develooper Front page | perl.packrats | Postings from November 2002

Re: The history of the lighter side of Perl culture

Thread Previous | Thread Next
Elaine -HFB- Ashton
November 3, 2002 08:23
Re: The history of the lighter side of Perl culture
Message ID:
Andrew Savige [] quoth:
*>I am giving my first Perl talk to in a week or so and would
*>like to start it with an introduction to the lighter side of Perl

You might also include Dominus' lightning talks which started in 99 at
YAPC and seem to have really caught on with other communities. People tend
to be less serious in these and often have a great time with them. Damian
did the 'Perl Kindergarten' song sung to a gilbert and sullivan tune and a
mock shakespearean drama with Ingy and Allison's Dr. Seuss and...of
course, now movies are in vogue since Gnat did one at YAPC this year :)
I have the text of Damian's in pdf format if you want them and I should
remember to ask Allison for the text of the Dr Suess talk as I think it
was the most clever LT to date :)

*>I started by trying to identify the categories. Here is what I have
*>come up with so far. Being a Perl late-comer, I am not certain of
*>the accuracy of what follows. Corrections and additions welcome.
*>Some of this info. was got from, some from various
*>emails to perl mailing lists.

Humour around these parts is hard to categorise since reinvention and
trying to out clever each other tends to make it mutate fairly frequently.

*>1) JAPH            R.Schwartz (1988).
*>2) .sig in Perl    A natural extension of JAPHs.
*>3) Perl Poetry     L.Wall (1990).
*>4) Haiku           Popularized by D.Conway(1998) in Coy module,
*>                   but were they popular before this?

No, not that I'm aware of. I was hoping it would branch out into dirty
limericks and wicked clerihew as more effective means of invective but,
sadly, this never caught on :)

*>5) Perl Golf       L.Wall/R.Schwartz(1990) -- the playing. For example
*>                   in this post Larry plays golf with himself but
*>                   mentions Randal so I assume he also played around
*>                   this time:
*>                   G.Bacon(1999) -- coined the term
*>6) Obfus           Derived from JAPHS (?) Who did the first one?

Obfuscated perl? Gee, that's going to be hard to pin down to a particular
person or date as, like golf, it's a natuarl extension of the language as
well as a tradition in programming circles ala the obfuscated c contest
etal. [ which I'll note goes back a /lot/ further than JAPHs ]

I'd pin it on Jon Orwant and TPJ for starting the Obfuscated Perl Contest
in 96.

*>7) Joke Modules    sh2perl (R.Schwartz,1998)
*>                   Semi::semicolons (M.Schwern,1999)
*>                   Acme namespace (D.Conway,2001 via Acme::Bleach)

Actually, don't forget Coy which was debuted at TPC3 and was utterly
adorable :) I was disappointed that it didn't really catch on and spawn
hundreds of fun little vocabularies for it like the star wars one I made
for my own entertainment. Coy was a joke though subtle I blame it for
really opening the floodgates :)

The namespace Acme:: was created at Damians request since the deluge of
people trying to be as clever as he had started to really become a
problem. Silly:: was considered as well but I recall we went with Acme::
in honor of Leon Brocard.

And Chris Nandor's D'oh,,
which predates sh2perl I think.

*>                   use less (Perl core -- who is responsible?)

Jarkko says it has been there forever and suspects Larry :)

*>                   I heard rumours that sh2perl goes back to 1990 with
*>                   a version that would email the shell script to
*>                   tchrist and ask him to write a Perl version.
*>                   I.Phillipps did a similar trick with a Perl
*>                   program/function generator around 1990 that
*>                   sent a request to Perl newsgroup.

email Randal and Tom as I've not heard anything in this vein. If you find
anything though, I'd be interested to read it.

*>8) Sayings/Quotes  Many from L.Wall from C source code comments etc.
*>                   Two interesting recent ones:
*>                     "use strict is gay" (BK,P.Cawley,D.Cross,R.Clamp)
*>                     "schwern is my bitch" ( (?))
*>                   I know history of the former but what does it mean:
*>                     "schwern is my bitch" ??

It's an American idiom/slang taken from 'the hood'. Think Eminem. It's not
a complimentary phrase. I believe it derives from pimps calling their
women their 'bitch ho' or 'bitches'. The phrase suggests ownership and
that he'd do anything for about $40...which isn't altogether incorrect :)

*>9) April Fools     1990: "Black Perl" --  L.Wall
*>                   1998: sh2perl -- R.Schwartz
*>                   1999: Semi::semicolons -- M.Schwern
*>                   1999: "Java Mongers" -- ??

brian d foy did that one. I think he has it archived somewhere.

*>                   2001: parrot -- S.Cozens
*>                   2001: Acme::Buffy -- L.Brocard
                     2002: CJAN -- :) It was a little too successful as I
made it too subtle and the flood of email about how we had been hacked
started pouring in. It was amusing until it became really annoying :)

Dominus also had in 1999 but
he released it a little bit later than 1 April :)


Thread Previous | Thread Next Perl Programming lists via nntp and http.
Comments to Ask Bjørn Hansen at | Group listing | About