[Phoenix-pm] phoenix.pm.org wants to aggregate your reddit, del.icio.us, twitter, LJ, myspace

Scott Walters scott at illogics.org
Thu Aug 2 19:17:11 PDT 2007

> an RSS feedlink.  I'll sometimes link to Perl related articles in my
> "Most Recent Links" section (powered by del.icio.us!), but I rarely
> comment on Perl stuff anymore.

My logic might be flawed, but I think even quick links to articles
is really important.  Looking at what other people are reading helps
you yourself keep your finger on the pulse, so to speak.  

There's a vast body of knowledge out there with no apparent place to
get started.  A lot of people chose for whatever reason to get started
at least in part through Phoenix.PM which solves a lot of problems... 
if you just look at what a bunch of strange people are doing ... it 
lacks context.  You can't really talk to these people, and you don't 
have anything in common, and it's not a good sample of people anyway,
so you don't know if they're basically ordinary Perl programmers.
I think it's to Phoenix.PM's benefit that it is mostly work-a-day
types.  Then people come to meetings, we say, yeah, we all use DBI,
and so should you, and yeah, we all use strict and warnings, and
so should you, here, let us help you.  We can put all of this mess
in some sort of context.  But it seems that that context is that
all that crazy stuff going out there we barely pay attention to
and aren't eager to repeat ;)

> most of my programming stuff lately has been $DayJob related.  Most of

Hrm.  I'm not in a very good position to understand this one.
I'm not sure if it's modesty or actually not doing anything
interesting but people are surprisingly interested by presentations
about the "nothing in particular I'm doing at work"... if nothing
else, everyone seems to be able to relate to that and actually
pick up tips from it... it's accessible.  It's probably those
as well as laziness as well as disinterest in blogging --
everything that everyone said.

Maybe I feel like I really have to keep my finger on the pulse of
things, and staying relavent and extremely productive is an ongoing
fight.  And feeling like I'm up against the wall day in and day out,
I crave feedback and input.

> I, too, have recently discovered the geeky coolness that is the N800.


> Since there's a fairly complete Debian-based Linux distro underneath,
> there's considerable opportunity for direct software ports, though the
> coolest apps are definitely the ones that were written from scratch
> for the N800 or have been otherwise Hildon-ized.  Flickr does work
> quite well, though most of Google's web apps are a bit slow, which I'm
> not sure the new Mozilla-based browser will fix (what's needed is an
> ultra-quick JavaScript engine, I think).

Yeah.  The CPU is pretty fast (I think 400mhz or so) but it's of the
embedded sort so the cache is small and that doesn't do well with
large applications like several meg large Web browsers.  Running
Opera or Firefox is just one big prolonged cache miss.

I recently did the x11vnc port for the thing (which can be launched
from the menu but is better started from shell or init.d).  I'm 
really digging being able to just cut and paste stuff back and 
forth, rsync over to it, wget from it, etc, all from a real
keyboard and mouse.  It joins the network at home automatically
so I just walk in the house, sit down, vnc over to it, and I'm 
using my PDA from my desktop.

> Oh yeah, and although no one seems to be mentioning it, there IS a
> Perl interpreter onboard, version 5.8.3.

Hrm, I'm not seeing it in my path... 

> Oh, and Twitter?  It's cool tech, but nobody needs to know what I'm
> doing minute by minute.

I don't think that's the idea.  I think the idea is that if you're
going bowling, you Twitter it, and some more friends might join.
Or you're going to some bar.  Something that's social.  It's
like Evite but without a barrage of liqour ads, RSVPs, etc.
It's Evite stripped down so far to the core that it can be used
casually, if you're so inclined.  But a lot of people wind up
using it just as a micro blog type thing.  Forcing people to
be concise raises the signal to noise ratio of posts.  Posts
are still insightful, witty, intersting -- they just wind up
being really short when people do that.  It has nothing to do
with blogging every minute of your life.  I do every few days
with some social stuff and some hopefully amusing or
education bits thrown in.

> In truth, though I do Perl stuff everyday, Perl is being left behind
> in a couple of critical areas I'm interested in.  Ruby on Rails is the
> cutting edge web development framework now, and the mobile scripting
> language of choice for non-iPhones is Python.  I'm sure Perl will
> always be around as a part of Unix, and will continue to be a valuable
> database access and "back-end" style language; I don't think it's
> dying per se.  But people aren't interested in it anymore.  I used to
> think people were waiting for Parrot and Perl 6, but now I think they
> got tired of waiting and found other tools to do their work.
> Increasingly, I'm thinking I'm going to have to do the same thing.

I think you're absolutely right.  Perl people seem to really dislike
contraversy so they don't say things that might hurt feelings, so
you almost never hear any hint of this.  Thanks for being direct
enough to mention it.  I think this has a lot of bearing on what's
going on with the group now.  At first, Perl people were doing more
and more Python, then Ruby came along and a lot of them found that
Ruby suited their style very well.  The Perl 6 thing happened and
it wound up turning a lot of Perl programmers onto Haskell.

I wonder how everyone would feel about creating a FringePhoenix
in the vein of http://www.lisperati.com/fringedc.html and then
merging Phoenix.PM with it >=)


> [aj]


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