I just picked up yet another useless distraction, and I am going to ask you to do the same. Bear with me here:
StackOverflow just opened for business. It’s essentially an advanced form of Perl Monks’ Q&A section, except open to questions for any language – in fact, any programming and programmer topic at all. (Joel Spolksy explains the concept; take a look at that post if this is the first time you are hearing about StackOverflow.)
The site does not have a concept of forums; questions can simply be tagged, and you can filter by tag.
Each tag also has a feed.
You can see where I am going with this.
Here’s the thing: the site has pretty solid traffic already. If it really takes off, a large community of programmers from all walks of coding will wind up there. The Perl community core can either be present there, representing Perl as the excellent language we know it to be, or we can leave Perl’s image to the typical mix of novices, too-clever-by-half coders and CPAN non-users – likely also managing to let Perl look moribund in the same stroke, thus single-handedly reinforcing every common preconception about the language.
This would be an effort along the same lines as PerlBuzz, the claim-your-journal-on-Technorati meme, doing something about the low usefulness of Google searches for [perl blogs] and so on: letting our enthusiasm ring outside the echo chamber.
So let’s do it. Please subscribe to the questions tagged “perl” at StackOverflow and take a peek whenever the fancy strikes you and you have a few minutes to spare. Thank you to everyone who responds.