In response to all the kerfuffle about Why I Left Perl because of strict dogma about strict, Chris Prather wrote a well-reasoned discussion about how there are no standards for what "best practices" is in Perl. One of his key points was:
The big reason for leaving Perl, though, was people in the Perl community, who had become annoying scolds.
I agree 100%, and I've long been frustrated with people who do that, who take a dump on others for not doing it the right way. I've tried to get people to see why that's so damaging to community, and along the way there have been times I've been that annoying scold. And for that I apologize. If you've ever felt that I talked down to you, or scolded you for something, I'm sorry. Nobody deserves that.
I try to keep the words of the wise Larry Wall in mind at all times:
There ain't nothin' in this world that's worth being a snot over.
As far as I'm concerned, there is no person, no matter if he's a newbie or been around for years, that deserves to be insulted. It doesn't matter if it's "for his own good" or "the good of the community", it's never the right answer to insult or degrade someone. That's why I apologize if you've ever felt talked down to. Nobody deserves it, even if the cause is right, and I thank Chris's post for reminding me.
A while back I posted about the acronym THINK that asks if what I'm about to say is:
Unfortunately, it's always the Kind that falls first online. It gets left behind in the pursuit of Intelligent. Maybe I should write something that makes "THINK" pop up whenever a blog comment box opens up.
For more on the whole "how poorly we treat newbies", I also suggest reading "use strict 'answers'".