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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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    • I think I better write down my idea.

      Take one of the web sites related to the Perl community and send out a call to the Open Source Web Designers [oswd.org] to create a design for it. Hopefully you get several suggestions. You pick one. You go.

      You get a nice custom made site.
      The designer gets a site that is (or will be) seen by many people and is linked to his site promoting him/her.

      We can start with the the one [perlide.org].

      --
  • We throw around words like "Modern" and "Enlightened" and "Directory of Marketing" because they are the best we can do, because we don't know how to name things well.

    IMHO, "we" throw around these terms because they have positive connotations with no denotations -- i.e. they are standard marketing claptrap. If you have a specific idea for how you want Perl to change, you christen it "Good Perl" or something, then repeat that term endlessly. One of these days, after I decide what I want Perl to become, I'll

    • [They] are standard marketing claptrap.

      I don't speak for any "we" but the editorial we, but I like the term "Modern Perl" because I like pointing to well-written code which takes advantage of the CPAN and community idioms and features added to Perl in the past decade to solve problems elegantly and maintainably and having a concise, memorable term to use to distinguish it from bad code poorly thrown together with no sense of design, little understanding of Perl's strengths and weaknesses, and no intent fo

      • Ignoring the marketing claptrap comments, my only criticism of "Englightened" and "Modern" are that as an adjective they aren't self-evident.

        Modern Bride Magazine? OK, I can see what that might be, even though I'm not a bride.

        Modern Perl? Without knowing Perl already, it's not something that says much.

        • Without knowing Perl already, it's not something that says much.

          I'm not sure any adjective would be self-evident to people unfamiliar with Perl. I suppose we could characterize them by Perl 5 release version number, but that has obvious flaws. We could use "circa 1999" or "circa 2004" to describe the code, but that's clunky.

          "Modern" and "enlightened" and "Renaissance" all connote visible differences between eras. That's an interesting convergence around a narrative metaphor: effective and elegant Perl

      • I don't particularly care what other people use as a name, whether Enlightened or Modern or Maintainable or Good or whatever.

        Try "chromatic's," or "strict and warnings and Moose," or (I guess) "rakudo." My point, which seems to have sadly been lost, is that "meaningless-positive-adjective Perl" is standard marketing bullshit, and implicitly assumes that your audience is a pack of semi-morons. It's no better than "Enterprise Perl Bean Solutions." Please don't do that.

        • I don't see it as "meaningless-positive-adjective" perl, so much as "memorable-succinct-suggestive-adjective" perl.

          A "name" has to serve a lot of purposes.  If it is too long and unmemorable (strict and warnings and Moose Perl) it is not a name but a description.  The name does *not* have to be the description, it just has to be suggestive enough that, once someone learns the description the name will an easy to remember tag that quickly reminds them of the description.  It also is a bug adva
          • The name does *not* have to be the description, it just has to be suggestive enough that, once someone learns the description the name will an easy to remember tag that quickly reminds them of the description.

            Agreed. But to retain some credibility, the name should be both descriptive and value-neutral. "Extreme Programming" and "Waterfall Programming" both succeed because they describe the relevant processes without claiming that they are either good or bad. "Perl" and "Linux" do as well, to some extent

      • > I don't speak for any "we" but the editorial

        He means the words (plural), not the people

  • For those that would like to read a bit about marketing I would recommend Made to stick [madetostick.com]. It is a great guide about how to create marketing messages. It is built around a comprehensive list that I copy here, but it is really worth reading the whole book.
    • Simple
    • Undexpected
    • Concrete
    • Credible
    • Emotional
    • Story

    For the explanation see excerpts [madetostick.com].

  • You make a good point. But you also seem to be confusing design with marketing - they are not one and the same thing. I know they are related, but just because someone has an eye for visual design does not mean they automatically make a good candidate for marketing perl. That said, it is also clear that many of the key perl-related websites look shockingly amateur-ish (look at the state of this place!) and would benefit from some quality design input.
    • Yeah - marketing is a broader term than advertising. It is not only about communicating - it is also defining the audience - i.e. finding the market for the product, finding out where it can be the most useful.
  • So lets stop this bumbling conversation and do what we do best.

    No. How's that for a clear-cut response? :)

    If you don't want to participate in understanding the perception issue, or if you think this has no value, or if you think you already know the answers, that's OK. I realize plenty of people have one (or more) of those opinions. You don't have to help if you don't want to, but please don't tell others not to try.

    • > If you don't want to participate in understanding the perception issue.

      Whether I want to participate or not is irrelevant. When Gabor started Padre he didn't say "I want to participate in making an great IDE". He simply wanted a great IDE, and he knew that to achieve that he needed to recruit people better than him at producing what he wanted.

      Go watch his talk. His attitude there is what has made him such a good project leader for Padre.

      http://yapc.tv/2008/ye/lt/lt2-07-gabor-padre/ [yapc.tv]

      What he is doing ther

      • OK, now I better understand what you're saying. However, what I'm saying is that we need information and we're the domain experts in the problems we're trying to solve. I also have said several times that we're not qualified to do the actual research. We're qualified to figure out our own goals and contribute expert knowledge on what we might need to make those goals happen. I thought I made that clear a few times, particularly when I wrote [perl.org]:

        I doubt many of us are experts in market research but maybe someone is and is willing to volunteer services? Maybe we can team up with another open-source group to facilitate this? Maybe we can find a university teaching marketing and propose an interesting research project and domain expertise? Do we have contacts for any of this?

        I've done enough research into this to know that it's unlikely

  • By the way, I realize that my answer might have sounded harsh, even with the smiley. I really, really value the things you've done for the Perl community (remember when people were telling you that you were wasting your time trying to parse Perl?). I just want to try a different approach. I concede that it might fail, but I promise not to take too much of the community down with me :)

  • Great conversation here. Glad that people are willing to engage in it thoughtfully. (Many thanks to Alias for the conversation starter.)

    @ educated_foo [perl.org]: The reality is that people are using Ruby, and Rails, for more than just scripting up "shiny-looking web page with minimal effort." (I'll concede the point about DHH's hair.) They're using it for all kinds of crazy stuff, like writing desktop applications and large-scale messaging services like Twitter. (All things that Perl can do equally well.)

    Regardless, I

    --
    Keeping technology simple since 2003
    • > I've heard it argued that the Perl community doesn't really want an avalanche of new people -- signal-to-noise and all that garbage.

      Really? Who? Where? I'll go and smack them in the face.

      > However, if we want to see those showcase sites, and applications, running Perl

      And the scary thing is, we do run those sites.

      IMDB, Amazon, Yahoo, DoubleClick, LiveJournal, The BBC, the... er... world's biggest... um... porn site (YouPorn).

      > It's the marketing "claptrap," it's the shiny-looking Web sites...

      Half

      • I think we could use some good blogs on marketing and visual vs. functional design, etc. A website dedicated to grinding this particular ax would welcome. Articles in a well read online publication would be excellent. Ignorance can be cured.

        Some of what needs to be done, may appear as simple window dressing. But a consistent style guide and resources for building Perl websites that would like to use it would be great.

        There are a lot of unorganized efforts out there. Things like making it easier to install

    • Desktop applications? I haven't seen any yet (I don't count web apps), so can you point me in the right direction?

      AFAIK, Twitter is just a shiny web app that throws a lot of servers at a problem. Other than the web interface, it seems like the whole thing could be done with text files and a UDP server. Rails actually seems like a terrible fit for what Twitter is doing; it seems better suited for the simple, low-traffic web interfaces that most small businesses want than for a high-traffic buffered mess

      • I expect Perl 6 will fail because it's not directed at an actual problem....

        361 problems Perl 6 addresses (non-exhaustive list) [perl.org]

        • Just to take one example, "the AUTOLOAD subroutine should be able to decline a request" may be a shortcoming of the Perl language, and may annoy some Perl programmers, but it's not a "problem" in the sense I intended. "I need to offer my company's widgets for sale on the web" is a problem. "I need to convert this UniProt file to FASTA" is a problem. If you design a programming language while thinking about programming languages, you get Scheme.

  • As much as I think a more a uniform style and message would be great for Perl, I also think that releasing and marketing an application that non-Perl people would find cool and useful could do as much to fix Perl's image problem as anything else.

    After using this fictional application, a user might see that it is written in Perl and think "Hey, I didn't know that Perl can do that". They might then look at the source code and think, "Hey, this isn't the same ugly Perl that I remember from the mid 90s."

    A good