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Re: Its time we set the score straight on Perl 5 and Perl 6 and debunkour own self generated FUD.

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Dean Arnold
June 18, 2006 09:16
Re: Its time we set the score straight on Perl 5 and Perl 6 and debunkour own self generated FUD.
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Mattia Barbon wrote:
> On Sun, 18 Jun 2006 19:22:16 +1000
> Adam Kennedy <> wrote:
>>> After the mentions here, I bounced over to to see the
>>> "documentation" promised on the CPAN page. Yeah, that was worth the trip...
>>> App::GUI:Notepad is swell...but its hardly representative
>>> of a large scale desktop GUI app. Until there are usable docs that don't 
>>> require
>>> pawing thru the wxPerl source, and then require me to translate
>>> C++ into Perl, its likelihood of adoption by *developers* is pretty 
>>> limited.
>>> And based on dialogues I've had with others looking for a pTk
>>> alternative, my opinion is not an isolated one.
>> I completely agree that the documentation for wxPerl is pretty bad, and 
>> I hope to have a chat with Mattias at some point about opening up his 
>> version control to add accounts for people to be "doc committers" that 
>> might want to help out writing some documentation here and there (a 
>> model that Marcus has reported works very very well for Catalyst).
>   This is getting rather offtopic for p5p, but...
> when people find that the wxPerl documentation is what it is, they
> usually take the time to complain about it, but so far almost nobody
> has taken the time to actually do anything about it.
>   And I am more than willing to give commit rights to documentation or
> code, but I do not expect there will be flocks of documentation (or
> code) writers running to get commit rights.
> Regards
> Mattia

Its a catch-22. In order to be able to contribute docs, I need
to know how to use the API. To know how to use the API, I need some docs
and demos. Spending 6 months reverse engineering the source code
isn't an option for most of us. Nor is spending several months learning
how to use it in C++ or Python, and then transitioning back to Perl.
If you're expecting those of us that want to use wxPerl to endure that
process, you'll continue to be confronted with the same complaints, and,
as importantly, be challenged in growing a community to help
wxPerl succeed.

Instead, like me, most developers will try, get frustrated, and move on,
because we do have alternatives that, despite not looking nearly as
good as wxPerl, allow us to actually get things done PDQ.

Writing GUI apps is hard, even when the GUI toolkit has complete and accurate
docs. Getting the layout and usability issues right, much less addressing
the unexpected user expectations, can be very difficult (e.g., I learned
the hard way that syntax highlighting and autocompletion are now mandatory
features for users to even consider an application).

Hence, GUI developers aren't likely to use an API that requires a scavenger hunt
to learn to use.

My sense is you personally find the documentation process distasteful.
Many of us can respect, even identify with, that...but you need to
realize that without those docs, wxPerl will struggle to gain mindshare,
which would be a shame.

As to the origins of this particular fork of the discussion, I think
one needs to think long and hard about using wxPerl as a means to advocate
Perl for desktop apps, if the response to the question, "Wow, I didn't know Perl
could do that, where can I learn more ?" is "Go read the C++ or Python docs..."

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