I'm sure most of you are familiar with the debates which have consumed the Perl community lately. I really don't want to get into that other than to say that supporters on all sides have valid reasons for their views and everyone has something to contribute. Rather than speculate on what some problems are -- oh, and believe me, I can! -- I think what's more important is to figure out how to obtain information relevant to these considerations. In fact, I have several "perceptions" I think need to be better understood.
How did these perceptions arise? What is the source of them? Are people merely parroting what they've heard or do they have first-hand experience? What would it take to change people's minds?
These perceptions are a few things I hear constantly from those outside of Perl. Inside of Perl, we have different perceptions, but outside of Perl, I hear wildly different stories. Many of those stories don't match my experiences (see item #6 above), but in order to understand where the perception problem is coming from, it would be useful to better understand why people have these ideas (rather than play "pin the tail on the scape goat").
What I am thinking would be useful is for someone with some expertise in creating surveys to figure out a way to start collecting this information. So when I created the testing survey, there was a lot of fascinating information, but given my lack of expertise in creating surveys, it was rather limited (brian d foy helped quite a bit in expanding that survey beyond my initial questions).
I'm very keen on understanding the perceptions that programmers and organizations have about Perl. If we identify strong, persistent currents in thought, that might give us a clue as to what a good way forward would be. A lot of people are making blanket assertions about what Perl needs for the future. Some are quite reasonable (how do we tighten up the P5P development process), but many are based on hunches (Perl definitely needs to do X!!!).
Anyone interested in picking up this gauntlet and trying to better understand what we need to do? (This would involve potentially surveying companies in addition to individuals).