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Introducing Myself and what I wish to achieve

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Shlomi Fish
February 23, 2003 21:37
Introducing Myself and what I wish to achieve
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Hi good people!

This message is meant as an introduction, to this mailing list,
of me and what I want to do. My name is Shlomi Fish, and I've been programming
in Perl since 1996, when I first learned UNIX. I really like Perl and consider
it the best language for most uses. I have two objectives in joining this
mailing list, which are relatively unrelated:

1. Rindolf - Rindolf is a dialect of Perl that is fully backward compatible
to Perl 5. A working specification of it can be found here:

Note that Rindolf is at the moment ideaware and planningware, and no code
was written yet. That is not to say I don't wish it to materialize, but I
also wish to have a good idea on where I'm going.

I'd be very happy if some of Rindolf's features can make it into perl5. While
I cannot promise I will contribute any code (as usual), I may prove of
assistance in other ways. I think I'll split the Rindolf additions into
several units and post each one separately, in order to not confuse the
members of this list, and be able to get input about each one and the
difficulty of implementing it.

2. Revamping the Perl 5 Man Pages - I already posted a patch that revamped
part of perlsyn, and have made some more progress since then. A problem with
the perl 5 man pages is that they:

(a) assume you know what they are talking about
(b) intended for experienced UNIX workers with knowledge of either perl4 or
awk, sed, shell scripts and probably C.
(c) they are many times obscure, even for people who know Perl very well.

This combination is no longer pertinent for a Perl newcomer. Furthermore,
this has been the situation since the start of the Internet Boom, in which
many CGI programmers were forced to learn Perl to write web apps, while having
little if any a-priori UNIX knowledge (which was the case for me). It has
become even worse after the Linux Boom, in which millions of people installed
Linux on their personal computers, and were instructed to use Perl for
scripting, or otherwise learn it. (it is not uncommon nowadays for UNIX
newcomers to use Perl where more experienced hackers would normally use shell
scripts, and we should accommodate for it)

Compare this to the situation with Python or PHP which have excellent online
documentation for beginners, and you'll see one place where we are at a
disadvantage. I wish to make the perl 5 pod documents (perl*.pod) more
suitable for any person reading them with a knowledge of at least one language
(or one that was already introduced to Perl, somehow). They may be suitable
for absolute programming newbies, but making them so would not be a primary
concern of mine.

Note that I am going to modify the old text, even paraphrase or replace entire
paragraphs or sections where I see fit.

(note that the attempt to perform this was inspired by a feature
about "Seven Deadly Sins - Revisited")


Cheers, and let me know what you think,

	Shlomi Fish

Shlomi Fish
Home Page:

My opinions may seem crazy, but they all make sense. Insane sense, but
sense nonetheless.

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