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Re: Backtracking through the source

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David Grove
November 30, 2000 06:52
Re: Backtracking through the source
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Simon Cozens <> wrote:

 > On Thu, Nov 30, 2000 at 11:54:31AM +0000, Simon Cozens wrote:
 > > I categorically do *NOT* want perl6-internals to turn into a basic
 > course in
 > > compiler design, purely for the benefit of those who know nothing at
 > about
 > > what they're trying to achieve. I'd like Perl 6 to be a masterwork,
 > > masterworks require master craftsmen. If you want to partake in
 > > design, it makes more than a little sense to find out how to do so.
 > Guh, I shouldn't have said that, because I know exactly what'll happen
 > people will accuse me of being elitist and reactionary and trying to
 > people out who want to help.
 > Outside my room, some constructors are building a school. I'd like to
 > I'd like to take part in the building; it'll be great! We'll have lots
 > classrooms, and a playground, and I think there should be an armoury,
 > because
 > all good schools have an armoury. Oh, that's military bases; but that
 > doesn't
 > matter, it should have one anyway.

Logic error: False Allusion in this case, Simon. Nobody's talking about
throwing in the kitchen sink. In this case, I think we're basically saying
the same thing, just using different terms (although in this particular
threadfork we're fussing about a two-letter preposition). It's the terms
that are in question in this instance, not the knowledge. As far as
building the compiler is concerned, I'm keeping silent because I don't
know enough about what you're talking about. But where the creoles are
concerned (I'm using a linguistic term to describe a concept of a language
written by a linguist), I do have some things to contribute, and semantics
shouldn't be an issue as long as there is some level of basic
comprehension between the participants.

Point taken, however.

I'll add this since you've CC'ed meta...

I've seen several types of elitism in the P5P, and only one would I
consider appropriate. That one is when a person stumbles onto the group
thinking it's a basic discussion forum and asks something like "How do I
write a CGI?". I don't consider it elitist to tell that person to find a
better place to ask (although the reactions that are actually seen can be
beyond the limits of "acceptable rudeness"). The other types of elitism
are those that I hope don't carry into Perl 6, foremost among which is
thinking of one's own particular participation (talking about ancient
comments from Tom, not you) on the perl core itself on one's own OS on
one's own machine as the only valid contribution to the Perl language and
culture. Different people contribute different things, and hopefully in
Perl 6 they can be received as contributors as long as they bide their
time and toss in their contributions at an appropriate time and place
within a conversation. We are becoming a community-based heterogenious
environment, which 5.005 attempted but failed to do. Unix is not the only
way to build a house, and Win32 users aren't all idiots (those who are
generally know who they are and don't get involved in deep subjects). If
Perl is to evolve, we have to turn from that oligarchical and exclusionary
way of thinking to a culture that understands, encourages, appreciates,
and promotes contributions from all sides. The P5P is a tight-knit circle
of "high ranking" members of the perl community. In Perl 6, the culture
has been proposed to be one of universal equality, regardless of how many
beers a person has personally drunk with Larry Wall.

Let me give you a more realistic allusion that fits this case. When I was
a teenager, I worked for a while in the plumbing department at a hardware
store. I knew just about every product sold in the store, and basically
knew how to use or install each of them. One day, a rather older gentleman
came in and asked for a quarter-inch galvanized knee. We fussed a little
bit, because I had no idea what he was talking about, and he thought I
most definitely should since it was about the most common piece of
plumbing equipment available. He had to describe it before I understood
that he actually meant "elbow". As old as he was, he had probably been
plumbing since elbows were actually called "knees". I asked an older
associate, and he confirmed that way back when, "elbow" was synonymous
with "knee" in plumbing, especially in the south, though he hadn't heard
anyone actually use the word in years. Now, in constructing a building, we
either have to have a common word ("elbow"), or we have to accept two
common words ("elbow" and "knee") as synonymous. That one person doesn't
know that a knee is an elbow doesn't make him less able to contribute, nor
does having that knowledge, speaking STRICTLY of semantics and wordings,
make one superior. If both how to install a knee or elbow, no matter what
it's called, there's nothing to argue about unless you simply like
semantic bickering. Frenchmen aren't "stupid" because they "talk funny":
thinking so is childish.

Perl internals do not come 100% from compiler books. There are some terms
unique to Perl. Even so, arguing whether a person programs "IN an API" or
"USING an API" is complete nonsense. Dan has been gracious enough to nail
down some basic terms for common communication for us. It makes sense to
have those basic terms described in a simple copy-and-paste within the
PDD, especially if any of them diverge at any point from what you would
find in compiler books. Some do: I found the term "interpreter"
particularly interesting in that the definition given seemed to me to skip
a step.

Can we PLEASE get back to the subject at hand and disinvolve meta? In case
you completely missed it, I agreed with you in your concern, and suggested
a method of working it. In fact, I've been waiting for a chance to discuss
it since the group opened, and I've been keeping silent otherwise because
I don't think that your school needs an ammunition room. You haven't even
tried to address the posting other than semantic nitpicking.

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