The one thing you must know about the perl.beginners list

Peter Scott recently emailed the regular reminder to people that the perl.beginners list was created to be a completely flame-free environment.

This means that if someone has posted a completely RTFM question, you can point them to the answer, but that F had better be fracking silent.

See what I did there? I used an "F" word. Why? This is my fracking blog. If you don't like my "F" word, too bad. It's my fracking blog. Not yours. Mine.

Similarly, the perl.beginners mailing list is probably not yours. While some of the people responding to Peter Scott's email had perfectly valid reasons why being overly gentle isn't always a good thing, the overriding point is simple: the blog was created to be a flame-free environment. If you object to that, that's OK. However, you're probably not the list creator and thus, you don't get to make the rules.

If you don't like the rules, that's OK. If you can't play by the rules, it's not. I thought people were taught this when they were five years old, but obviously I was wrong.


"Peter Scott's email had perfectly valid reasons why being overly gentle isn't always a good thing"

Yes, people will create all sorts of excuses for their abuse; none of it is justified. There's a difference between being rude and being firm and polite. Let's put it this way, would you ever create an error message that starts with, "You're wrong!"

Unfortunately the list doesn't belong to anyone right now. A handful of people have tried to keep the list's tone and focus in check but it just isn't working out. There is no one to appeal to when a subscriber and/or thread gets out of hand. The list's creator has not monitored it in a long time and officially confirmed as much this past Friday with his post inviting someone else to take over.

My impression based on the FAQs was that the list was for people new to Perl and even programming. That would include people who may find the Llama book to be over their head. A safe place to show your mistakes and find out why they're mistakes.

This may change with a new maintainer or not but until there are one or two people to watch and - sadly - police the list I don't think it's a good place for someone new to Perl or programming.

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About Ovid

user-pic Have Perl; Will Travel. Freelance Perl/Testing/Agile consultant. Photo by Warning: that site is not safe for work. The photographer is a good friend of mine, though, and it's appropriate to credit his work.