I would agree that there could be many people who try to learn and do
difficult tasks. I guess when I started learning Perl that was one of
the things at the back of my mind. However it needs to be seen how
many people have an affinity to intellectual challenges that Perl has
to offer.

As you rightly said it could work the other way around too that people
who might have learnt Perl would pick something else because they
think they are not smart enought but the bigger problem, in my
opinion, is people who seek the "coolness quotient" and then end up
frustated not being able to learn it sufficiently to do something

I thinks Pythons USP is it's argument of being "quick" to learn with
many saying that you could learn it in a week. Someone who wants to
learn a language quickly is someone who doesn't want to spend time
learning and get to doing. I feel such a person will stick to the
programming language they already know and won't even think about
learning anything else.

I haven't seen any stats but have a feeling that there are more
newcomers to Python and Ruby that there are to Perl because of this
reason, again I would like to stress on this point that this is my
opinion and I could be wrong. Need to test this.


On Tue, Mar 8, 2011 at 2:41 PM, Shlomi Fish <shlo...@iglu.org.il> wrote:
> Hi all,
> in case you have not read Su-Shee's
> http://blogs.perl.org/users/su-shee/2011/01/and-suddenly-youre-hip.html , you
> should because she gives many useful insights there. One thing she says there
> is that Vim became popular among the "hipsters" because using it was marketed
> as relatively elite and:
> <<<
> Selling the steep learning curve as something what earns you Rockstar- and
> Ninja-credit in your community (I'm assuming you're familiar with all this
> Rockstar/Ninja meme...)
> Now, a lot of us have tried to market Perl 5 as a language that is "easy to
> learn" and "not so hard" and "not exactly Rocket science", but maybe we should
> admit that while one can master a small subset of it pretty quickly, it is
> still positively huge and has many dark corners and lots of small gotchas. So
> in essence saying something like "Perl - do you have the brains for it?"
> (possibly phrased better).
> We can think of many more slogans like that, but I mean that just like Vim
> takes some time to get used to, at least to people who are used to
> Windows/KDE/GNOME or even Mac OS X editors (though you can be productive with
> a very small subset) and because mastering eventually is very rewarding,
> because one feels much more productive, so is Perl in essence: has a lot of
> visual clutter at first, and has a steep learning curve, but you get to know
> it.
> A Python (and other things) programmer I talked with once told me: "I'm not
> smart enough to write Perl.". He is a Technion graduate with Computer Science
> with excellent written Hebrew and written English, and is certainly very
> intelligent and smart (and I've known some less smart Perl programmers), but
> he meant was that he didn't give the initial mental effort to understand the
> Perl mentality. That was many years ago, and I kinda dismissed it, even though
> I should have realised it was a good idea.
> I can think of several downsides to this, too, like intimidating people who
> think they are stupid than they really are and really underestimate
> themselves. Like many "post-Feminist" (if that's the term) women who want to
> stay at home and be supported by their husbands, despite being very
> intelligent.
> So I'm not sure if it's a good idea, but I think a defensive view that "Perl
> is not rocket science" or "Perl is not that hard." may be even worse.
> Maybe we should say something like "Perl - there's more than one way to do it.
> Can you find them all?" or "Perl - TIMTOWTDY - how many you can find?" or
> something.
> So what are your thoughts about it?
> Regards,
>        Shlomi Fish
> P.S: after offering a bounty to create a scripting frontend (similar to awk or
> perl's -e with the various flags) for Clojure, I got many comments and it
> seems that the Clojure community has a very positive and healthy attitude
> (which is more than I can say for Common Lisp, Scheme or even Ruby and Python
> which seem to suffer from a lot of "penis envy" in various different ways.).
> You can see the thread here:
> *
> http://groups.google.com/group/clojure/browse_thread/thread/e7cedcb1e8dbb6dd/a0488f9fa79e3989
> One thing I was impressed from that instead of telling me "How many one-liners
> you write per-day" or "there's no such thing as throwaway code" or "Paul
> Graham/Larry Wall/MJD/whoever suck", they said "it would be a great idea but
> we think Clojure is the wrong tool for the job, due to the initial startup
> time of the JVM".
> Similarly, I think we should admit that threads can often be a great idea, but
> that they are not easy to utilise in Perl 5, due to its design, and that if
> you feel you must use threads, you should look into a different technology.
> I.e: lose the negative attitude.
> --
> -----------------------------------------------------------------
> Shlomi Fish       http://www.shlomifish.org/
> Best Introductory Programming Language - http://shlom.in/intro-lang
> Mastering 'cat' is almost as difficult as herding cats.
> -- http://www.shlomifish.org/humour/bits/Mastering-Cat/
> Please reply to list if it's a mailing list post - http://shlom.in/reply .

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