I think one of the things to understand here is just how young this community is. Folks like footpad want to understand the Perl Monks Way... and really, there isn't one. Not quite yet. No voting standard is defined; vroom & Co. decided not to hand one down by fiat. Great decision, in my opinion, very Perlish. Let it evolve.
It feels like there's starting to be one, like the collective personality of the community is becoming better defined. And conversations like this one are, I think, really important. Kudos to footpad for asking, and for caring enough about ettiquette to lurk and think.
Anyway... here's an approximation of my ++ voting criteria, in descending order of importance:
I rarely vote people down. Happily, many more things deserve ++ here than --. But I will vote down:
The first of these, I will always vote down. Civility is rare online, and we've got it in abundance. I want it to stay that way.
As footpad pointed out, Laziness is a real judgement call, and I always give the benefit of the doubt. Some people are just beginners, and really need to ask simple questions... and they may not know the right questions to ask, or how to phrase a search in order to get on the right track. Also, if it's going to take you three days to dig up what someone could tell you off the cuff, IMHO you should ask. After all, what couldn't you figure out on your own, given enough time?
Likewise with my lattermost criterion. Non-Perl posts (for instance), in great number, could mess up the site... but a strict Perl-only policy is too austere, and not enough fun for me.
Anyway, many of the questions footpad asked me in private converstation were sensible, but he's right, the answers are not to be found in the site documentation. Hence, I'd like to suggest (and volunteer to write, make suggestions for, edit, whatever) some sort of page like, "Welcome to the Monastery", which would give friendly advice to newcomers... because there's more to getting along here than understanding official policy. The link to such a page should be prominent on the home page if you're not logged in; presently nothing immediately beckons to the newbie whose one thought is "help!"
Also, some means ought, I think, be set up for newbies to get help without bothering everyone. If mail gets implemented, perhaps there could be a volunteer newbie-helper list. Or perhaps a newbie section. Some means by which newcomers can more easily get the hang of things, without disturbing the elder Monks' daily observances.
Please tell me what you think about any aspect of this post.