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The stupid question is the question not asked


by turnstep (Parson)
on Mar 24, 2000 at 10:26 UTC ( [id://6041]=user: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


This homenode is severly outdated, as I rarely have time to visit here anymore. Consider me on an extended sabbatical to Strange Lands.

PGP Key: 0x14964AC8

Hrmm...this node is getting a bit messy. Here's a quick and dirty list of the stuff here:

Tips and Tricks

Here are some things that may help you enjoy perlmonks. Some are elsewhere on the site, some (as of this writing anyways) are not.

  • Is the Newest Nodes page so big it won't even load? Try using the button at the very bottom of your home node, under "User settings"
  • Check out the new Chatterbox FAQ++ for all your chatterbox questions!
  • Surround all your code with <CODE> tags. Inside these tags, everything (especially newlines and the < > characters) appear exactly as you type them)
  • Outside of the CODE tags, make sure that you use &lt; and &gt; to make the < and > characters. Use &#091; and &#093; to make the [ and ] symbols.
  • To refer to a node by it's id number in a post, use this format: [id://12345]
  • To refer to books on fatbrain, use an isbn code. This also adds in a code so that Perl Monks gets credit for any books linked to that way. Example:
    [isbn://8675309|Perl for Gurus]
  • To refer to a CPAN module, use the cpan code:
    [cpan://DBI|The DBI Module]
  • In the chatterbox, using the talk button without putting in any text will not show anything, and will process any checkboxes you have. This is also a good way to refresh the screen to see more conversations.
  • You can /msg yourself in the chatterbox - this is a good way to remind yourself of things, and a good alternative to your "personal nodelet"
  • When you make a significant change to one of your notes, the convention is to make a new paragraph and start it with the word "Update:" bolded, like this example:

    <P> <STRONG>Update:</STRONG> I changed the sort routine in my code above thanks to the excellent suggestion by kudra.</P>

  • Please, please use a des‎crip‎tive Title when posting things. "Need help with this s‎crip‎t" is not a good title!
  • Get familiar with the Newest Nodes page. It will soon become your favorite. :)
  • Anonymous monks cannot vote.
  • Changing your theme is highly recommended as it becomes very easy to tell whether you are logged in or not. The "dark theme" is my favorite.
  • After gaining some XP, you have the ability to vote. Once your votes are used up for the day, the voting radio buttons, the "Vote" button, and your XP/voting nodelet will not appear until the next day.
  • Your XP nodelet only appears if:
    • You recently gained or lost XP or
    • You have votes left for the day
    Use your home node (your username at the top of the page) to view your XP at other times.
  • Some nodes are created right away after you reply, even if you leave it blank and never hit the submit button afterwards. It will appear as a blank post. You can edit this, but not delete it. (yet)
  • Some people prefer to prepend their names to the titles of nodes. This is not a feature of PerlMonks - you must do it automatically. I personally don't see the need for it because a) the name of who wrote it is now shown everywhere, especially in Newest Nodes and b) people tend to reply to your notes without editing the title, so that they have "your" name in the title. kudra started all this: see these two nodes.
  • Be very careful with what you post. Sometimes you cannot go back and edit your post: in general, top level nodes cannot be changed (there are some exceptions such as Obfuscated Code)
  • Hang out for a while, participate in the chatterbox, watch and learn. Most of the monks are very friendly and willing (nay, eager) to help you out, no matter how simple (or complex) your question may be.
  • Your post may get voted down. If this happens, DON'T PANIC! It happens to us all. Make the most of it by learning why it was voted down, and strive for a better post the next time.
  • Some common reasons posts are voted down (in rough order):
    • Empty post
    • Repeated post
    • Completely off-topic post of gibberish
    • Flame or insult
    • Mostly off-topic
    • Question is so badly phrased an answer cannot be given
    • Question is not formatted, especially hundreds of lines of code without the <CODE> tags
    • Question is very, very obvious (to some)
    • Answer is wrong
    • Unnecessary profanity/vulgarity/etc. in the post
    • Dislike the whole thread, and your post got caught in the fire.
    • Random vote. It happens.
    • Personal grudge/"voting war"/etc.

    Keep in mind that everyone votes on each posts for different reasons, and may have reasons not listed above. Most people do not vote for all of the reasons above either, but a subset of them. I myself only use the first four, and sometimes the next to last, as a general rule. Users may vary.

Exploring the Monastery

Here is a quick guide to some of the more interesting, popular, or esoteric nooks and crannies of our cloister:

Drop me a /msg if you know of somethingthat should be added.

PerlMonks Issues

Some of the things that have been discussed about the monastery. If you have additions or corrections, let me know.


Voting is a very controversial topic here at the Monastery. Learn about voting at the Voting/Experience System node, then take a look at the Faqlet on Voting Guidelines. The following are some of the voting issues that have arisen:

  • Posts by cciulla, corion, and corion ask why people vote nodes down.
  • In a similar vein, the question of "why do you vote like you do?" and similar discsions are asked by buzzcutbuddha, bigjoe, ybiC, footpad, Fastolfe, Zo, and PipTigger.
  • ybiC and lzcd ask us to reconsider the policy of voting on works by the Anonymous Monk.
  • Negative posting is brought up by curtisb and mr_leisure, while a discussion on limiting the votes on one person by tye started a big discussion.
  • Apertigo and Blue ask about tracking who you've voted for, and vroom speaks about the voting question.
  • Many people, Kozz, cbraga, and PipTigger among them, have expressed the wish to see the reputation of a node before you vote on it. Many people oppose this idea as well.
  • The creation of a "non-votable" post was argued for by gaggio, and categorized voting and a general voting discussion was initiated by ivory.
  • Not voting on older nodes has been discussed earlier, but the only link I could find was a recent one by seeker.


The experience system correlates closely with voting, as casting votes on a node, or receiving votes from others on your nodes, are the primary means of receiving XP. (Yes, there are other ways, such as winning a quest, but these are the exception). Some of the issues encountered so far:

  • The growth of the monastery has led to two excellent questions about the scaling of our present system - Ovid asks about the scaling of the XP system, while httptech asks about the scaling of votes.
  • You gained 3 points since yesterday - but was it 6 up and 3 down? 1 down and 4 up? ahunter and KM argue for a breakdown.
  • cciulla suggests an XP reward for the number of replies a post generates.
  • Could someone troll to "raise" their own post, asks d4vis?
  • Ovid and qi3ber suggest being able to see the average repuation of your posts.
  • Many have suggested higher levels above Saint. See the nodes by MF, damian1301, and jptxs.


Searching, and it's gigantic, pumped-up cousin Super Search, are a welcome addition to the monastery. Still, there are two big things that are very commonly requested. The rest of the list is mostly variations on those themes:

  • The number one request is to have some sort of result ordering when doing a search. This has been brought up by athomason, swiftone, extremely, footpad, footpad (again), and probably many others. Ordering can be done by creation date, section, or other criteria - see the nodes for more.
  • The number two most common request is to make Super Search more visible - be it a link after a failed normal search, a link from the main page, or somewhere else, as asked by kudra, swiftone, and zigster.
  • ZydecoSue has asked about excluding terms while searching, footpad has asked about excluding users, gaggio asked about using regular expressions, and brainpan has requested the familiar boolean logic be added to the search requests.
  • Limiting within a reputation range has been suggested by footpad, but this has the unfortunate side effect of revealing indirectly the reputation of a node prior to voting on it. Besides which, the quality of a node does not *always* correlate with it's reputation. But I digress... :)
  • lemming made a point that limiting the search to only root nodes would be nice. There is a hack, but clicking all the checkboxes except the one for "Notes" in Super Search can be a bit tedious. Surely a single button would be better?
  • The format of the search results could be improved: damian would like to see the dates the nodes were posted, and footpad would like to see the results numbered with the owner's name next to it.
  • Finally, footpad asks about showing the number of replies when doing a search of a user's writeups.


Ah, the chatterbox, that wonderful, aggravating, ephemeral, ever-changing, very often fantastically off-topic glimpse into the heart of the Monastery! Learn more about it at the Chatterbox FAQ, then try out the fullscreen version. If that still is not enough, check out the list of Chatterbox Clients, written by various monks, to further enhance your um...chatting experience. :) If you get too many messages, you can view them at the Message Inbox node.

  • The number one suggestion for the chatterbox is the trapping of "slash typos", notably the infamous "/msh" insted of "/msg". So you type in
    /msh jcwren Actually, I *like* Windows!
    and the whole world sees it (or at least that part of it reading the chatterbox at the time) Funny thing is, jcwren might not even see it. Handling these cases has been brought up by swiftone, turnstep, brainpan, and alakaboo.
  • On a similar note, lzcd suggested trapping things such as
    /turnstep I like your home node as an alternative to
    /msg turnstep I like your home node.
  • Logging of the chatterbox is another often discussed topic. The general consensus is that this is a bad idea: see the nodes by jjhorner, Macphisto, jcwren, geektron, kudra, and jptxs.
  • Changing the size of the area to type in has been suggested by Q*bert and epoptai. Allowing larger messages has been suggeted by turnstep.
  • Showing what time a /msg was sent is a request of buzzcutbuddha, mischief, and zdog.
  • The possibility of banning abusive people was mentioned by vroom a while back.
  • Having a local "time" macro is jrsmith's idea.
  • Being able to /msg more than one person at once was a request by mirod.
  • Some improvements to the fullscreen chatterbox were suggested by epoptai, as well as some of the replies.


Moderation is a feature that allows higher level monks to help make the Monastery a little less chaotic. Read about it here. Both Corion and footpad have nodes dicussing the nuances of moderating.


Posting - the heart of the system. Probably no other part of the Monastery has undergone so many changes. It has come a long way. Beyond the basics, make sure you know about the Perl Monks Approved HTML tags as well as the proper way to create shortcuts to all sorts of things. Some other suggestions:

  • Posting can often be confusing for new people (See the "Users" section for nodes about Anonymous Monk posting). Some recommend forcing new users to receive a message (jptxs, damian1301, and AgentM), others have suggested ways to force a new user to use CODE tags (young_perlhopper and Guildenstern. Perhaps detecting nodes that contain code without a CODE tag is the answer? (odud, swiftone, and footpad)
  • A new tag that causes line numbering was ar0n idea.
  • Changing the wrapping of the TEXTAREAs to "soft" or "virtual" would help Netscape users, says tilly
  • Some sections do not have a PREVIEW option - Abigail, Ovid, jynx, and bigjoe think they should.
  • A way to handle duplicate posts was suggested by turnstep.
  • Making sure that HTML tags are properly closed would be a nice feature, points out stwfan.
  • Showing similar posts when attempting to post yours is a rough des‎crip‎tion of what boo_radley has suggested.
  • Some sort of language filter was discussed by punkkid, mostly in response to a keyword submission.
  • mirod asks that the "thanks" posts be kept to a minimum to decrease our signal to noise ratio.


Not too many issues here - most are regarding the behavior of the many-faced Anonymous Monk:

  • Discussions about Anonymous Monks, incuding showing the IP of AM posts, abuse by AMs, and the right for AMs to post: developers, muppetBoy, princepawn.
  • belize asks about problem members.
  • Some Anonymous Monk wants to know if old, unused users can be deleted, freeing up the namespace.


Keywords are a feature that has not really come into its own yet. I'd like to see HTML filtered out, and there are some good discussions about them by nuance and again by nuance.

Look and Feel

Suggestions on how the site appears and how it acts are gathered here. Most are probably very easy to implement. (hint, hint) :)

  • The Dark Theme (the best, IMHO) has a contrast problem when viewing certain areas in the Monastery, as pointed out by me and other Dark Theme lovers: j.a.p.h, TQuid, and PipTigger.
  • mdillon has asked about having variables for the colors to make your own theme.
  • Good ideas about some sort of announcement when you gain a new level can be found in nodes by mt2k and lzcd.
  • Showing the total of number replies (mischief and PsychoSpunk) would be a nice option.
  • Displaying only the first paragraph of posts, like Slashdot does, might make The Monastery Gates more readable to BBQ and others.
  • Abigail asks about showing the number of replies to posts on the user writeups pages.
  • Should QA answers have timestamps? turnstep, footpad, and others want to know
  • Kozz had an idea about posting code using a TEXTAREA, but it didn't go over well.
  • When you view a QA question with all the replies threaded, you can see who posted them. The name disappears if you click on an answer, however.
  • Amaya browsing is not possible: according to neophyte, the HTML is missing the required "action" attribute.
  • princepawn asks about too many "Re:" levels.
  • It would be nice to how what section a post is in, points out amelinda.
  • Are the voting buttons spaced properly? (I think so, but sierrathedog04 wonders.

Things to Update/Fix

These are some small problems need fixing in the Monastery:

  • The St. Larry Wall shrine needs updating, as pointed out by Adam and coreolyn.
  • Code vs. Craft - better labels are needed, points out vroom, swiftone, and damian1501.
  • This node has a bad link that should be changed to "", as pointed out by john-paul a long time ago.
  • The perlman nodes need to have version numbers, points out mdillon and knight.
  • On a similar note, knight points out that the perldoc pages need to be updated.
  • The order of the Best and Worst nodes should be changed to day, week, and then "all time" (johannz).
  • When making a reply at the voting booth, the title sometimes changes to "Comment on" says dmckee.
  • jcwren pointed out that there is a small typo in the source code of the Site How To page.
  • The "user since" phrase on a user's home node does not show the year (xeh007 and petruchio).
  • I'd like to have a way to put the pipe character inside perlmonks links. Anyone know how?

Newest Nodes

The Newest Nodes is a great feature at the Monastery - most monks who have been here a while visit that and not the main page. Lots of people have made suggestions about how to improve this area:
(note: check out the Perl/Tk Newest Nodes Client which may be just what you were looking for)

  • Threading the newest nodes somehow is an oft-requested feature: some nodes by japhy, mirod, and tye illustrate this.
  • Show the number of replies to a node (httptech, dempa, athomason, and steveaz98)
  • Not showing replies that are already at the top was requested by swiftone.
  • The "all or nothing" nature of the Newest Nodes page has been addressed many times. Some solutions include checking nodes off selectively (athomason and japhy), marking entire sections as complete (nuance and kudra), choosing which categories to display (zdog, changing the order of the categories displayed (Adam), and a "clear flag proofing" method (alakaboo).
  • Showing not just new nodes, but modified ones, is discussed by mt2k, mdillon, and KM.
  • Another popular request is to have a link to the root node when showing notes, so you can read the whole thread at once. Among the people suggesting this are ZZamboni, nuance, Cirollo, and amelinda. (The last of these has a good example in the replies.
  • Notifications of new quests (and perhaps other news) could be posted to the Newest Nodes page (Ovid)


Making your way around the monastery can be tricky, especially for beginners. Check out the What section should I post this in page for a good des‎crip‎tion of the various parts of the Monastery. Some thoughts on navigation:

  • Storing the "nextpage" information in a hidden input tag would prevent you from going to the top of a section when voting/chatting/etc. See the nodes by russ and turnstep for more information.
  • Showing the node_id somewhere else besides in the link itself (i.e. by doing a "mouseover") could be helpful, thinks Adam, mdillon, and msichief.
  • The distinction between answers and replies for Q&A questions causes inconsistent threading. (ybiC)
  • A better link/explanation of where and how to get the PM code (Everything code that is) should be made (ybiC)
  • neshura asks that a user's writeups be organized by section.
  • Sometimes when you click on a node, there is no way to tell what section it is in (ummm...just me, probably mentioned elsewhere).
  • Moving within sections, points out footpad, would be easier if we could view more than 15 posts per page.


Once you have created a PerlMonks account, there are a lot of customization options you can use to make your time here easier. This has come a long way, but there are still some things to consider:

  • The ability to edit/delete your own top level nodes, or to simply delete your own regular nodes, is restricted for a good reason: see discussions about it at these nodes by jbert, cciulla, mikfire, princepawn, kozz, spectre, merlyn, ZydecoSue, and mischief.
  • Having a "remove" link similar to the "add" link for your personal nodelet would be nice, as mentioned by tye and mischief.
  • When you log in from the Monastery Gates, you get back a message asking whether to go back to the Monastery Gates, or to the Monastery Gates. This was pointed out by sean.
  • A way to email threads was suggested by ZZamboni.
  • zigster advocates being able to ignore nodes by certain users.
  • The ability to customize themes was asked about by RuffRichie.
  • The use of style sheets for the monastery was brought up by mdillon and Petruchio.
  • Being able to follow threads with a /msg link (and not just your own) was suggested by mikfire.
  • Sometimes the behavior of the automatically added signature acts odd, points out ZZamboni. This may be fixed: if it is, somebody please let me know!
  • nuance would like to see a quick link to your own writeups.
  • Being able to move a nodelet to the top of your list with one action would be nice, thinks Falkkin.
  • The ability to move the approval nodelet up and down is what footpad and others would like to have.
  • lemming has asked about ordering items in your personal node.
  • Having screenshots of the various themes was suggested by mischief.

New Things

Many new sections and things have been suggested to enhance the monastery:

Chatterbox FAQ++

What is the Chatterbox?

A: The Chatterbox is a nodelet that appears on the right-hand side of your screen and allows you to "talk" publicly with other users in the monastery. It also allows you to exchange private messages to/from other users. It is the best place to go if you have a quick perl question that needs answering.

Who can use it?

A: Viewing the Chatterbox is available to anyone, even Anonymous Monks, but you must be logged in to to say anything.

How do I refresh the screen without posting something again?

A: Hit the talk button again. Remember that the talk button in the Chatterbox submits a form via POST, so refreshing your browser will post the same information again. To refresh, simply hit the talk button without typing any message. Nothing will appear, and the page will be updated. This is also a good trick for any page on which you have just POSTed something and want to refresh it.

How do I use it?

A: Just type in the textbox at the bottom of the Chatterbox, and everything you type will appear after your name. There are also some special commands you can use, all of which start with a slash. Warning: Typos, such as the infamous "/msh" will appear as if it was a normal string. The following commands must be types exactly as they appear (but they are case-insensitive):
  • /me <text>

    Used as an action verb for the Chatterbox. Your name will appear, then the text you type afterwards, and the entire thing will be wrapped in <I> tags and italisized. For example, if I typed:

    /me larts another spammer.

    it would appear inside the Chatterbox as:

    turnstep larts another spammer.

  • /msg <username> <text>

    This is used to send a private message to someone. Be very careful when typing this! At some point in your travels here, you will probably type "/msh" or forget the "/msg" altogether and the whole world will see your message. The correct format is to put the the "/msg" followed by the username of the person to send the message to, and then the message. The person will receive it at the top of their Chatterbox with a checkbox next to it. You can send yourself a message to try it out. As an example, if I were type in:

    /msg kudra Our operatives in Australia are in place!

    it would appear in kudra's Chatterbox as:

    turnstep says Our operatives in Australia are in place!

  • /tell <username> <text>

    Same as /msg

  • /ignore <username>

    Use this to ignore a user's public messages. Anything that user says will no longer appear in your Chatterbox. However, you will still receive be able to receive private messages from them.

  • /unignore <username>

    Used to remove somebody from your ignore list. Just put their name after the "/unignore".

  • /chatteroff

    Used to turn off all public chat from your Chatterbox. The only thing you will see are private messages (using /msg) sent to you. This is the equivalent of an "/ignore everyone"

  • /chatteron

    Used to turn the viewing of public messages back on after a "/chatteroff" command has been issued.

What sort of things are discussed in the Chatterbox?

Everyting and anything!! Topics tend to lean towards perl (naturally). Unix and current events pop up often too, but in general, anything goes.

I can say anything? Is it moderated in any way?

Only insofar that you may be /ignore'd by other people if you are really bothersome. The Perlmonks community is generally a very friendly, open place, and the Chatterbox is one of the strongest indications of this.

How do send a message to somebody with a space in their username?

s/ /_/g; (in other words, just replace any spaces with an underscore.)

I came in late to a conversation. Is there anyway to see older messages?

No. The Chatterbox is meant as a very temporary place to post things. Some of the other Chatterbox clients may have some sort limited scrolling. Also see the next question.

Are the messages logged anywhere? I don't want my conversations being recorded!

The Chatterbox is traditionally not logged, but anyone is free to do so. Search engines like Google have been known to "Capture" a moment in time from the Chatterbox as they cache a copy of a page from PerlMonks. To be safe, never say anything in the Chatterbox that you would not say in any other public forum.

How many private messages (via /msg) can appear in the Chatterbox at one time?

Ten. Once you receive more than that, a small message will appear after your tenth message suggesting that you go to the Message Inbox page to see the rest of them.

Are there other ways to view the Chatterbox?

Of course! In addition to the Message Inbox which allows you to view all your private messages at once, other monks have written various clients to access the Chatterbox. Most use ZZamboni's module: see his home node for a list of current clients you can try.

What is the maximum length of a message?

A: The maximum limit is 255 characters. If you really have the need to say more, you will have to break it up into multiple messages.

What happens if I send a message to a user who does not exist?

A: This usually happens when you forget to put in the <username> before your private message. Unless the first word in your message happens to be a current user, you will get a message back from root. For example, if I was trying to ask jcwren about the eating habits of geckos, and mistyped:
/msg How fast can a gecko eat a cricket?

then the user "How" would receive the strange message "fast can a gecko eat a cricket?" Otherise, I will receive this message in my inbox:

root says You tried to say "How fast can a gecko eat a cricket?", but How does not exist on this system!

How long do public messages stay in the Chatterbox?

A: Messages stay about five minutes, or sooner if they are "pushed off the top" because the chatterbox is busy. The Chatterbox will generally hold about 10 messages before the oldest one (at the top) gets pushed off to make room for new messages.

How can I tell who I have already ignored?

A: Unfortunately, you cannot. Once you have ignored somebody with the /ignore command, you must remember that they are ignored.

Can I tell who is listening when I talk?

A: You can look at the list of names in the Other Users nodelet for a general idea, but not all of the people listed there are reading the Chatterbox, and not all of the people reading the Chatterbox are listed in Other Users. There is a very high correlation, however, as most monks read the Chatterbox.

How can I move the Chatterbox higher up on my screen?

A: You can change the position of the Chatterbox and all other nodelets by going to your home node and selecting the user settings link at the bottom of the page. Note that there are two nodelet ordering sections, one for the frontpage and one for non-frontpage nodelets.

This is kind of like irc!! Is there a perlmonks irc channel?

A: The channel #perlmonks exists on irc via

I could have sworn I just saw the NodeReaper in the chatterbox!

A: No area of the monastery is safe from the NodeReaper!

Why FAQ++?

A: We already have a Chatterbox FAQ. Consider this the upgraded version. :)

Posting FAQ

What is posting?

A: Posting is the process of creating or editing a node on the PerlMonks site. Usually this is done to ask or to answer a question. PerlMonks is made up of a large number of interconnected nodes, and uses the Everything Engine.

How do I post?

A: It is highly recommended, but not necessary, that you get a PerlMonks account before posting. Once you have something to say, just type type your text into the TEXTAREA box on the screen and hit the preview or the submit button. Keep in mind that everything you type will be treated as HTML (with some exceptions, see below), so things will not necessarily appear the same as how you typed them. The preview button is highly recommended for this reason!

How is text posted to PerlMonks different from normal HTML?

A: There are three major differences between "normal" HTML and text typed into PerlMonks:

  1. Special linking of text enclosed by left and right brackets ( [ and ] )

    If you put brackets around your text, PerlMonks will turn that text into a special hyperlink. (However, this does not happen within CODE tags). There are many different kind of links, but the most common is a simple named link to another node on the PerlMonks site. For example, if you type in:

    My favorite function is [seek].

    it will appear as:

    My favorite function is seek.

    Notice how the word seek has been turned into a hyperlink to the PerlMonks node of the same name.

    See the "How do I link" question for other types of links.

  2. Special formatting of text within CODE tags.

    The CODE tags allow you to get around the problem that the left and the right bracket are commonly used within perl s‎crip‎ts. Any time you post a snippet of code, you should wrap it in CODE tags, which does three things for you:

    • Suppresses the automatic linking of things in left and right brackets.
    • Preserves all whitespace, e.g. newlines, spaces, and tabs. (with a PRE tag)
    • Makes the type appear different so that it stands out from the rest (with a TT tag)

  3. Filtering of non-approved HTML tags
  4. Tags will be silently discarded if they do not appear in the list of approved HTML tags.

How do I make the [ and ] symbols?

A: Use &091; and &093;

The left bracket [ and right bracket ] have special meaning within PerlMonks nodes, so they must be escaped if you really want to use them. Note that you do not need to escape brackets within text surrounded by CODE tags, as this special PerlMonks linking feature is turned off within those tags.

How do I make the < and > symbols?

A: Use &lt; and &gt;

The "less-than" < and greater-than > are used to create HTML tags. Therefore, if you really want to make them, you must use the special HTML code. Text surrounded by PRE tags do not need this escaping. In a PerlMonks node, text inside CODE tags is automatically wrapped in PRE tags, so you do not need to escape these characters within CODE tags either.

How do I link to something on PerlMonks?

A: Linking is done by enclosing text in between a left bracket and a right bracket. A link will be created that tries to link to a node by that name. You can also change the name of what appears as the text of the hyperlink by putting a left bracket, the name to link to, a "pipe" character ( | ), the text to show, and then a right bracket. Some examples:

If you type in... It will appear as...
They [seek] him here. They seek him here.
The NodeReaper has a cool [NodeReaper|home node]! The NodeReaper has a cool home node!
Have you seen the [Newest Nodes] page? Have you seen the Newest Nodes page?
Have you seen the [Newest Nodes|Newest Nodes page]? Have you seen the Newest Nodes page?

What other type of special links are there?

A: Here is the complete list of links you can make within PerlMonks:

Type of link Des‎crip‎tion Example
Normal link:
Link to a PerlMonks node named "foo" Have you tried using [unpack]?
Have you tried using unpack?
Named link:
Link to a PerlMonks node named "foo",
and make it appear as "bar"
Here is some [Perl Racer|obfuscated code]!
Here is some obfuscated code!
Offsite link:
Link to another site ("foo") with an HREF tag,
and make it appear as "bar".
Why not visit [|Slashdot]?
Why not visit Slashdot?
Node_id link:
Link to a specific node by the node_id number "foo",
and make it appear as "bar"
[id://58373|Perl Love] conquers all.
Perl Love conquers all.
CPAN module link:
Link to something on CPAN with the name "foo",
and make it appear as "bar".
Try using [cpan://Benchmark|]
Try using
Book link:
Link to a book at by ISBN # "foo",
and make it appear as "bar".
The [isbn://1565922573|"owl book"] covers regular expressions.
The "owl book" covers regular expressions.

How do find out the node_id of a certain page?

A: If you are on the page itself, just look at the URLS of any of the links on the page that end in lastnode_id=xxxxx and xxxxx will be the node_id of the page you are on. Try finding the node_id of this very page with this link to the Newest Nodes page. This should show that you are on currently on node 6041. (unless this FAQ has moved!!)

On most browsers, the URL information shows in the browser's status bar when you hold the mouse pointer over the link, but, if you are desperate, you could always view the source of the page directly.

Why do some of the Submit buttons say "Stumbit"?

A: Just a little bit of humor, it does the same thing. Who says monks don't have any fun? :)

Why can't I edit some of my nodes anymore?

A: Most top-level nodes are not editable once you submit them. That's why there is a "Preview" button. Go over your post very well, for you will not be able to change it once you select "Submit".

What is a "top-level" node?

A: A top-level node is any node that is not a reply to someone else's node. This is usually starting a new discussion, asking a new question, posting a new piece of code, etc.

Which top-level nodes *are* editable?

A: First, here is everything that is not editable. Once you create these, you cannot change them:

Here is a list of things that can be changed once you create them:

How can I delete one of my nodes?

A: The best you can do is to make an Editor Requests petition. If the node is a part of Q&A, you can also send a /msg to a Q&A Editor.

Who is the NodeReaper? How can he have negative writeups?

A: The NodeReaper's main job is to "harvest" posts that the community feels is of no value. These can be duplicate posts, off-topic posts, trolls, or anything else. All monks at level 6 or higher can nominate a post to the Nodes to Consider page. Once it has been moved there, all level 6 or higher monks can vote to delete it, keep it, or edit it. Once a post has a certain number of "delete" votes (currently 5) without having reached a certain number of "keep" votes (currently 2), the NodeReaper will swoop in and claim the node. Once he does, ownership of the node is transferred from the original owner to the NodeReaper. The node's content is replaced with a short message containing a link to the original text. The reason for the node's deletion (as entered by the level 6+ monk who nominated the node) is shown at the top of the node. Any future votes on the node will go towards the NodeReaper, and not the original poster of the node. The negative writeups is because NodeReaper has no need to obey the normal laws of physics in the Monastery - you'll have to ask *him* what the number means. :)

Why not the Posting FAQ++

A: Because the "Posting FAQ" was free! :)

Questions and comments welcome!

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