Perl Mongers Camel
About Us / Charter
a charter for the first IRC perl mongers group

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 was formed to deal with reality: the IRC community may be "virtual" but it is just as real as any other.

We Have a Rationale

Some people have questioned the value of 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. will offer these things, and others of this sort, to the Perl community that "lives on IRC".

To that end, sets forth the following organizing principles:

  1. The 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.

  2. The 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 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.

  3. 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 site will help reduce the overhead of dealing with FAQs.

    The 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 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.

  4. The 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!

  5. We, the founders of 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.

Thank you.

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