Perl is going strong and will continue to grow in the nearby future. However, many beginners are deterred from becoming part of the Perl world, or understanding it, out of several defects in the online Perl community and resources.

Perl proves to be a gateway to UNIX for many people. Many people who start to use a UNIX-compatible system (like Linux or Solaris) write their shell-scripts in Perl, and later on actually learn shell programming. Many Windows people who used Perl for Win32, find the UNIX concept much more desirable afterwards. Perl is a reflection of UNIX in all so many ways, and I’d hate for someone to get scared of UNIX as a result of getting scared of Perl too.

You often hear people complaining at Perl’s briefness, TIMTOWDIness, difficulty to learn, “inconsistency”, “ugly syntax”, complexity, in-fix notation, size, dollar signs, lack of suitability for large codebases, etc. All these “issues” are very much marginal if not completely false in getting it into public acceptance. In fact it is a sign that it has a culture that not all people can accept, which is good, because not all people are the same in such amoral issues as choice of programming language.

However, what can deter someone from learning Perl is a lack of good support and aid from an online community, which may be the only connection he has to this virtual world called “Perl”. Let’s change it. Let’s make sure Melissa will be practically sucked into the Perl world, as any community happy to receive a shining, new, interesting member.