Dead or Alive

Quite often I read about whether Perl is "legacy" or "modern". It all comes down to "is Perl dead or alive?"
Here is an example to show how well it's sanity status is and why it might need marketing:
I try to "do email". :-)
I read myself through modules on cpan. There are a lot. Now, where to begin, which modules to choose? Instructions for beginners are rare or I am too stupid..
I find
Same here. Plus most of the pages are a little older in date.
Few days later, has shrunk down to one page.

So I finally do what I should have done at the very beginning.
I ask my questions on #email. Some minutes later I'm chatting with the authors of the modules I try to use. They expect me to ask clever questions but help anyway as I fail to do so. ;-)
My questions are promptly answered, I'm helped through the initial steps and my first "" is working in no time.

What I'm wondering about is if Perl needs better help pages on the internet. Are beginners quite easily frightened away because they hesitate to ask on chat channels or mailing lists? Do we lack in a forum?

I feel that the internet has moved on while Perl still does it the old fashioned way. Simple design, mailing lists, e.g. This is not necessarily bad, to me the experience in the Perl community is refreshing most of the time.

Is it even desired to drive beginners to Perl? Or are many of us happier when they do their first steps in PHP?

Or do we need more marketing, more presence, more design (even) according to regain a certain leadership in the scripting field?



Quite often I read about whether Perl is "legacy" or "modern." It all comes down to "is Perl dead or alive?"
Not really... It comes down to "is Perl doing something (person-writing-this) dislikes, or something s/he likes?" Just point and laugh.

You're actually raising two different questions, IMHO:

1. Do we have some "correct" way of doing things?

No, we don't. But, we do have a more-or-less "standard" way of doing things. There are the "recommended" ways, best practices and so on. Unfortunately we scare away from stating this often because we fear people will think of it as a "one true way", and thus, restrictive. We fear the feeling and presence of restrictions. :)

A good project that was started on this front (catering to beginners) was, done by Andy Lester. Unfortunately it's not very much maintained. There was a redesign attempt by missferret here but it also seems to have stopped at the tracks. You're welcome to help!

2. Do we have presence in forums or other newer social communities that are based on beginners?

Well, not a lot. There is definite presence in Stack Overflow, but that's not a forum.

I'm sure registering to a public programming forum and helping with stuff there will do some good advertising, but a lot of programmers don't go there. I think a better start would be to provide the "best practices" of doing stuff, like tries to do. Unfortunately, not too many people opted to help with it. Each person does their thing that they think would help.

It's good to raise questions! :)

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