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Re: Perlmonk's "best pratices" in the real world

by AidanLee (Chaplain)
on Nov 13, 2003 at 17:56 UTC ( #306872=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Perlmonk's "best pratices" in the real world

...and i'd bet that that scares off a lot of perl-coders that are slightly under my level, since it obviously takes a while to understand all those recommendations, and to appreciate them, and because they usually kill that BASICesque 'look, ma! my program is asking me for my name! tomorrow i'll program strong AI!' feeling that coding-toddlers love (and need) so much.

This is probably the single most important point of your post, as I see it. Although I'll confess to having been less than active with the PM community over the the last year or so, I know that myself and my fellow monks can certainly drown the uninitiated in well-meaning advice they aren't always ready for. And we don't even necessarily do it with an understanding tone. After you've posted the solution for the same problems a dozen times over, it can be easy to slip into a bit of indignation.

online developer communities tend to be rather DIY, sink or swim. They expect the petitioner to do as much legwork as they possibly can both before arriving with a question, and also in understanding the answers provided. While Perlmonks is quite good ad minimizing the latter, advanced programmers can often forget that there were two dozen steps between the question posed and the answer they give.

There also tends to be an awful lot of exposition (in the form of long-term collective experience) behind the mantras of 'use this', 'use that' which would be impractical to post more than once or twice. This is really where initiates need to do their homework. The answer to "why" can usually be answered much more thoroughly by the community's experiences (accessed through the handy search function) than by the monk who just answered your question.

I can't personally come to appoligize for the "do your homework" attitude, as I think it is a good one. Encouraging inquisitiveness is, IMHO, important to helping an initiate programmer to learn to fish, as the proverb goes. As perrin rightly points out, being a monk isn't a paid position.

I also think that handing our initiate their fishing pole and pointing them at the river needn't be accompanied by a kick in the butt to get them moving. Post Tone is a much debated topic in any forum, no less so here. It is ultimately up to the individual monk to decide how they formulate their posts. Hopefully the community as a whole will still be percieved as a welcoming place. I do believe that every monk answering questions wants to help the petitioner become the best programmer they can be.

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