in reply to Re: What Made the Perl Community Mean Spirited?
in thread What Made the Perl Community Mean Spirited?

OK, its possible I'm suffering from sampling bias that was reinforced by my interpretation of Larry's comments. If its sampling bias then I suspect its due to my attempt to learn some Moose and being exposed to some unlucky interactions with those who go well beyond the relatively benign Tim Toady Bicarbonate attitude into what I can only call haughty idiocy. I don't have an immediate link to the video in which Larry made his comments but it was within the last few years I'm pretty sure. I'll try to dig it out and look at those comments again. My use of Perl goes back to 1993 in a steady stream of projects, but I haven't been that active in the community. The haughty idiocy I ran into with the Moose cult might be explicable if I didn't have the first clue about OO but my background with OO goes back to direct dealings with Xerox PARC in the early 1980s, and I have a conference proceedings signed by Curry, Church and Backus, the latter of whom I did have some professional relations regarding FFP form his Turing Award Lecture -- for a data point on how seriously I've been involved with computer languages. Perhaps I'm behind the times and that's why I'd like to learn Moose.

Update: Larry's talk that got me thinking he saw a need to (gently) admonish the Perl community was "Stranger Than Fact". Reviewing it I can see it being interpreted as a general admonition -- not necessarily reacting to any trends in the Perl community.

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Re^3: What Made the Perl Community Mean Spirited? (haut dolts)
by tye (Sage) on Feb 13, 2015 at 01:05 UTC

    Xerox PARC OO isn't Moose and Moose isn't Xerox PARC OO. So both sides of your interactions might be perceiving or suspecting some idiocy due to significant differences in expectations when talking "OO".

    As for the "haughty", your name dropping makes me suspect that might also be something being perceived/suspected on both sides of your interactions.

    (No, I am not trying to claim that there is no "haughty" nor "idiocy" within some subcult of Moose that you have been interacting with. I actually expect to find a higher quotient of Kool-Aid among Moose officiandos than within the wider Perl community -- though a lower quotient than, say, among Perl::Critic fandom.)

    I recall Larry commenting about not being so rude to newbies and that mostly being in line with more extensive such comments from Casey(?) West (e.g. 74314 or 88284) and that this was, from what I could tell, more about (but not exclusively about) a particular, if popular Perl IRC channel, and that that particular problem was also considered well addressed quite a while ago (though such is never fully addressed where the internet is involved).

    If Larry's comments were significantly more recent than that (as your description clearly claims), then I would guess it was in response to Perl6-related knee-jerk responses that have been evolving into rather nasty trolling. So I doubt that has much to do with your Moose woes.

    Vague and over-broad problem statements often don't lead to answers that address the problem well. I can understand your reluctance to just call out who was rude to you where, when, and how. Actually, I discourage you from doing that. If you can muster the eloquence, then some particulars about "where" might get you better-targeted answers without earning you much pay-back, though.

    - tye        

      It's hard to see yourself the way others see you, but I do recall one of my experiences of a Moose maven in IRC being so obviously aggressive that all I could say was "My, my..." and eventually others had to step in and _very_ gingerly -- lest they incur his wrath -- assert that maybe I wasn't just a know-nothing idiot. This wasn't the only unpleasantness in the Moose IRC channel I encountered but it was one of the earliest and most obviously, to me, unprovoked.

      There is a sense in some particularly ego-attached to Moose (as with any theoretic construct) that even an ignorant question honestly asked about how one can go about doing something that isn't well supported by Moose _must_ be indicative of a lack of understanding of basic principles of programming or something. This isn't the way to make friends and influence people.

      I've tried dealing with this by presenting as obsequiously as I can without sounding sarcastic -- and been criticized, in a rather inflammatory manner, for that too.

      Its hard to know how to disarm these environments.

        So your post would have more aptly been titled "What Made Individuals in the Moose irc Channel Mean Spirited?" ?

        Some perspective on irc ...

        I used to chuckle at that article, because I've seen that html/regex thing come up a million times ...

        its very different when the topic isn't as clear cut as html/regex and its you getting this level of irc welcome

        irc, its like a pressure cooker around somebody elses living room ... not where I turn for programming help )

Re^3: What Made the Perl Community Mean Spirited?
by marto (Cardinal) on Feb 13, 2015 at 10:54 UTC

    Thanks for your reply. I'm pretty sure I'm preaching to the choir here, but it's worth while taking a step back and reminding ourselves how tribal humans are. Unfortunately I think some of the responses to your question highlight this, some dismissive replies, and (while it's not worth being concerned about, though I appreciate the uninitiated may find this disheartening) a negative post reputation.

    While I have no experience of Moose and I don't know the individuals who are involved in that side of things I have experienced similar treatment elsewhere, albeit outside the Perl community. In my experience the perl community (blogs, mailing lists & forums, I have no Perl related IRC experience) is far friendlier and more helpful than any other.

    The post linked to here is an interesting example. There are cultural differences and language barriers which often contribute to people becoming frustrated. To quote MST:

    "Sometimes people just don't listen to polite. Sometimes making somebody angry is an effective way to get their attention."

    While I'm not in complete agreement, sometimes (for example, someone asking the same thing 10 times while ignoring the answer/requests for clarification of the problem) being blunt (while accurate, and without being deliberately offensive) rather than continue to regurgitate the same response can has a positive effect.

    Your experience isn't limited to Moose, or IRC though I think you're more likely to find that sort of thing in "quick fire" environments like IRC/chat rooms. While I'm sure that you're well aware of all this, there are other contributing factors to this problem:

    • A lot of people are terrible at asking questions, or asking for help. Some people lose patience when frequently having to explain to others how they should ask for help, or how best to get the answers they need/expect. A language barrier may also contribute to this.
    • Stress & fatigue. People often aren't great at recognising the tell take signs of such things which can result in a lapse in normal good behaviour.
    • Tribal behaviour. As touched on previously. Every tribe has sub tribes. Perl has Moose, Perl::Critic, Perl 6 and so on. People can be very defensive of their tribe which often results in outsiders being put off contributing or asking for help. Equally each tribe seems to have their trolls, some of whom may feel that their aggressive objections are a positive contribution. You can see a little of this in some of the reactions to your question.
    • "Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays"(warning, YouTube link). People have bad days, for whatever reason. On occasion the behaviour of someone you know to be otherwise exemplary may seem out of character due to a variety of unrelated issues.

    I feel it's important to remind ourselves that none of this is specific to the Perl community. I will watch the Larry talk you link to over the weekend if I have time. Finally I'm sorry if this seems like a rambling of truisms which you already know. On occasion reading or being told something I already know helps me to keep things in context.