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 emailproject.perl.org
Same here. Plus most of the pages are a little older in date.
Few days later, emailproject.perl.org 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 "hello_email.pl" 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?