Bill Ricker wrote:
@perlfoundation <http://twitter.com/perlfoundation> Two reviews of the
Perl presence at CeBit - http://bit.ly/aS2EDH, http://bit.ly/aEy3Xx Sounds
successful.

Do we want to do something at the LinuxCon in South Boston in August ?

I read one of the reviews and it sounds like it worked out well for them, but I'm not entirely sure what the message should be about Perl these days. I've been following some of the discussion on the Enlightened Perl Organisation (http://www.enlightenedperl.org/) announce list, and recently joined the marketing list. There's certainly enthusiasm for promoting Perl, but it isn't clear that we (as a group) can articulate clear and compelling reasons for using Perl.

The CeBit approach seemed to be to answer whatever random questions that came up, and to show off demos of a few projects. While that doesn't hurt the situation, a more organized and intentional approach might do better.

Doing it better, though, isn't trivial. It would take some research and work to first understand the reasons why developers have left Perl, the impression they have of Perl, and their concerns over using it on a work project. (Of course we can all speculate and guess at the answers to these, but there's danger in doing so from within the community, as those that have stuck with Perl have obviously not considered the deficiencies significant enough to justify abandoning the language.)

Once you understand the "customer perspective" better, you can then address it with all the marketing techniques that engineers hate, but are still effective on us: case studies (big names that still use Perl), statistics (CPAN modules, number of Perl jobs/programmers), feature comparisons (Perl vs. Python vs. Ruby), specific demos showing how to solve a common problem more effectively with Perl, talking points, etc.

 -Tom

--
Tom Metro
Venture Logic, Newton, MA, USA
"Enterprise solutions through open source."
Professional Profile: http://tmetro.venturelogic.com/

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