Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
Perl Monk, Perl Meditation

time for new highs?

by jptxs (Curate)
on Jan 14, 2001 at 03:44 UTC ( [id://51659]=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

reflecting on my status here at PM compared to my actual bulk of knowledge and having spoken with many in the CB about how quickly they too feel they've risen high in the ranks unfairly, I am thinking it may be time for new levels to be tacked on up top. Not saying we need to restructure the current system or shuffle around the status of those who are already here. What I suggest is topping things off with a few new levels. maybe add 'angel', 'god', 'demi-god', 'idol' - that sort of thing. The name would not be as important as the idea that the gaps would grow tremendously. Perhaps having the gap between saint and the next level being 5000 XP. Then have it be 10,000 XP then 20 and so on. Basically, make sure that the people who are raking in the advances are being ranks accordingly and that those of us who just hang around a lot, vote and say entertaining things in the CB aren't being ranked with the truly great.

What are your thoughts?

"A man's maturity -- consists in having found again the seriousness one had as a child, at play." --Nietzsche

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
(Ovid - Black Diamond revisited) Re: time for new highs?
by Ovid (Cardinal) on Jan 14, 2001 at 10:01 UTC
    I rather happen to like this idea. I realize that I have a lot of XP, but that is due in large part to my contributions to the Monastery and not due to my Perl skill. So all things considered, while I do feel that I have earned my "Sainthood", I do worry that it may unfairly represent my Perl skill as being higher than it actually is. This, of course, raises another issue that I've been giving a lot of thought to lately.

    Many of us are familiar with merlyn's /(?:in)?famous/ comment "You must be 'this high' to program Perl." Frankly, I think he is correct, but not necessarily for the reasons that others may think.

    Perl is an easy language to learn. It is not an easy language to learn well (quick - what problems arise with Carp when multiple objects inherit from the same base class?). Since Perl allows the programmer to have a great deal of control -- and doesn't do a lot of hand-holding -- many inexperienced programmers shoot themselves in the foot repeatedly with the language. Unfortunately, it's so easy to create those oh-so-sexy dynamic Web pages with Perl that many people are attracted to language. This causes a problem: many people who don't know how to program learn Perl.

    I'm sure many of us have heard about Matt's Script Archive. His scripts, while they seem "professional" to the inexperienced eye (hence his popularity), are terrible. Even when he patches yet another security hole, more crop up. He commits all of the cardinal sins of Perl/CGI programming, yet people keep using his stuff because they don't know any better.

    So what the heck does this have to do with my Perl ability? Simple: there are so many people who use Perl that I definitely consider myself one of the better Perl programmers. I say this in interviews and can generally back it up. Yet amongst those who have a serious programming background, I am definitely a middle-of-the-road Perl programmer, no question about it. By the first category, I deserve to be a Saint. By the second, maybe a Monk. If you're familiar with the seven stages, I think I'm about the "Perl adept" level. So am I "this high" and can I program Perl? Yeah, I think I'm there, but I used to not be.

    This is all a roundabout way of getting to my point. Those monks who think they haven't earned their 'points' are wrong. It's not just Perl skill, it's contribution to the Monastery. Heck, as of this writing, my third and fourth highest rated posts are Before You Post ... and Eulogy for the chatterbox respectively. Neither of those deals with Perl. Frankly, I was embarrassed by this, but fortunately, my two highest rated posts are now both very Perl-centric (and this just happened in the last week!).

    In short, don't feel guilty for earning XP. It's not just about Perl, it's also about the community. If all you know is how to write simple scripts, but you help others with those, that's fine.

    But I'd still like to have more levels :)


    Join the Perlmonks Setiathome Group or just click on the the link and check out our stats.

      This is all a roundabout way of getting to my point. Those monks who think they haven't earned their 'points' are wrong. It's not just Perl skill, it's contribution to the Monastery.

      Indeed. Don't forget, seeking wisdom can be rewarded as much as giving it -- as well it should be. Good questions involve thought, for both the questioner and those who would answer. A good question serves more than just the asker, and it serves more than just those with similar questions who don't ask them. It also serves everyone else who might also *know* the answer to then get exposed to additional answers and approaches.

      To be honest, if I were to voice a moderation/voting suggestion (and I guess I'm about to) it would be that ++ votes on top level 'seekers' posts should have a slighly higher probability of garnering XP in recognition of the fact that good questions (at all levels) are the driving force behind the sharing of knowledge. The only downside of higher XP's I can envision is that some might still view XP as a knowledge indicator and once they reach a certain point they may be too embarrassed to ask a seemingly 'simple' question that any <insert level here> monk should know. More recognition of questions might help alleviate any such potentially stifling effect.

      $0.03 (Cdn.)
        I wholly agree. It seems that maybe a +=2 option for each new topic might be a simple mechanism for "extra" recognition of the inherent need (&& benefit to all by reward && open encouragement) of well thought, described, && intentioned questions.

        I don't thinq I said that well but I'm (ironically) not sure how to be articulate && concise. I'm trying to lern this difficult skill myself. Anyways, it might also be nice to simply allow any Monk to go to their settings && remove some of their own XP permanently in case they personally feel misrepresented or even just wish to be able to ascend through the levels again. This wouldn't require altering the system as established && could be a sort of honorable option... maybe. TTFN.

        p.s. Initiate Nail Removal Immediately!
        "++ votes on top level 'seekers' posts should have a slighly higher probability of garnering XP..."

        I follow your logic and good intent, danger, but that looks like it would *compound* the issue raised by jptxs at the root of this thread.

        Indeed, I have been somewhat embarrassed at advancing beyond Monk(5), knowing that my Perl ability will likely never be more than "understands and applies the fundamentals".   But I make a point of not hiding that fact, and do what I can to contribute to vroom's fine Monastery.   Mostly that means trying to formulate good questions, voting to encourage positive posts, and enjoying the site's comraderie.

        So...   if PM's levels were to be extended or restructured, I'll still be able to do those same things, whether it's as "Pontiff ybiC the router guy" or as "Zapped back to Scribe where he belongs ybiC".   8^D
            striving for Perl Adept
            (it's pronounced "why-bick")

Re: time for new highs?
by extremely (Priest) on Jan 14, 2001 at 04:05 UTC
      Don't get me wrong, either. I know this has been dicussed before. This is just the kind of thing I like to revisit - feelings can change and there has been a whole lot of new people coming in. I'm an optimist and I think if this comes up enough and enough people want it, it will happen.
      "A man's maturity -- consists in having found again the seriousness one had as a child, at play." --Nietzsche
Re: time for new highs? ($XP !eq 'Perl expertise')
by ybiC (Prior) on Jan 15, 2001 at 03:41 UTC
    This topic pops up occasionaly, and seems to keep boiling down to the same things:
    • PM XP doesn't equate tightly to Perl abilities.
    • Testing Perl ability is subjective at best, wildly inaccurate at worst.
    • Testing Perl ability appears to be beyond vroom's intent for PM.
    • PM XP does reflects some rough mix of a monk's:
      1. Site contribution
      2. Site participation
      3. Perl expertise
      4. Longevity at PM
    • Hang out a bit and you quickly figure out who to respect and who has expertise in what realms.
    I'm not holding my breath for vroom or monks like merlyn, tilly, etc. to volunteer to judge their fellow monks' competance.   Testing just doesn't seem too likely here.

    The last time I felt unworthy of my rank, an elder monk said some of the above, followed by (and I quote)"Get used to it!"   Mind you, I'm not comparing myself to any of our recognized Perl geniuses, just relaying what was told me. 8^)
        striving for Perl Adept
        (it's pronounced "why-bick")

Re: time for new highs?
by mp3car-2001 (Scribe) on Jan 14, 2001 at 06:45 UTC
    I can see reasons for and against this. I'm still a novice(2), and I get a kick out of knowing that I'll soon be an acolyte(3). It gives me a tangible goal to work for and make good posts. It would be good to give Merlyn and others who are at or approaching Sainthood reason to continue their quest to higher recongnition. On the other end, the stats page still says who is top dog, and if you've made it to being a Saint(10), your a great person and obviously good and perl, and for most people that would be enough motivation to stay around longer. Then again, maybe we should ask Merlyn his thoughts?
      Personally, I don't need a higher level to want to continue to contribute here. Wouldn't do a thing for me.

      I won't speak for any of the other saintstm though.

      -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker

        You've put too much in for far too long for anyone to believe less. In fact, it is people like you and TomC who kept me interested in Perl long enough to make it a major aspect of my career. In all the time I've been on the web and in all the languages and other hobbies I've taken up, I've never found a culture quite like the Perl one.

        Maybe we should recommend just the opposite, anyone who makes some N times saint votes should be frozen publically, or maybe at 10K votes? Make the point that you've all done so much that what your current karma is doesn't matter...

        OTOH, I'm pretty sure we can't trademark "Saint". =)

        $you = new YOU;
        honk() if $you->love(perl)

        So, why do you hang around? What motivates you?

        (Note to whoever creates the polls: has there been a poll on this, "Why do you visit the Perlmonks website?" If not, maybe there should be. I'll be the first to answer.

        I check out the site because:
        - it makes me laugh
        - it makes me cry
        - it makes me smart
        - it makes me realize what some of the dumb things I do (programatically speaking)

(crazyinsomniac) Re: time for new highs?
by crazyinsomniac (Prior) on Jan 14, 2001 at 18:36 UTC
    I pretty much agree with everything everyone said in this node. I myself am @ level 7 now and can't remember what it is half the time, like now. Why am I at this level is not because of my 'perl' knowledge or my contribution to the monastery. I am an abbot(i looked it up) because i'm here everyday, i read a lot of posts, try to spend all my votes, and i occasionally have a good(1 on the + side) post. Do i deserve it, yes i do.

    My suggestion is, instead of adding a +2 option or new levels, is to add a 'user settings' options which will allow anyone visiting your home node to view a breakdown of xp -2- posts ratio for each of the 'frontpage nodes' excluding of course 'newest nodes', 'the monastary gates', 'library' and maybe 'perl news'. This will give 'everybody' a better of idea, if a monk chooses so, of what that monk is capable of.

    IMHO This should be a monk+ feature, seeing how it's the first big level, at which you have 'considerable' xp.

    Kon-gra-chu-la-sh-ions ev'ree-bo-Dy %!)

    "cRaZy is co01, but sometimes cRaZy is cRaZy".
                                                          - crazyinsomniac

Re: time for new highs?
by coreolyn (Parson) on Jan 14, 2001 at 19:44 UTC

    Just a couple of weeks ago I was in the CB discussing the same issues, and I was uncomfortable that my Monk level was not reflective of my (low) Perl skillset. Like any computer game it was fairly simple to see how to go up levels with only minimal growth in Perl. After serious meditation the way to fix my discomfort was to spend more time improving my Perl skills (the silly Dice::Die project) then I spent contributing to the monastery. My daily XP's definately reflects this change of approach, and in it's way the site is challeging me to improve in Perl. I still spend my votes everyday so I continue to move slowly up the ladder but I'm gaining real life XP by working to get my skills where I think they should be for my level.

    That being said a couple of perlmonk thoughts have crossed my mind as I've studied.

      Saints (or above:) should have access to a second voting system that reflects there opinion of the Perl skill level expressed by any given post. This vote would be unrelated to XP's and would be reflected on a persons home node.
      It would also be nice to 'pay' for opinions with XP's. Consider my Dice::Die work. From the point of view of garnishing attention or XP's, this node sucks. tilly took real time away from more 'poplular' nodes to help me out, and I've gained immeasurably from it. It seems to me that if there was a way to offer say 50 of my XP for any Saints response it would provide several interesting side effects:

        A vehicle for keeping XP's more in line with a monks Perl skillset

        An incentive for Saints to take on more 'droll' nodes

        Gives a monk more incentive to keep involved in the Monastery activities so as to be able to afford advice.

    coreolyn -Two cents is worth at the least two cents.

      As Randal said, I don't need more XP or a higher level. The point system and levels are a game. Not a competitive one, just a fun one. I get nothing for it other than being at the top of the list of people logged in. When I look at the scoreboard I have 4 people in front of me. One of whom I am probably going to pass when he has to take significant time off of PerlMonks to get set up in Europe, another being far enough ahead of me that I will not get close to him for a very long time if ever, and the remaining two I am not catching. This one because he gets XP faster than I do, and that one because he controls the whole system.

      No, I answer questions because I find them interesting to answer and because I think that they help others. The questions that you asked were more fun to answer than the majority of the, "How do I do X?" questions out there. However because it happened in a buried conversation, not many are going to read it.

      A bigger need IMO than finding ways to give away more XP is to find ways to direct newcomer's attention towards some of the top discussions that have already happened in the past. (A lot of home nodes do this informally. Perhaps that is enough.)

Re: time for new highs?
by 2501 (Pilgrim) on Jan 14, 2001 at 22:39 UTC
    It appears as if the common worries are:

    A) People worried they are a higher level that their level is not representative of their knowledge (we won't get into the whole what you know vs. what you deserve thing)

    B) People who have so much experience that others fear they will leave from a lack of stimulation/challenge

    What I would propose is the creation of a Perl Monks Aptitude Test OPTIONALLY run by those who would fall into catagory B. Their advanced knowledged more then qualifies them to come up with the appropriate catagories. They have also been answering questions for lower levels (basically most everbody) that with some thought and research they could probably define "average knowledge" of any given level.

    This test could OPTIONALLY be taken and be made OPTIONALLY viewable to the public from your home node.
    This way, people who feel the need to display their worth strictly in programming theory and perl syntax can have that option. A PERLish counting coup so to speak.

    A well thought out test would not only be challenging to create, fine tune, and score, but it would also appease those who feel they don't belong in the level they are at.
    Just keep in mind the goal is maximum amount of fun and community involvement.

    Thanks for your time,
(jptxs) Re: time for new highs?
by jptxs (Curate) on Jan 14, 2001 at 21:06 UTC
    Reading through the responses in this thread and through the other threads mentioned here I wondered if it wouldn't be appropriate to add a new indicator for XP. Perhaps somthing in the spririt of Perl Adept or Brainbench where we could post some perl based challenges. Passing those challenges could give you XP, but what level of challenge you've been able to meet could also be recorded on a users homenode.

    the tests could be in the spirit of Challenges and JCWren Programming Challenge - Win a Perlmonks T-Shirt! - but obviously with a different end in mind.

    most of the posts here have had the common thread that some monks basically feel that they may misrepresent their perl skill through their high level. I think this is something which could sit beside the XP system but be a true indicator of actual perl skill.

    A second thought which I had was that we could have a 'skills matrix' on our home node indicating what we are good at (CGI, DBI, XML, etc.). That too could act as a guide to others as to when we're making good guesses or speaking from hard-earned eXPerience. ( I may put this on my home node quite soon )

    "A man's maturity -- consists in having found again the seriousness one had as a child, at play." --Nietzsche

Log In?

What's my password?
Create A New User
Domain Nodelet?
Node Status?
node history
Node Type: monkdiscuss [id://51659]
Approved by root
and the web crawler heard nothing...

How do I use this?Last hourOther CB clients
Other Users?
Others sharing their wisdom with the Monastery: (4)
As of 2024-04-25 13:27 GMT
Find Nodes?
    Voting Booth?

    No recent polls found