(I’m Working on taxes this week, so I only have time for a short post.)
The other night I happened to be in a room with a PHP dev, a Ruby dev, and a Java dev. (I was the Perl dev. Huh.)
This specific mix was no accident and we were discussing how developers think about starting new projects and companies. (The phrase “serial entrepreneur” kept being used. Is sounded vaguely naughty.) All of us had experience with other languages, and didn’t seem “married” to our current tool-of-choice, but the others were all surprised that Perl was still being used at all, much less for “real” projects. I got to do my bit to remind them that Perl was still around and could be considered a viable alternative to PHP, Python, Ruby, Java, etc.
Hopefully, one (or more) of them will come visit the Ironman page and see what kinds of things folks are working on. Now that this project seems to be collecting Perl folks in a “visible” place, how can I help folks to “see” it? I mean, if I’m writing here, I’m not writing in other venues which I can link into the project. Maybe I just need to write more, and in more places.
Another drag on positive Perl mind share is all of the old, outdated, and no-longer-operative posts, sites, “tips,” etc. that are floating around on the web. Perl has changed so much over the years it is sometimes hard to winnow out outdated material from a search. For example, the Catalyst tutorials I first found all talked about a specific form-builder as the bee’s knees. Well, it turns out “everyone” now considers it “obsolete” and something completely different is all the current rage. Not helpful. We can’t very well run around demanding old material be removed, and the archivist in me isn’t convinced it would be a good idea anyway, but how can folks be steered to current, useful, updated material?
Is there anything that can be done to elevate current, modern, doubleplusgood writing about Perl so it’s easier to find? Is it time to change the name of language, even if the internals stay the same, just to make it easier to think/talk/write about the current state of affairs and leave behind all the no-longer-good advice? Sadly, that kind of development requires serious marketing experience, and that seems a rare commodity in the open source “space.”
Ah, well. Back to work…
More as it happens.