Message from discussion New Document: "How to Start Contributing to or Using Open Source Software"
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Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2011 23:45:42 +0900
Subject: Re: [OT] New Document: "How to Start Contributing to or Using Open
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From: r....@aist.go.jp (Raymond Wan)
On Sat, Jan 1, 2011 at 03:32, Uri Guttman <u...@stemsystems.com> wrote:
>>>>>> "RW" =3D=3D Raymond Wan <r....@aist.go.jp> writes:
> =C2=A0RW> Saying the other tutorials are garbage is quite harsh and a bit
> =C2=A0RW> disrespectful to the authors who presumably meant well and didn=
> =C2=A0RW> it to sabotage Perl's reputation. =C2=A0Maybe they aren't helpf=
ul to the
> =C2=A0RW> majority of people, but they may help a few people.
> when they are full of mistakes, wrong coding ideas, bad writing, no
> connection to the perl community, etc. etc. there are dozens of them
> like this. i have reviewed many on usenet (search google).
Yes, I understand what you're saying. But maybe you can see my side
for a bit. And rather than repeating myself, let me try a concrete
The standard way to teach pointers is usually some kind of picture
with boxes with one half with a value and the other half an arrow
pointing elsewhere. In some class, if you do this, maybe 90% of the
people who have any chance of getting it, will get it from this
picture. (Let's face it...maybe some people will never have a
chance...I'm ignoring them. :-) ). The remaining 10% may need to be
taught about pointers another way...through actual code or something
that I can't think of right now. It isn't like this 10% is hopeless;
perhaps they just need to get through the class with pointers, and go
on to excel in theoretical computer science.
Having a variety of ways of conveying something may help this 10%.
And since it's on the Internet, it isn't occupying anyone's disk drive
(except maybe the server which they've paid money for). It certainly
isn't affecting you. But if they come to the mailing list complaining
about how something doesn't work? Well, explaining to them the
correct way with a wrong way from someone else might help the learning
process. I realize many people on this list (perhaps yourself) may
not thinking the learning process is important...you just want to send
one reply to solve their problem and move on to the next one. But for
some, the learning part is important and that might encourage them to
stick with Perl or the mailing list.
As for your comment about not being part of the Perl community, you
make it sound like being in the Perl community is an exclusive club.
It isn't. Thanks to the Internet, anyone who can write HTML can give
their 2 cents about Perl. This environment helps both Perl and open
source in general. So, I don't quite agree with that the author of
tutorials has to be "part of the Perl community". If so, I definitely
am not in it since I haven't yet received my membership card! :-)
While I'm at it, I'll whinge about something. When I'm stuck on
something related to Perl, I don't know if anyone realizes this too,
but many web page authors literally copy the examples from the Camel
book. Whether that is ethical or illegal, I leave it between them and
O'Reilly. But what annoys me is that I sometimes want to see another
example other than the one in the book, but page upon page gives
everything you complain about -- they're correct and probably by
people in the Perl community, but the examples are not original.
There are pages out there that have mistakes, but occasionally, they
offer a different example that gives me that "Oh!" moment. One tiny
advantage of not being in the Perl community, perhaps??
> =C2=A0RW> Thanks to Google, those top 3 you mention will probably be rank=
> =C2=A0RW> the top, so the so-called "garbage ones" aren't going to negati=
> =C2=A0RW> affect many people.
> not at all. google doesn't always show the best ones as there are so
> many. i don't go searching for them. on usenet or other places
> (including here) newbies will claim they are using some site to learn
> perl. i go there to check it out and i get sick.
Well, Google works by the Page Rank algorithm, so rather than getting
sick, you and other people who think like you can link to them to
increase their score. That may also include the page Shlomi refers to
> =C2=A0RW> Yes/no. =C2=A0They are important, but one should realize that t=
> =C2=A0RW> varying levels of adherence to such rules. =C2=A0Should we expe=
ct a mailing
> =C2=A0RW> list to beginners to adhere to such posting rules or even codin=
> =C2=A0RW> as well as, let's say, the developers of Perl6?
> not adhering when the first get here. adhering AFTER they are told about
> netiquette and email quoting styles. there is a difference.
Hmmmmm, you're missing my point. My point is why do you expect
newbies to *want* to adhere to such rules?
Put it another way, suppose you are a university lecturer teaching
computer science and want to get the coding style of students up. But
how much you can do depends on whether it is your first year class or
your fourth year class. Your first year class is full of lurkers who
may end up changing their major. Your fourth year class presumably
has decided that CS is for them and they're more likely to listen to
the rules and styles.
My point is that this mailing list is like the first year class every
day throughout the year [some of you might say it's more like a
primary school class :-) ]. So, how much emphasis is places on the
rules should depend on the audience.
> you didn't get my point. the answers come from the core regular
> experts. the questions from the beginners. so the experts make the
> rules. if the newbies made the rules, nothing would get done.
> this has happened in every other forum in network history. you need
> rules (both technical and social) for this to work well. there is no way
> around it.
And again, you didn't get my point. :-) We might as well write in
different languages... ;-)
I did not suggest newbies make the rules. You are only presenting two
different extremes -- either the core experts makes the rules or the
newbies make the rules. What I'm saying is that the core experts can
make and enforce the rules but *while* keeping in mind that the
mailing list loses its name without the newbies. My point is to show
restraint in terms of pointing out the rules or else the list will
just have core experts talking among themselves.