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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I think most people, including me, are going to "Marketing Campaign" and think that means spending money on advertising.

    It doesn't have to.

    I, personally, think there's a lot of value in just doing the survey part. Just knowing which issues are hurting us the most makes it easier for us to fix the right problems.

    Imagine what would happen if we did a "Try Perl at" or "Try Perl at" today? If we were to spend a hypothetical million dollars on Magazine, TV and Radio, would we actually be in any

    • Marketing could mean money, but it doesn't have to. Frankly, most Perl people aren't marketing people, so we really don't know what's involved, but something as silly as putting up a "I'm Java/I'm Perl" videos on Youtube might take off. Lots of marketing seems to be throwing lots of stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks. I'm quite happy for us to try and figure out marketing which doesn't cost money, but I also don't think that spending money for long term gain would necessarily be bad. It would just

      • I've been thinking about what we could do as programmers to help the marketing side of things and I think I have an idea. Lots of people come into a new language because they want to hack on some system/program written in that language and the cooler and "prettier" the app, the more people that use it and want to hack on it.

        So I think the best thing that us programmers can do for Perl's image (5 & 6) is to write some killer programs. Not cool CPAN modules (which are only visible inside our little bubble

        • We’d also need real designers doing real design

          This precise utterance is actually the reason why Perl applications don’t have good design.

          I appear to be one of few Perl programmers who have any direct appreciation (if not particularly great skill) at design. In contrast, both PHP and Rails are infested with these people. I have seen reams of postings about typography out of the Ruby people I follow, f.ex., and not a single thing about it from a Perl person, if memory serves.

          And that means whatever full-fledged web apps these people write, they’re going to look at least passable, out of the box; even if the developers themselves are not great designers, they’ll know to build their apps from things that give them good defaults, and they’ll be able to tell better design or a small improvement when it comes along.

          In contrast, the Perl community reminds me of what Paul Graham once wrote about American car companies: because the executives had no taste themselves, they didn’t know how to tell who to hire to make tastefully designed cars, either. If you have no sense for design, you can’t tell who is a good designer. And Perl does not have a culture of appreciating design. This “we need real designers so they can put a good coat of painting on our crud” mentality is perfectly symptomatic of that.

          Frankly, I feel pessimistic about fixing this. You can’t suddenly imbue a culture with a sense for design when it has never cared about design or had any appreciation for it.

          And I agree that it’s a huge reason for the marketing problems that Perl is having: Perl stuff looks ugly.

          The few Perl things that don’t, don’t advertise Perl as being a primary ingredient of theirs. The only exception I can readily think of are the SixApart applications, but I bet that even then, only MovableType is widely associated with Perl – and MT’s sun has long set.