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The Perl Community: Killing the Goose That Laid the Golden E

Dr. Dysphora (667103) writes | more than 8 years ago

Perl 14

I have taught no less than
2000 users to write Perl 5
in a Bay Area community college.

Perl 6 is an exercise in egotism
whose likeness would be Kernighan
and Ritchie suddenly changing the
assignment operator to * and the
ternary operator to #.

Perl 6 fixes what is not broken. I have never had
students who did not understand
that $L[5] gets an array
element and is a scalar
because it is ONE thing.
Same for hash elements.

I have taught no less than
2000 users to write Perl 5
in a Bay Area community college.

Perl 6 is an exercise in egotism
whose likeness would be Kernighan
and Ritchie suddenly changing the
assignment operator to * and the
ternary operator to #.

Perl 6 fixes what is not broken. I have never had
students who did not understand
that $L[5] gets an array
element and is a scalar
because it is ONE thing.
Same for hash elements.

The idiotic $L[5] in Perl 6
being $L->[5] in Perl 5 is
beyond lunacy. That arrow
means "points at". The
notation $L[5] in no way
signifies a pointer ... as it does in
C or Perl 5 ... the sensible
Perl.

But what is beyond forgiveable
is that Perl 6 has made the
market of new Perl books
nonexistent. This alone
assures Perl's eventual
nonexistence. Why would an
author want to write a Perl
book that is obsolete in some
fuzzy time period.

But, hey, I've only taught a
couple thousand REALLY REALLY
good Perl programmers. What
in hell do I know?? And that's
just the attitude of Conway,
Torkington, and the rest of
the Insufferables who cannot
see simple realities like the
death of the Perl book market.

I'll be retiring from teaching
in a few years so, in a very
real sense, I don't give a
damn what they do. However,
as I tell my classes: "Love
Perl. Hate the Perl community".

Also hate the "any style is
okay" ethos of this dweebish
"community". I enforce strict
style guidelines and employers
have ONLY congratulated me on
the excellence of my Perl
graduates.

A pox on the Perl "community".
Perl 5 is the end of Perl and
the infinite delay of Perl 6
only ensures that Perl books
slowly disappear from Books In
Print.

Great going, nitwits.

Dr. Dysphoria

cancel ×

14 comments

Ignoring the facts (3, Insightful)

merlyn (9918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993905)

We just released the 4th edition of "Learning Perl" last summer, and "Intermediate Perl" this month. We're very committed to keeping the flagship tutorial books for the Perl community up to date until Perl6 arrives. There are also a number of other Perl books in the pipeline at O'Reilly that I cannot comment on.

If other publishers are slowing down on turning out the junk that spells Perl in all-caps and promises a complete Perl education in some small number of hours or days, that's actually better for the community, not worse.

I won't speak to your point about Perl6 syntax changes, but I thought your point on books really didn't stand.

Re:Ignoring the facts (0, Flamebait)

Dr. Dysphora (667103) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001503)

So Randal you won't speak to my comments about the sigil changes in Perl 6, eh?? That's because you know damned well that Perl 6 will be like IPv6 ... something which has been coming "right real soon now" for fifteen freaking years!!! What percentage of code now uses IPv6 structures? It's a rhetorical question. Who will adopt Perl 6 and its nonbackward compatibility before the year 2020?? A few zealots and newbie freaks but no mainstream companies. It is a travesty. The Doctor!!

Re:Ignoring the facts (1)

Dr. Dysphora (667103) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001515)

Oh, about the book market, Randal. How narcissistic of you to imply that because YOUR book is coming out, the Perl book market, ergo, is healthy. Go to Borders. All the Perl books fit on one shelf. Most are very peripheral outdated ones like Perl for Win32 from, like 1999. Freaking PHP commands about three or four shelves. How is it not the quintessence of common sense to realize that the paucity of new Perl books is due to Perl 6 putting the whole market in limbo. Who wants to write a Perl 5 book ... which, incidentally, I could do better than the lot of you because, quite simply, I'm a fabulous writer. My one and only book, "Advanced C Programming by Example" by PWS got 5 stars from slashdot and all Amazon reviewers. I knowz whut I iz talking about.

Re:Ignoring the facts (1)

merlyn (9918) | more than 8 years ago | (#15015291)

"Advanced C Programming By Example" - Out of print. Amazon sales rank 842,855

5 stars out of 5 by ten reviewers. Who knows how many of them were astroturf?

Let's compare that to:

"Learning Perl, 4th edition" - Amazon sales rank 2,564

4 stars out of 5 by 265 customer reviews.

You're blowing smoke, dude. Can I have some of that? I could use a good hallucinogen today.

Re:Ignoring the facts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15015483)

Why don't you READ my fucking book, shithead, before you pass
judgment on it? It is marketed by a TEXTBOOK company and has
NEVER been available in bookstores.

I know you, goofy ... and my students prefer Quigley's Perl
book to yours. I love all you guys who give yourselves
self-aggrandizing nicknames like "Merlyn". Guys like you
make a living blowing smoke up people's asses.

I don't teach fucking CRASH courses. I teach 11-week courses
with 7 graded assignments and two exams. I'm the background
guy who actually fills industry with great Perl programmers
while grandstanders like you go around to dweeb conferences
where all the little fish kiss your rosy red derriere.

You're yet another reason why I "Love Perl: Hate the Perl
Community". All of you!!! Torkington, Christiansen, Conway,
etc. ad nauseum. Without guys like me churning out the
industrial-strength Perlers you're "community" wouldn't
exist.

So, howz about them apples?? Doesn't feel too good when the
smoke you try to blow up my ass gets blown back up through
your ass and then out your fucking ears.

Man, what did you put in your tea? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14994523)

But what is beyond forgiveable is that Perl 6 has made the market of new Perl books nonexistent.

What with Higher Order Perl, Perl Best Practices, Advanced Perl Programming and Intermediate Perl, the last 12 months have been one of the best Perl 5 book periods ever. Heck, advocates of other languages are cheering HOP and PBP, fer crying out loud!

--Aristotle [plasmasturm.org]

Re:Man, what did you put in your tea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14994885)

Agreed. This past year has been the best year for quality new Perl books that I can remember. In addition to the fine books you mentioned, I'd like to add the excellent Perl Testing: A Developer's Notebook [oreilly.com] . And, at least, Perl Hacks [oreilly.com] and Minimal Perl [manning.com] are scheduled for release in the coming months.

/-\

Re:Man, what did you put in your tea? (1)

Dr. Dysphora (667103) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001545)

What are you smoking, dude?? Most of the Perl books at Borders are, like, 2000 to 2002 pubs. Many are for miniscule audiences (like the Perl LWP book ... good but small audience). I am a published author of a book "Advanced C Programming by Example" that got 5 stars on /. and from all Amazon reviewers. I do have a clue. It's a sad freaking day when PHP books are pumped out like bilgewater from a ship whilst new general Perl books are just not coming out. PHP is a pathetic farce ... another "flavor of the month" language for the technically addled. As long as Perl 6 is an inert elephant sitting on top of the Perl book market, development of Perl 5 books will pale compared to PHP, XML, and a host of other less-deserving subjects. Will industry adopt Perl 6?? If you really think so then you must not have much in the way of broad exposure to industry figures. I teach at a college with 26,000 students and constantly give recs. to students going to Sun, Ebay, Google, Netscape, and a host of tiny companies. Perl 6 might kill Perl. It already has killed the market for new Perl 5 books. It won't do anything good. Finally, I would like to add that I, myself, was going to write a Perl 5 book and I'm a damned good writer. Why the hell should I write such a book when its time-to-obsolescence is somewhere between six months and six years and I have no clue?? All of the responders to my initial post think that 10 or 12 new Perl books in a year, 6 or 7 of which are on subtopics, not the general language, is a plethora of books. Repeat to yourself in mirror: Good authors with one whit of sense will NOT write Perl 5 books until Perl 6 either goes away (good idea!!) or arrives (boo!!!).

You have lost touch with the Perl 5 community. (2, Insightful)

sigzero (914876) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994843)

Let us just examine the books that have come out in the last year:

  • Higher Order Perl
  • Learning Perl
  • Intermediate Perl
  • Perl Best Practices
  • Beginning Perl Web Development: From Novice to Professional
  • Pro Perl Debugging
  • Pro Perl Parsing
  • Perl 6 Now
  • Pro Perl
  • Perl Testing: A Developer's Notebook
  • Perl Hacks: Rough Cuts Version

I am sure that I did not get them all but it looks like Perl 5 books are doing pretty well

Re:You have lost touch with the Perl 5 community. (1)

Dr. Dysphora (667103) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001572)

You've got to be kidding. How many GENERAL Perl 5 tutorial books have come out in the last two years?? Gawd, this thread is killing me. By the way, dude, I teach HIGHER ORDER PERL ... you know with references making objects, N-dimensional data structures, database connectivity, IO::Socket and client/server ... you know ... HARD STUFF!? I am the ONLY teacher of Advanced Perl in the entire Bay Area community college system. I ate books like "Effective Perl Programming" quite literally while some of you were at your junior high sock hop.

Re:You have lost touch with the Perl 5 community. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15003554)

Why the hell would it anyone need loads of "new" general perl tutorials? That market is well covered already. It's not like the language has changed much in the last couple of years (perl 5.8.0 came out almost four years ago). If there are more PHP books it's because of hype, but most of them are cookie-cutter rehashes of the free online documentation that only a dimwit would buy (because it promises to teach you in a small number of hours). It speaks well for perl users that comparatively fewer books of that sort exist for perl.

Re:You have lost touch with the Perl 5 community. (1)

Dr. Dysphora (667103) | more than 8 years ago | (#15009421)

Sorry buddy but ZERO excellent tutorial Perl books exist. That's why my students use my shrink-wrapped notes for Perl and Advanced Perl. I'm a published author and I've got to tell you that most tech books are abysmal and some Perl books are wretched. I'm just the guy that O'Reilly would LOVE to write a Perl book but I won't lift a finger to write a book that would knock your socks off (and it would) as long as they keep authors on the Perl 5/6 tightrope with no place to go. Why write a Perl 5 book which MIGHT become outmoded or a Perl 6 book that might never take off because Perl 6 is an idiotic idea due to the changes to the fundamental sigil usage (the $, @, and %). Industry won't adopt Perl 6 until 2015 ... if ever. Only totally unsocialized dweebs make a language that has NO BACKWARD COMPATIBILITY. There are now FIVE publishers that want me to write a Perl book. And I'll bet that the reason I'm using to NOT write such a book is identical to why dozens of other prospective authors won't either. When Perl 5 came out, great stuff happened but, as usual, leave it up to a bunch of megalomaniacal cretins to completely overhaul "their" language when it isn't broken. Thank God Thompson, Kernighan, and Ritchie were more sensible, and far less egotistical, than the New Perl Community.

The perl community is an asset (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14994890)

..if you don't know how to benefit from it that's a sign of your problems rather than anybody elses.

The perl community has provided me with many things including
* Help finding jobs both when leaving university, and since
* Free help and support in the development of my skills, through Technical Meetings, mailing lists, books, irc, 1 to 1 conversations and online articles.
* Free tools to solve problems using CPAN, etc
* loads more that I don't have time to list

Re:The perl community is an asset (1)

Dr. Dysphora (667103) | more than 8 years ago | (#15001560)

Yeah. Score: 0. That's fair. My mantra?? Love Perl, hate the Perl "community". It's still my mantra. A colleague of mine once went to a Perl conference and described it as: "The largest collection of unattractive males I've ever seen gathered in one place". This reflects my sense of this "community" where style doesn't count and something is "correct" if the script runs before your boss fires you. I am Larry Wall's sworn enemy in this regard. Readable, not "brilliant", coding style is NUMERO UNO in importance. These guys will f*** up Perl as all nebishes do when they try to fix something that isn't broken because they don't have a social life to keep themselves otherwise preoccupied.
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