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How I stopped worrying (and learned to love the downvote)

by hotyopa (Scribe)
on Feb 01, 2001 at 04:59 UTC ( #55620=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

The points had been scarce over the past few weeks. A newbie like myself can't answer too many questions, and since I had been working almost exclusively in VB, I didn't really have any questions myself. As much as I trawled the Newest Nodes section, those XP to get me to level 4 seemed a long way off.

So when I finally got back to the Perl part of my project I was sure that I would quickly hit a question I needed answered, and could pick up a few extra points along the way.

And find a question I did, within about 1 hour of starting back in. So straight to Seekers of Perl Wisdom I went, question formulating in my head. As I was about to type though, I heard a little voice in my head:

"You haven't really looked for the answer yourself, have you?
What if your question was just answered yesterday?
You could end up in Worst Nodes you know.
Do you want to be the next bravismore?"

So, it was off to Super Search. A few nodes later, combined with a few pages from the Camel Book and a screenful of perldoc, an I had solved the problem. And saved vroom a bit of hard drive space.

There has been plenty of discussion about whether the voting system is good or bad. In this instance, I would have to say that I ++ it.


  • Comment on How I stopped worrying (and learned to love the downvote)

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Re: How I stopped worrying (and learned to love the downvote)
by damian1301 (Curate) on Feb 01, 2001 at 05:32 UTC
    Good for you. You can't really find many people as resourceful as you prove yourself to be. I'm awfully glad that you used the Perl documentation. I'm even more happy about how you searched for it and combined your results. That way you learn something while helping another learn.

    You know, you don't always have to answer Perl questions. When I first got here all I did was post in Meditations and Perlmonks Discussion. I got pretty involoved this way and looked over the questions to solve any problems I might have. This is much more efficient then creating a new node.

    So overall, it seems as if you are in a good start here. You have definitely gotten the respect from me as well as other monks. Keep up the good work. :-)

    Wanna be perl hacker.
    Dave AKA damian

    I encourage you to email me
Re: How I stopped worrying (and learned to love the downvote)
by john1987 (Acolyte) on Feb 01, 2001 at 06:36 UTC
    Yo. Don't feel alone as a "newbie" (the word I hate) to Perl. I'm also a "newbie". I relize how hard it is to answer some of these questions. All I have to say to you is to keep your head up fellow monk. And more power to you using the documentation. Never feel alone in the Perl world. Perlmonks is your home for as long as you make it your home. I think I learned about 50% of what I know from Perl from here (the rest is from "Programming Perl, 3rd Edition from Saint Larry Wall). So I encourage you to continue your journey and as one good monk said to me before... "I hope you enjoy you stay". May your stay be plesent and filled with joy.

    One person can change the corse of history. One person can destroy the human race. That one person is out there, I intend to find him.

    My other writings.
      "Perlmonks is your home as long as you make it your home"

      Now those are words of wisdom.


      (the triplet paradiddle)
Re: How I stopped worrying (and learned to love the downvote)
by malaga (Pilgrim) on Feb 01, 2001 at 07:35 UTC
    i'm very new - so new it makes me wince. i spend a lot of time looking for answers before posting here. i try not to do it until i really feel like i have nowhere else to look, or i just can't get the concept. people are so generous with help. so to make sure i'm not being lazy when i ask, i have to pay in situps before i can post. the dumber i am, the flatter my stomach will be. i appreciate this resource very much and don't want to abuse it, but i also realize that one of these days i'll be able to help someone else, so i don't feel so bad.
      With the risk of this becomming an "whip em out and measure who got the smallest." (code that is) I can, with a lot of backing, say that Im the newbiest of all of you. Being a newbie ofcourse means that I still fear the downvote like the nodereaper himself.
      Im so new that I dont even own "Programming Perl", only "Learning Perl" 2ed. That book is by the way pure entertainment to read, just the foreword by Larry Wall is priceless. And it just gets better after that.

      This being my first writeup and all I must say that I think that Perlmonks seems to be one of the best communities when it comes to looking after newbies.
Re: How I stopped worrying (and learned to love the downvote)
by sierrathedog04 (Hermit) on Feb 01, 2001 at 21:53 UTC
    I try to avoid asking questions if I think I know where the answer is. That way I hopefully avoid RTFM (read the fing manual) postings. (Note: to me the FMs are the Camel and Lhama books, not man perl)

    However, I do not also do an exhaustive online search. Obviously there is no piece of Perl wisdom which is exclusively available from If we never asked questions where the answers existed elsewhere then Seekers of Perl Wisdom might have to shut down for lack of activity.

    If you had gone ahead and asked the question that was on your mind, then perhaps you would have come across some additional insight that was not included in the answer that you found elswhere.

    So I say, as long as you make a good faith effort to avoid RTFM postings you should ask away.

by spaz (Pilgrim) on Feb 01, 2001 at 06:51 UTC
    Hey wait a second! You're a scribe and consider yourself a newbie. I'm a scribe and thought I'd finally gotten somewhere.

    What different perceptions of newbie-ness!
      One should notice that one doesn't actually aquire the title of "Monk" until Level 5. I just got there myself (yesterday!) and, really, it's only now that I feel I have a firm grasp on the language and Perlmonks itself. Besides, Scribe to Monk only took me about 2-3 weeks, so it's not really that bad of a wait. Level 6 seems like such a long, long way away though. (^v^)

      Update: I misspoke here. I'm not an expert at this language. 'Firm grasp' means I know where all my resources are and I can use DBI without the manual. 'Newbie' generally implies that one is kinda flailing about to establish oneself in an area that one is completely unfamiliar with. I assume this is mostly a issue between definitions.

      It happened to coincide that last week I started reading some Perldoc things straight through in order to just blatantly broaden my horizons, as opposed to just referencing it for syntax as needed. Then I hit "Monk".

      It is my perception that the crossover between good posting and authoritative posting happens in the Level 5 range. I havn't felt anything that I said was authoritative yet, and it will be another couple of months with the language before I feel that way about any but the 'newbiest' of questions. I speculate this will correspond with the time it takes to make Level 6.


        Well, I am but a few points from level 7 (Friar - or should that be fryer?) I consider myself a beginner. I can hack out some simple programs, but there is still so much I don't understand.

        Once you think that you have nothing else to learn - that is when you will learn nothing else. Keep your mind open - and keep looking and learning.

        I myself am closing in on Monk(5) and feel like a newbie. I've only had my login for 5 weeks but I've followed the site for close to a year and read a lot. I do feel like I have a good command of the language, but everytime I have a question and a search shows me its a 5 line fix it brings me back down to the newbie level all over again.

        I think that says something about the perl language, that since there are some many more ways to do it, there are lots of elegant ways to things that gives it such a flexibility and wide array of uses that we all have a lot to learn.

      Perhaps Socrates put it best:

      "All I know is that I know nothing"


      You base your Perl skill level on experience points? Realize that ANYONE can reach a fairly high level (with lots of experience points) on Perl Monks, Perl programmer or not.
        Don't know if it's kosher to followup on a three year old post, but I ran across this thread looking for advice on how to vote (I recently became and acolyte and I'm trying to figure out what the ground rules of thumb are for voting.) I definitely agree with mothra here. Your position in term of experience points bears little correlation to your actual knowledge of perl.

        It's better to think of experience points as a measure of how long you've been with this site and whether you've used it as intended. On an ongoing basis.

        Personally, I feel my level of Perl knowledge is quite high -- I've been paid to program in perl for about 9 years now and I've learned an awful lot in that time, but I don't feel slighted in the least at being just an acolyte. I haven't been with this site that long and my participation is sporadic at best.

        That's my $0.02.


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