Bringing Folks Together
Perl Mongers groups seek to bring people together within various
geographical regions to have lots of perl-related fun. This works very
well unless you, like many of us, "live on IRC". For us there hasn't been
a regional group, until now. The pound-perl.pm was formed to deal with
reality: the IRC community may be "virtual" but it is just as real as any
We Have a Rationale
Some people have questioned the value of pound-perl.pm. These people
point to the fact that one can simply choose a network, connect to a
server, and join #perl. To them we say, PFFFFT. But they insist, so we'll
need to say more.
IRC is by its very nature ephemeral. Perl people on IRC may well have no
cohesive Perlish culture outside the particular #perl they call home. IRC
networks and channels tend to divide Perl culture into cliques, which is
decidedly not how Perl culture is supposed to work. Aside from this
aesthetic objection, there is also the wasted replication of effort, and
the loss of aggregate skills and energy that could produce many wonderful
things for the online perl community at large.
In the "real" world, Perl Mongers serves to bring people, who may not yet
know each other, to share a joy of all things Perl. This is already the
case for IRC. IRC is nothing but a means to bring people together--a
place where we can select our personal brand of weirdness and participate
with (or watch) others of our ilk.
IRC Already Brings Us Together
What IRC lacks, however, is the persistence, presence, and perks of a
real Perl Mongers group.
So, in the world of IRC, Perl Mongers has a different role (initially):
an organizing principle for a more permanent infrastructure. A web
presence, a sponsor of projects, a seller of t-shirts. pound-perl.pm will
offer these things, and others of this sort, to the Perl community that
"lives on IRC".
To that end, pound-perl.pm sets forth the following organizing
The pound-perl.pm seeks to be a place for ALL IRC-based Perl users to
find a home. We want everyone regardless of the network or channel
affiliation. There is no skill level, in-group, or personal
requirement for membership. If you want to join us and have on-line
perl camaraderie, we want you.
The pound-perl.pm will provide an on-line "place" for IRC perlers
that runs on a different time scale than IRC itself. A Wiki for
project collaboration is already underway. Mailing lists and a
Bulletin Board will follow. We will also serve as a clearing
house for the existing web resources that have sprung from IRC
groups. We want to emphasize the non-Borg approach
here--aggregator and not assimilator. We want to be the cement of
the online Perl concrete.
It will be a more "permanent" home. For those of us who are
present on multiple networks, it will be non-partisan, allowing
associations with one or more individual #perls. On the other
hand, while pound-perl.pm will certainly use an IRC channel for
organizational purposes, we have no intention at all of becoming
a replacement for any of the many IRC homes already in
existence. This Perl Mongers group seeks to strengthen the IRC
community in its current form. No one has to leave home to be
part of this.
IRC is primarily an oral medium. When a newbie joins a channel
they have no clue about the history of it, or that they are about
to open their keyboard and ask a FAQ. The pound-perl.pm site will
help reduce the overhead of dealing with FAQs.
The pound-perl.pm will encourage and sponsor projects that return
value to the Perl community at large. Documentation, particularly
for beginning perl users, will be especially encouraged. FAQs
tailored to the questions we have all learned to tolerate (well,
maybe not all) will be published on the pound-perl.pm site. These
"meta-faqs" will point to existing FAQs and also contain unique
information. Every /#.*perl.*/ on every network will be able to
point newbies with questions to the excellent material on our
site. Material placed there by you, for the benefit of your
channel and to share with the Perl IRC community as a whole. If
it benefits non-IRC Perl people, all the better.
The pound-perl.pm will be a fun thing. There is no point in this
endeavor without joy. You are expected to have fun, contribute
fun things and be generally happy about being part of this. If
you are going to grump it up you probably shouldn't get
involved. Naysayers form your own grumpy club!
We, the founders of pound-perl.pm concede it is an experiment. We
believe it will evolve into a great an wonderful thing but we
know that it could just fall flat. We won't let that happen
without a struggle but we need people to share our vision: a new
level of on-line interaction, specifically with and for those
people we know and love on IRC. Join us and make this happen, we
need your help.