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Let Me CPAN That For You!

by perl.j (Pilgrim)
on Mar 13, 2012 at 19:06 UTC ( #959437=perlnews: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Note: I did not find this on this site through a few searches do I guess that it has never been posted here.

Recently I have come across LMCTFY (Let me CPAN that for you).

Nothing special. But I thought it might be useful here (actually, it's especially useful on StackOverflow who has banned LMGTFY links). Have fun!


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Re: Let Me CPAN That For You!
by educated_foo (Vicar) on Mar 14, 2012 at 00:34 UTC
    actually, it's especially useful on StackOverflow who has banned LMGTFY links
    Let me get this straight: StackOverflow banned one dickish method of answering questions, so you're proposing another, nearly identical method? If you don't want to help someone for free, the best option is simply not to help them.

      While I agree that the LMG... etc links can be abused (especially when provided without relevant arguments), it seems to me that there's little reason to characterize all uses as 'dickish.' IMO, such links will sometimes either

      • suggest to the OP that there are ways other than asking a question (no matter how ill-formed) here to obtain the information sought
      • provide precisely the 'free help' that you imply is being denied by the user of such links.


      Similarly, /me thinks (and, of course, YMMV) that replies such as those providing links to How do I post a question effectively? and company should be read as 'free help' when the content of SOPW is inadequate, incoherent, incomplete,or otherwise unanswerable based on the information provided.


Re: Let Me CPAN That For You!
by pemungkah (Priest) on Mar 14, 2012 at 22:38 UTC
    The problem is that it's a one-shot joke, and therefore pretty much not funny at all after you see it once.

    I'd gently suggest that this boilerplate response is more useful:

    It looks like the CPAN module X can solve the problem you have (see [c +pan://X]). I found this via, by entering "search term". Here's how you could use it:
    And then invest the time in showing how that module would solve the problem, even if it's just an outline of what subs or methods you'd use in doing so. This is a much more useful answer to the question, as it gently prods the original poster in the direction of actually trying your suggestion, and tells them that is a good first place to go when looking for something.

    I don't want to discourage people from responding to posts - but I do want to discourage them from taking cheap shots at the querents, and the implication of the "let me X that for you" sites is "Hey, you're stupid. You didn't search first", as opposed to "let me give you a pointer to something that will help".

      "Hey, you're stupid. You didn't search first"

      . . . is not quite the way I see it; rather, replies in that vein, even if not accompanied by reasonable search terms, seem to me to say:

      "Hey, you're being lazy. You didn't search first."

      And while one can argue that's a lazy response, is it really less useful to the OP than silence?

        Sure it has utility, but it has no kindness.

        I personally believe in giving someone I've never met the benefit of the doubt the first time I meet them. Maybe they're doing something in a way that I know is suboptimal by experience they don't have yet. Maybe they really are lazy bums. One kind investment may pay off big - or not.

        I personally don't respond unless I feel like I can interact with someone in a way that will benefit them and which allows me to practice my own...I suppose you might call it "spiritual", in the sense that Zen is spiritual, path of trying to put more kindness and grace into the world. I may respond to unkindness in word by a gentle reminder about kindness instead, and will try to make my point in a peaceful manner. If this works, everyone wins. Even if it does not, I've lived my philosophy that kindness is valuable, and that acting on what I believe is the right thing to do.

        This is the reason why I prefer the "here's something that might help, and how you might use it, and the value of doing it this way" approach to someone unknown, rather than the "you did not do what I think is correct and therefore I will judge you and find you wanting" one.

        A kind and thoughtful response has value to the greater community beyond the present moment. If someone who is trying to do it right comes upon an example of a kind and informative response to a question, they are much more likely to think, "this is a group of people who value other people and who I can trust to not be nasty if I ask a question".

        We want people to think this about Perlmonks, and about the people who use Perl.

        See this article about one guy's experience with the Rails community. (If you don't want to bother reading it, they've been acting like idiots.) I don't ever want anything I post in response to someone on a technical forum to make them feel like this guy does.

        So kind on the first try, and ignore if they really are too lazy to do the work themselves.

Re: Let Me CPAN That For You!
by Your Mother (Archbishop) on Mar 14, 2012 at 15:56 UTC

    Also, while mildly cute, it's not that well done (interface doesn't DWIM on submit, it points to the wrong CPAN site at this point, and it has broken charset encoding) so it's not the kind of poster child for Perl I'd like to see popularized.

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