Community

There’s only one useful way to handle your detractors

October 6, 2011 Advocacy, Community, Opinion 4 comments

This is a repost from my main blog, but it applies to all of us working on Parrot and Perl 6. Keep on keeping on, ignore the trolls, and keep moving forward to completing the vision.
Here’s a Reddit/Slashdot/whatever thread that never happened:

Internet crank on Reddit: “Hey, Steve Jobs, I guess that new iPad looks cool, but I think iPad is a stupid name, it makes me think of sanitary napkins.”

Steve: “Yeah, well, here’s why we called it that. (Long explanation justifying his choices)”

Crank #2: “Well, why didn’t you call it the iTablet? I think that would have been a good name. What does everyone else think?”

Crank #3: “What does it have to be iAnything? I’m tired of the i- prefix.”

Steve: “We thought about that, but … (More explanation about his choices)”

Crank #1: “And really, isn’t it just a bigger iPod Touch? I would never carry that around with me. And come on, you’re just trying to redo the Newton anyway LOL”

Steve: “My logic behind the iPad is (vision, business plan, blah blah blah)”

Can you even imagine Steve Jobs in this sort of time-wasting and emotionally draining tit-for-tat in a thread on Slashdot? On reddit? In some blog’s comment section? Of course not. Justification of his plans would take away from the amazing things that he needed to achieve.
Naysayers are part of every project. How many people do you think pissed on Jimmy Wales’ little project to aggregate knowledge? Nobody’s going to spend their time writing encyclopedia entries! And yet there it is. On a personal level, if I listened to everyone who thought I was wasting my time improving on find + grep you’d never have ack.
We all have to persevere in the face of adversity to ideas, but there’s more than that. We need to ignore our detractors. Despite how silly and time-wasting it is to argue your motivations and reasons for undertaking a project, many of us feel compelled to argue with everyone who disagrees with us. I suggest you not waste your time.
On the Internet, the attitude is “Why wasn’t I consulted?” Every anti-social child (measured by calendar or maturity) with a keyboard thinks it’s his responsibility to piss on everything he doesn’t like. They’ll be there always. You can no more make them go away than you would by arguing with the rain.
What are you hoping to achieve by arguing with someone who doesn’t like your project? Do you expect that he’ll come around to your way of thinking? It won’t happen through words.
Not only does arguing with your critics waste your precious time, but it tells them, and every other crank reading, that you’re willing to engage in debate about what you’re doing. Don’t encourage them! Let them find a more receptive target.
I’m not saying that factual misstatements need to be ignored. If something is provably incorrect, go ahead and counter it with facts. However, most of the time these message thread pissing wars get down to “I would not be doing what you are doing, and therefore you are wrong for doing so.”
The only thing that has a chance of silencing your critics is success at what you do. Arguing with the naysayers doesn’t get you any closer to that.

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2011-10-03

October 3, 2011 Community, Conferences, CPAN, Perl 5, Perl Foundation

These links are collected from the
Perlbuzz Twitter feed.
If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at
andy@perlbuzz.com.

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2011-09-26

September 26, 2011 Community, CPAN, Perl 5

These links are collected from the
Perlbuzz Twitter feed.
If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at
andy@perlbuzz.com.

How do you get your Perl news?

September 25, 2011 Community No comments

Gabor Szabo, the man behind [Perl Weekly](http://perlweekly.com/), is running a poll about how people find out what’s going on in the Perl world. Please take a few minutes to fill out this [Perl news survey](http://perlpolls.com/perl-news) to help Gabor better understand the Perl community and how it keeps track of the Perl world.
The survey is until September 30th, so please [respond to the survey today](http://perlpolls.com/perl-news).

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2011-09-06

September 6, 2011 Community, Conferences, CPAN, Perl 5

These links are collected from the
Perlbuzz Twitter feed.
If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at
andy@perlbuzz.com.

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2011-08-22

August 22, 2011 Community, Conferences, CPAN, Perl 5

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Perlbuzz Twitter feed.
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andy@perlbuzz.com.

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2011-08-15

August 15, 2011 Community, Conferences, CPAN, Perl 5

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andy@perlbuzz.com.

Nurturing new open source contributors

August 8, 2011 Community, CPAN 2 comments

In a recent non-public thread on Google Plus about what someone saw as too much low-quality code on CPAN, Brian Cassidy gave some great thoughts (quoted with his permission) about how to handle contributions from newcomers:

New authors should not be “beaten” for not following standard practices, rather coached and mentored into becoming productive members of our culture. Disciplining new authors is counter not only to our culture, but it goes against the release early/release often mantra we often hear in the open source ecosystem.

It’s very easy to dismiss someone as ignorant and cast them aside (in retrospect, I’m ashamed to say I’ve done it too). The hard road is to offer them a hand, show them the ropes.

Not everybody has time for that, and we’ll never save people from themselves (no matter how hard we try). But before you rush to dismiss someone’s effort (that they’ve submitted for public scrutiny, no less) think about how you would’ve like to have been treated when you were new.

A kind word of encouragement can go a long way.

Do you have tales to tell of how you helped guide a newcomer, whether in Perl or elsewhere? Please post your stories.

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2011-07-31

July 31, 2011 Community, Conferences, CPAN, Perl 5, Perl 6, Perl Foundation No comments

These links are collected from the
Perlbuzz Twitter feed.
If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at
andy@perlbuzz.com.

  • Hello, World in Place 2: InteractiveDebugger (blogs.perl.org)
  • Giving ack a little bit extra do-what-I-mean (shuttlethread.com)
  • Reducing documentation’s technical debt (blogs.perl.org)
  • YAPC::NA attendees, please respond to survey (blogs.perl.org)
  • File::UStore, a UUID-based file storage abstractor (blogs.perl.org)
  • Protecting against cross-site scripting attacks with Template::AutoFilter (blogs.perl.org)
  • Screencast: How to contribute to a Perl module using vim and Github (szabgab.com)
  • Avoid unwanted bitwise operators with Perl::Critic (szabgab.com)
  • Just discovered rjray’s Perl Module Monday feature: (dereferenced.com)
  • Booking.com donates $10K to support Perl 5 maintenance (news.perlfoundation.org)
  • Expect a flurry of Rakudo releases soon (rakudo.org)
  • cPanel is also sponsoring Perl 5 Maintenance Fund (news.perlfoundation.org)
  • YAPC::NA 2012 gets away from RTFM marketing (perlbuzz.com)
  • About the Perl 5 Core Maintenance Fund (perlfoundation.org)
  • Upgrading from Perl 5.8 to a less-than-newest version (blog.timbunce.org)
  • Using Acme::CPANAuthors::India to link with other authors (blogs.perl.org)
  • YAPC::Asia 2011 call for papers now open (yapcasia.org)
  • YAPC::Asia 2011 and the webapps behind it (blogs.perl.org)
  • Going to OSCON next week? Here are six tips for making the most of it with the least amount of hassle (petdance.com)
  • Portuguese Perl Workshop is Sep 22-23, 2011 (workshop.perl.pt)
  • Tool to move tickets from RT to Github (pythian.com)
  • Now you need LWP::Protocol::https (blogs.perl.org)
  • Perl program to back up Google contacts/calendar (preshweb.co.uk)
  • “What is MetaCPAN” screencast http://youtu.be/7N1lZY5E5gg (now with English subtitles)
  • Can’t let #oscon pass without getting the scoop on cpangloss.com from (<a href="twitter.com)
  • “Perl isn’t a programming language. It’s a life-support system for CPAN.” Damian at #oscon
  • “Perl 6 is solid enough now. Start thinking about porting modules. Start thinking about reinventing modules.” — Damian at #oscon
  • RT @pghphw @mjdominus will be teaching a course and giving a talk at PPW 2011. Watch for details.
  • Notes on Morphing Graph::Easy into Graph::Easy::Marpa (savage.net.au)
  • A new vim plugin to work with ack and iTerm: (vim.org)
  • Holy cow does a lot get done on MetaCPAN in a week (blogs.perl.org)
  • MetaCPAN::API gets updated (blogs.perl.org)
  • Rakudo Star 2011.07 released (rakudo.org)
  • Would you bring your kids to YAPC? (blog.yapcna.org)
  • Recollections of YAPC::NA 2011 (activestate.com)
  • Understanding autovivification (effectiveperlprogramming.com)

Perlbuzz news roundup for 2011-07-14

July 14, 2011 Community, Conferences, CPAN, Perl 5, Perl 6 No comments

These links are collected from the
Perlbuzz Twitter feed.
If you have suggestions for news bits, please mail me at
andy@perlbuzz.com.