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NOTE: use Perl; is on undef hiatus. You can read content, but you can't post it. More info will be forthcoming forthcomingly.

All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • This argument is meant to compose my thoughts on a possible explanation why the Java user group is much more active than the Perl user group - a mystery that I'd like to solve so I can do something about. It isn't meant to be flame bait thought if you have strong feelings, flame away. However listing all of the reasons I might be wrong isn't helpful to me or anyone. Here are some suggestions for how you might constructively comment on this:

    If not attending is an act of laziness, could it be turned into
    • by warp-9.9 (5035) on 2004.05.02 23:02 (#30527)
      Why bother worrying about it? I don't understand. Meetings are not going to make better programmers. Going [back?] to college is going to teach you more theory, which will make you a stronger programmer. However, school also tends to teach you nothing about practical programming concerns and practices. This is experience is gained by going out on the net, searching, downloading other people's code, reading bug reports, trying software, doing performance tests, weighing features and drawbacks, and if you're working in a group, evaluating the use of administivia and management software, which probably will not even have anything to do with Perl (i.e. CVS). Going to school might even teach someone to use Java, Scheme or Prolog instead of anything "intellectually inferior" that is based off an ad-hoc C language, unstable language definition and many platform dependent issues. ;-) In any case, I can better spend my time in the comfort of my own home, gathering all theknowledge of the world at my fingertips, than going to some meeting where otherpeople happen to be louder, more vociferous, more charismatic, and have their stupid questions answered and idiots sucking up the meeting time. Other people may occasionally be interested in something that I am interested in, but no one is going to be interested in exactly the same things I am interested in, and at the same time, and to the same degree, and have the same amount of free time for research, and same access to all of the internet. When I want to interact with my mind, it's more efficient to look at a conversation online, skip the drivel and slow points, and get right to the important stuff. When I want mindless entertainment that I am not a part of, and not able to control, I watch movies or TV. Meetings fall in the same category. All the travel time is time away from my computer,time changing gears, and all that eats into my time to research or to capture some developing idea down while I am inspired, as my memory of some things may not last 5 minutes, when confronted with all the other stimuli in daily life (phones, doorbells, emails, music,etc.), and my memory most likely will not survive an hour meeting where I am bored, annoyed, stifled, or otherwise afflicted with disinterest. My theory about why Perl programmers do not attend meetings and Java people do is very simple. Java programmers are by their very nature insecure people. They are people who live with great ignorance and fear of the world, and need a rigid set of rules laid out before them to compensate, so that they feel comfortable. The world of rules is sterile of new ideas and stifling to the point of death of the art of programming and innovation. Java people need to put something on their resume which is known in popular culture, though it does little to address their lack of fundamental programming and engineering skills. It makes the management and money-grubbers happy. Money-motivated people who know nothing about technology, and out of fear of losing money, they just go with what is popular, or what someone else advertises better, or creates a slick windows GUI, or implements cathedral-like extreme paranois and control over every aspect of development and deployment. Perl programmers by their nature snub central authority, they promote mind over money, they posess confidence that is unbounded, they fear nothing, and embrace everything in the computing world. They make a set of rules in order to create an intellectual "scaffolding" to perform some work. But the rules are never elevated to dogma, as there is no love of religion, and no love ofauthority, no love of slavery of the mind. The rules are pliable. They may even be changed or rearranged to suit the need of achieving the task more efficiently. Perl programmers code with the idea that "you should stay out of my living room because you were notinvited,not because I have a shotgun." (Paraphrasing a perl doc or book about OOP with Perl, and they were of course making a snide remark about the strictness {to the point of paranoia or being a control freak}, of Java). Perl programmers by contrast measure themselves not by what their bosses might look on a resume or a stats page to report X-number of "certified" programmers to investors, but they measure themselves by personal achievement of themselves or others. This is closer to a meritocracy as opposed to the aristocracy of Java programmers, where the programmers are devalued to the role of serfs for the money-grubbers instead of masters of their own "fate".