I joined perlmonks about a week ago, and am only just becoming familiar with all the different elements of the site -- in part because I'm one of the lazy folks who never bothers to read the manual before trying to get something to work, only resorting to documentation when I've accepted that I can't trial-and-error what the pin-outs are. My comments here are just my opinion based on a week of being here.
In stumbling around the site I've found a couple of things that may be a little, if not confusing then at least counter-intuitive, to newbies. Information about the site is spread between several different locations, the major components of the site aren't obvious, and the 'user settings' page can be confusing.
If code should be self documenting, then so should a website -- I'm not at all advocating dumbing down, or denying that people should RTM before asking for help, rather that many peoples first instinct will be to try something first to see if they can intuit how it works, before RTMing. Would a simplified view of the site be viable? Anyone not logged in, or who hasn't selected a particular check-box on their user settings, or who dosn't meet some other criteria, sees a cut-down version of the site which highlights the elements likely to be of more interest/use to a newbie.
There is a lot of excellent information here, many exceptionally talented coders, and a lot of work has gone into building this community on both a technical and social level; though experienced users will be able to get full benefit out of this site, newcomers such as myself may find that there are a few hurdles to jump before we can find the wisdom we seek.
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