanted to spell this function's name this way or call it in that way?". The terminal buffer run out from the incessant scrolling of gcc's idiotic blabering and still I had no idea where the error was.

    Portability and Productivity they cited.

    Java aims to provide an environment for programmers to produce something without the risk of breaking anything. And here we start with "you can't do that", you "can't cast to this". Add to this, hordes of domesticated programmers, mostly harmless and brilliant (programming) minds otherwise, ready to declare that "this is an anti-pattern", "ohh very bad practice in modern software development", or the classic irritant "why do you want to do that?" - a trademark response it seems at the "knowledge sharing" site we all know very well. See for example here: Why would you want to do that? or I can't see any reason to do that and all the answers under it. Signs of the times.

    Any economic system demands optimal allocation and use of resources. It is common sense. But Capitalism demands that optimality for the sake of maximising profit for the Owner and the Investor. And even with modern stock-markets, pension funds, government bailouts, etc. a lot of us (residents of planet earth) are neither. Directly or indirectly we gain nothing.

    The changes caused by this practice in our lives are inescapable though. No longer one can find a place to live alone or in a community of similarly minded people. It's like a river, a tsunami, the gozzilla. You can't escape it. And yet, still "a small village resists..." Perl allows you to do anything you want in any way you want to or feel to. Take the use strict;. It saves lives but has never been enforced! And rightly so i say.

    Even OOP in Perl is never advertised as "the thing to do". It is an "unexplained" phenomenon that Perl OOP and Perl non-OOP happily coexist together. And it's also interesting that most Perl OOP tutorials ground you with "Perl OOP is nothing but a blessed hash ..." - last time I argued that C++ is nothing but glorified use of C struct I nearly got punched.

    Bottomline: as alexander_lunev said: "new-age-capitalistic-agile-scrum-sweatshop-shit". This is inescapable and caused by the internal workings of Capitalism: productivity comes only with alieanation of the worker from the means of production and with other workers: meaningless, repetitive, un-creative work. Alone, alone, alone. Modern programming languages are no exception. They will sooner or later (if not already) be swept by this. In fact, as IT is the driver of the wealth today (like the automotive industry used to be last century and we saw the "production line" was invented there), programming languages are nothing to play with or joke about. And communities formed by users of such languages are nothing to play or joke about either. They reflect exactly the climate at work and the pressure they feel there by the Corporation. Most of them ended or will soon end to being very serious about supporting the hand that feeds them, self-appointed brownie collectors who love to patronise those who feel and probably are freer than them in doing things in many ways, the way they want to, albeit unproductively.

    Perl is probably the last prog. language which prides in "there are many ways to do this". That's great and that's why it attracts those "friendly, non-patronizing or demeaning programmers".

    Now this is my personal opinion and I am not trying to promote anything here. I know a lot of people are sensitive when talking about politics. However, I am talking about economy. In any event, I am sorry if I stepped on some toes with my boots. If it makes you feel better, I have censored myself on the wealth re-distribution issue

Re: Why does it seem as though Perl has the only community of friendly, non patronizing or demeaning, programmers? What is with every one else?
by shmem (Chancellor) on Apr 06, 2018 at 23:45 UTC

    I think that this goes down to the very foundations of perl. Larry Wall invented this language because he had an itch to scratch: composing reports with sed and awk and whatnot was a tedious thing to do, writing report generating tools in C no better. So he invented a tool which "did what he wanted" eliminating boring aspects of C (e.g. malloc() and free(() and such) and, by embracing them, surpassing the limits of sed and awk. Good job, in the perl definition of a good job.

    Things made easy can be made more easy by providing "reasonable defaults", on a per-platform basis, which leads to the concept "DWIM" - Do What I Mean - and which opens programming to the non-programmer.

    I'd say that there are 10 classes of perl people:

    • computer cracks / scientists which love perl for what it is
    • casual or non-programmers which by doing perl gain expertise

    The cracks are polite for what perl is, and because perl demands that polite attitude. The others are humbly polite because they know where they come from. Or not.

    So, except "Or not", we (sorry folks, I just claim that for you) we are per retty open-minded (sometimes with a hole in the head instead), open for other things, but lazy...duh. wrote too much already.

    perl -le'print map{pack c,($-++?1:13)+ord}split//,ESEL'
Re: Why does it seem as though Perl has the only community of friendly, non patronizing or demeaning, programmers? What is with every one else?
by zentara (Archbishop) on Apr 06, 2018 at 18:44 UTC
    Perl programmers are less evil!

    Why?

    Because the money making (greed) and status gaining( pride and envy ) aspects of Perl are pretty slim, and that leaves only one thing to do ..... to be helpful and solve the problem.


    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. ..... an animated JAPH
Re: Why does it seem as though Perl has the only community of friendly, non patronizing or demeaning, programmers? What is with every one else?
by Gavin (Bishop) on Apr 06, 2018 at 18:24 UTC
    Because the majority of Perl Programmers are Gentlemen or Gentleladies by nature.
Re: Why does it seem as though Perl has the only community of friendly, non patronizing or demeaning, programmers? What is with every one else?
by Anonymous Monk on Apr 06, 2018 at 07:36 UTC

    Hi

    I'm not sure that it does

    Every place/thing has its cactuses and its fruit trees

    You can catch everybody on a good day or a bad day

    Some even shape their own reality -- ignore the bad, embrace the good

Re: Why does it seem as though Perl has the only community of friendly, non patronizing or demeaning, programmers? What is with every one else?
by morgon (Priest) on Apr 06, 2018 at 23:38 UTC
    Yeah, great language, even greater community but alas a dying breed it seems.

    Your friendliness and 50 cents may buy you some candy, but that's it I am afraid...

      > friendliness

      Some years ago, there was this infamous video where a Python and a Perl guy where supposed to battle over interview questions at some conference (OSCON?).

      The Perl guy was almost shy while the Python guy aggressively pushed his arguments forward.

      The most memorable part for me was when the Python guy suddenly calmed down and thanked the Perl community for organising the first Python conference ever for them ...

      Cheers Rolf
      (addicted to the Perl Programming Language and ☆☆☆☆ :)
      Wikisyntax for the Monastery

Re: Why does it seem as though Perl has the only community of friendly, non patronizing or demeaning, programmers? What is with every one else?
by trippledubs (Deacon) on Apr 06, 2018 at 19:47 UTC

    because they make it rain having earned greater wealth through superior tools

Re: Why does it seem as though Perl has the only community of friendly, non patronizing or demeaning, programmers? What is with every one else?
by karlgoethebier (Abbot) on Apr 08, 2018 at 10:04 UTC
    "...the only community of friendly, non patronizing or demeaning, programmers"

    Things weren't so good it the past but got slightly better after i joined the monastery AD 2012.

    In other words: It's just a question of strong leadership.

    Best regards, Karl

    «The Crux of the Biscuit is the Apostrophe»

    perl -MCrypt::CBC -E 'say Crypt::CBC->new(-key=>'kgb',-cipher=>"Blowfish")->decrypt_hex($ENV{KARL});'Help

        Finally i'm given appropriate dignity.

        «The Crux of the Biscuit is the Apostrophe»

        perl -MCrypt::CBC -E 'say Crypt::CBC->new(-key=>'kgb',-cipher=>"Blowfish")->decrypt_hex($ENV{KARL});'Help

Re: Why does it seem as though Perl has the only community of friendly, non patronizing or demeaning, programmers? What is with every one else?
by LanX (Cardinal) on Apr 07, 2018 at 14:17 UTC
    3 questions:
    • So you just joined PM to ask this question?
    • How could you know about us if you just joined?
    • Is this some kind of trolling?

    Cheers Rolf
    (addicted to the Perl Programming Language and ☆☆☆☆ :)
    Wikisyntax for the Monastery

      3 answers (solicited from me for being - well duh! - some kind of semi-senior monk)

      • answering this question wouldn't change the value of that question in the least, so no answer; but the best way of coming out is asking an at least mildly interesting question
      • there are many Anonymous Monk subjects swirling in the Oort Cloud around PerlMonks, observing it for years, and some get eventually caught
      • there are many ways of trolling - but if you consider the OP trolling, your notion of trolling might need some revision

      ;-)

      perl -le'print map{pack c,($-++?1:13)+ord}split//,ESEL'

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