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JAPH and Perl Monks

by thaigrrl (Monk)
on Feb 14, 2001 at 20:08 UTC ( #58367=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I've been traversing on the pages of Perl monks for a few months now, trying to get a feel for the ambience of PM and to know a few of the monks. One thing I don't understand is why everyone writes these JAPH things. Is this sort of an initiation into being a monk? I get ridiculed by my husband if I ever log into because he tells me that I'm trying too hard to be something that I'm not. He's convinced that I have too many other activities to do than to get involved in writing about Perl. (Obviously as you can see he's not interested in seeing me spend more time with the computer than with him.) What brings you back to Perl monks on a daily basis? Is it to vote? To gain more XP? To see what witty JAPH the other Perl Monks can come up with overnight? As for myself I still don't know what the attraction is exactly but yes, I do log in on a daily basis. I went to school for programming - but I just don't seem to have the obsession with programming that is almost required just to be good at what I do. I am jealous of the rest of you because you love Programming Perl, I like Perl too, but I can't drag myself to the computer after I get home from work. It's too much.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
(kudra) Re: JAPH and Perl Monks
by kudra (Vicar) on Feb 14, 2001 at 20:16 UTC
    JAPHs are a part of the larger Perl community, not just a Perl monk thing. Rumor has it merlyn is responsible (I consider him quite capable of explaining his role himself).

    At the last meeting Abigail gave a talk on JAPHs. I think I learned more than I ever wanted to know about them. There's supposed to be a link to the talk on the site, but it doesn't seem to be there yet (I am not going to give the direct link here on PM for reasons which will be obvious to people who have been here a little while).

    As for what brings me here, it's obviously addiction.

Re: JAPH and Perl Monks
by mikfire (Deacon) on Feb 14, 2001 at 21:32 UTC
    The others have answered your JAPH questions, so I will tackle some of the others.

    I think I return for three basic reasons.

    First, to learn more about perl so I can can program it better. People ask questions here I would not and I can learn that way. I can also ask some of the harder perl questions I have and have a reasonable chance of somebody who understands more than I explaining it. I cannot get that at my current location - I am the local perl expert ( no comments from the peanut gallery ).

    Second, to give some of that back. Having accepted help, I am honor bound to give that help back to people who need it. I have learned most of my knowledge the hard way and I enjoy helping others through similar problems.

    Third, we have a pretty cool group of people here. The flame and the ego trips are mostly left behind. Help is freely and kindly given and there is usually a sense of humour to it. This is pretty rare on the 'net - look at slashdot and then, if you can stand it, read the clpm for a while.

    I am not what I would call an obsessed programmer, either. I rarely code at home - there are better things to do ( sleep, watch TV, drink, etc. ) than spend more time in front of a keyboard. The only reason I know perl is through use on the job. It just has taken a few years and I am still not as good as many people around here. Just work at it long enough and you will get better.


      I am not what I would call an obsessed programmer, either. I rarely code at home...

      You will. Oh yes, you will, as perl slowly drags you in. Before you know it, you'll be up to the wee hours of the morning trying to finish your obfuscation. Enjoy your sleeping and TV watching while you can. :)

Re: JAPH and Perl Monks
by arhuman (Vicar) on Feb 14, 2001 at 20:29 UTC
    At first I thought it was a kind of initiatic rite I feel I had to pass to feel like a real perl monk.
    (And follow the Merlyn's path.)

    I even thought it was a funny way to learn new (to me) features of Perl, or at least new way to use those feartures...

    But when I think about it seriously, I have to admit that the only reason why I wrote a japh is beccause I want to become :

    It wasn't my first choice, but as I'm married, I was not allowed to do it to seduce women ;-)
Re: JAPH and Perl Monks
by japhy (Canon) on Feb 14, 2001 at 22:03 UTC
    JAPHs are often obfuscation, and obfuscation is a way to "strut your stuff", much in the same way modules and articles and "op" status on a Perl channel on IRC somewhere is.

    They're by no means a "rite of passage" into a secret "Perl Cabal*". They're just fun ways to exploit Perl (either its loose syntax, or its bugs). That being said...
    # my message should've started with this: { $_ = q"I'm"; * == \q; s/$/ Just Another Perl Hacker/; } s+(.).+$1+; $_.=$= if $= !=~ s.\.\..\U$&.; $= ==~ s=.+(o)+.=\U$1= or tr!Perilous / Treacherous Tracks\n!!d; $= !=~ s/..$/q ... reverse $&/e and print;
    The secret password is 'GRT'. You know the meeting place.

    japhy -- Perl and Regex Hacker
Re: JAPH and Perl Monks
by Zo (Scribe) on Feb 14, 2001 at 22:29 UTC
    I find myself drawn on a daily basis to PM too. I currently hate my job/position, haven't done coding in about 2 months and I feel that I'm wilting away, and my new job offer, I'm not sure what I'll be doing (java, etc.) but when I get there, there I will be, and then I will know. Maybe I will Perl again, I'm not sure what the future applications at this new company holds for me.
    I don't go home and code, I basically just check my email and surf for cheap airfare/vacations, but this community is actually another social group or circle that I belong to. I have made comments in the past here, both positive and negative, but that is one of the plus' with this site, expression, not only within the Perl community, but the community that has evolved as a whole. I have done one or two helpful perlscripts here at work, but I feel that they are in no way as creative as what is posted here. I'm quite amazed at the creativity that I see posted with the scripts and I personally feel that I will never be a 'hardcore' programmer like some here, it's just not me... such as you stated, but I do have a sense of belonging for that common link that binds people in any way. I learned Perl on the job, and came here and got alot of great advice and ever since I have been drawn on a daily basis when at work to log on, see the new comments posted, vote occassionally, check out the whitty remarks on that week's poll, and get a bit of relief from my anti-social work environment here.
    one last comment..
    I never wrote a JAPH thing either! No worries.
Thanks for the responses
by thaigrrl (Monk) on Feb 15, 2001 at 22:44 UTC
    I just wanted to put out a big "THANK YOU" to everyone for being so responsive to my plea. PM has actually become one of my secret sites of obsession, coming back to check up on responses to my posts and seeing if I could ever possibly aide someone with their problems (very rare). When I say "secret sites of obsession" I mean, it really is a secret - noone knows at work that I come here in fear that they may sniff me out :) and find out that I'm not actually working. I'm sure that they are keeping a log somewhere and really do know but as far as I know they are unaware of my name Thaigrrrrl... But now that I think of it they might know who I am just from that nickname....

    Back on track here, sorry about that. I really want to write a JAPH now - since you all have convinced me how it sort of is a rite of passage. And I really feel that I'm not trying too hard. I just want to give it a shot, can't hurt in doing that.

    I wish that I could call myself a Perl expert but I don't know a thing about writing threads in Perl - I know the theory but have yet to conquer the programming aspect. And I am a lost child when it comes to regex. (also I blame this on laziness because I don't spend enough time to figure it out myself).. At work I have turned into a robot, outputting perl modules that don't even challenge my abilities anymore.

    I'll tell you why I frequent Perl Monks. I really had to think about it. I come here because:

    • during work I like to do a little chat in the chatterbox with people. - mainly as a form of escape from the redundance of being a robot ;)
    • because I get this sense of belonging. Everyone else here likes Perl just like me if not more.
    • because vroom likes Primus! (primus sucks!!!)
    • because so far everyone has been really nice to me
    • and it's fun to post advice - makes me feel SMART!

    theorbtwo: fixed link -- thaigrrl has been renamed. (2004-05-12)

Re: JAPH and Perl Monks
by hotyopa (Scribe) on Feb 15, 2001 at 07:33 UTC
    I thought I'd weigh in with a slightly different perspective.

    It was the XP system that got me hooked in the first place, but one of the things I appreciate the most are the insights to be gained from experienced programmers.

    I am just about to finish my current contract, and I'm not sure when I'll be paid to write Perl again. However, there is a great deal of content here which is not Perl-centric.

    For example, I just finished reading this thread about debuggers. It gives you plenty to think about, regardless of the language you may be using at the time.

    This recent Meditation by jcwren is another example of non-language-specific insights from experienced programmers that I have had access to since I first arrived to at Perl Monks.

    Want more? Take a look at merlyn's home node. For someone like me, approaching the 6mth experience mark in programming, insights like this are pure gold.

    I'll be back.


Re: JAPH and Perl Monks
by Segfault (Scribe) on Feb 15, 2001 at 08:58 UTC

    Writing a good JAPH seems to be a sort of rite of passage into the Perl community in general, and also Perl monks specifically. I'm not yet confident enough in my scripting abilities to attempt one here though...

    Why do I come here? Mostly to see all the weird and wonderful things the gods of Perl scripting come up with, and to pick up some useful tips. I'm not the greatest Perl programmer, so I tend not to post a lot, but I have learned a lot in the time I've been visiting Perl Monks. I hope someday to be good enough with the language to contribute something back.

    Also, in my opinion your husband shouldn't "ridicule" you. Nobody is born a die-hard Perl scripter (or programmer of any sort, for that matter). You shouldn't have to be one to come here. After all, part of the reason this site exists is to help out new people and expose them to all aspects of Perl and its community. I don't think you're trying too hard, if you're actually interested in even the slightest bit of what goes on here. You'd be surprised how Perl and its community can grow on you.

Re: JAPH and Perl Monks
by yakko (Friar) on Feb 15, 2001 at 00:19 UTC
    For me, it's a little of all of the above -- the voting, the XP gain, the JAPHs and other obfuscations. The main reason I keep coming back is that there's always some aspect of perl that I've been pondering... and there's a good chance that that aspect was not only covered here, but has been looked at from most every angle. It's in the extreme amount of knowledge present with the click of my mouse. I also keep returning in the hopes that I can contribute to the knowledge. There's also the "Gee, I didn't know that!" type of nodes that I come across... This place has replaced my "News for Nerds" fix that I used to have. It's that good.

    Me spell chucker work grate. Need grandma chicken.

Re: JAPH and Perl Monks
by LD2 (Curate) on Feb 17, 2001 at 08:49 UTC

    I think what brings me back.. mostly is learning. I'm still rather new to perl.. but I think it's a great language. :> Usually, I won't go home specifically to code something - but if I do - it's usually to code something useful for me or for someone else. It's almost as if I'm goofing off at home with the language.. but I'm getting something done for someone AND experimenting at the same time. I don't always code in perl.. but I do find it a useful language (especially with unix). Eep, I guess I just sound like a nerd. ;)

Re: JAPH and Perl Monks
by sierrathedog04 (Hermit) on Feb 16, 2001 at 20:47 UTC
    I am very very sorry that your husband is questioning why you visit this site. "Something you are not?" There is a Perl programmer inside all of us. Who says you are not one?

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