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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Indeed. I started putting author pictures in TPR for just that reason. It's not that people were sending me hate mail or anything, but a lot of people responded positively to the extra human touch. (That, along with using real names, is really important to people outside the "community").

    When I was running a compnay in new york, I found stock photos of women to put next to our customer service people who handled problems through email. They operated under pseudonyms (nicks, handles, whatever) and were mostly nice men, but we saw a remarkable lessening of abuse towards them when the customers thought they were women. I didn't try to counter-experiment of using men's photos to see if there was a similar effect because I thought part of the problem was the male customers feeling like they had to prove themselves in some version of a big dick contest over who knew more technology. I had a couple of customers try to flirt with me even though their problem was already fixed. :)

    Along with that, I've been cultivating a "brian is a dumbass" sorta attitude because I noticed that newbies were sorta reticent to call me on things, or suggest changes to a module, and so on. Some of the email I get goes on for a full screen apologizing for daring to question me, or even calling me all sorts of vile things because some module I wrote five years ago is stupid (and they think I did that just to hurt them). I make mistakes and am often wrong, so I hope that when people see me talking about that about myself, they'll think I'm more approachable, open to patches, not necessarily wishing them grief, and so on. It's hard to say if that's worked because new people still seem to start off thinking the guy on the other end is an asshole.
    • Along with that, I've been cultivating a "brian is a dumbass" sorta attitude because I noticed that newbies were sorta reticent to call me on things, or suggest changes to a module, and so on.

      I want to say, first of all, that you are not doing a good job getting us newbies to think you are a "dumbass". Second of all, I think there is this air of untouchability about the "famous" in the Perl circles. I have found though, that when I do interact with the Perl big wigs, hey are a great bunch of people.

      I

      • I think there is this air of untouchability about the "famous" in the Perl circles.

        Pick a subject you know well. Go back and read about its earliest practicioners. If the subject is old enough you will find, without exception, brilliant people, highly regarded by their peers, making what we today would consider dumbass mistakes. Computer programming -- and computer science in general -- is a very young field. Everyone is making dumbass mistakes. One day, far in the future, college professors will s