This column maintains that the culture surrounding Perl has been
brutal where newbies are concerned. There are broader lessons to be
found here: "It has been the general opinion of the open-source
community that, if you can't find the answers yourself, you're
lost. Read the documentation, if there is no documentation, read
the source. If there is no source, you've stepped out of the world
as we know it. If you're a greenhorn and you can't figure it out
from the docs or the source, goodbye. And not just goodbye, but a
plague on your house as well."
"The Perl community has held tight to a "zero
tolerance" policy for beginners. The transition to a more
accepting, responsible community has begun. The past is behind us
and the future looks brighter.
As far back as I can remember, asking a question that has been
answered before is one of the many deadly sins of the Perl
community. The general attitude revolved around, "If the docs are
good enough for me, they're good enough for you. RTFM." One
first-time programmer could easily accumulate 10 flames in his
inbox after asking a question about why this code didn't print
my $input = ;
my $username = chop( $input );
After said programmer has been flambe'ed to perfection they have to
endure five more messages concerning the use of chop() and its
evils, not to mention a handful of warnings about why putting
double quotes around $username will cause famine in the land.
Granted, these last few messages contain good information, but it's
unlikely the beginner will even read these messages. Why would
anyone want to subject themselves to more abuse when it's easier to
delete the messages and move on to another programming
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