Looking to hire a PERL guru

Paul Seamons paul at seamons.com
Wed Jan 17 17:39:01 MST 2007

On Wednesday 17 January 2007 4:13 pm, Jesse Stay wrote:
> On 1/17/07, Paul Seamons <paul at seamons.com> wrote:
> > Generally, those that get uptight about it probably are not the ones you
> > want to be working with.  Attention to detail is good.  Attention to
> > minutia is generally bad.  Be broad in what you accept and strict in what
> > you emit.  Add any other applicable cliche here.
> Um, I disagree here.  Some of the smartest Perl programmers I know
> (Including Randall Schwartz) are known to be picky about it.

Bingo.  I know that Randall is brilliant.  Randall is great at making things 
work.  He is fine at helping to build community.  I also know that I wouldn't 
want him working for me (and my make-believe company).  If you watch 
Randall's posts on perlmonks, he has softened and matured over the years.  He 
doesn't appear to be as picky about the issue as he once was.  Isn't it great 
that we can learn over time.

Being a smart Perl programmer doesn't mean somebody will be a good employee.

> The question becomes, do they know why they are picky about it?

The majority of people being picky about it have little reason to be picky 
about it.  Randall has been around plenty long to have every right to be 
picky.  Anybody being solicited for a Perl job on this list has not been 
writing perl long enough to be picky.  I'd say the number of people who can 
be picky about it is under 50 world wide - and that would be limited to the 
core contributors to Perl 5 and earlier.  Everybody else is too much a 
beneficiary to be able to set policy for Perl culture, or even try to enforce 

> It's often those that have been programming it for years, have written
> about it, have helped evolve the community, etc. that are the most
> picky.

Three or four old timers on perlmonks doesn't qualify as "most".  Also 
important to note: though there is some overlap, the community of 
perlmonks.org is not the Perl community.

> If you want those types, I suggest you be picky about PERL vs. 
> Perl or perl.

When I am speaking about Perl or perl "I" am specific.  When I'm listening to 
somebody else, I really don't care how they place the case.  I'd much rather 
listen to what they are saying than how they are "saying" it in text based 
message.  Somebody who is picky about things that don't matter is most likely 
not going to be concerned about the things that I am concerned about.

> Most of the Perl programmers I've met that are picky 
> about it are only trying to defend the community they have long
> programmed in.

Most of the ones I've met are really just being picky.

Many, if not most are trying to earn points on perlmonks.  Or in an odd 
psychological exchange are trying to earn karma back for karma that they lost 
the first time that they posted PERL to perlmonks.

> If you want to name it how it was originally spelled, you should call
> it "Pearl", which Larry Wall named after "Parable of the Pearl".  He
> realized before it was launched however that there was already a PEARL
> language so he named it "Perl".  It has since been adapted as "Perl" 
> when referring to the language, and "perl" when referring to the
> interpreter.

Thank you for helping me with the history of Perl.

I don't recall Larry getting up in arms about the case of Perl.  He may have 
given corrections in rare occasions and I'm sure he has even authored 
instructions about how you "should" use the word Perl in different 
situations.   Based on watching his responses on mailing lists and at 
perlmonks, I don't think he really cares about this argument.  Any new 
mailing list poster who is new to perl mailing lists or community who 
unwittingly spells perl wrong in a question to Larry amazing has Larry answer 
his question - not dwell on how he spelled perl wrong.  The best way to 
isolate a newcomer is to throw culture police idioms at them.

> While PERL has many possible acronyms, most seasoned 
> veterans won't even consider your posting if you list it as "PERL".

I hope you aren't speaking for the seasoned veterans.  Seasoned veterans who 
don't know how to help somebody who doesn't know better aren't the ones that 
are good at building a community.

> It's a community thing.

It is a thing which I abide (as in I am strict what I emit) but I do not 
enforce (as in I am broad in what I accept) because I am contributing to the 

Thank you for helping me clarify things.


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