I’ve been reading about problems in the Perl community. Although I’m involved in the community it’s a hard thing for me to define. I suppose it’s many communities that are linked by Perl.
I’m involved with administration and as a consequence deal with quite a small set of people on a daily basis. This makes my main Perl community a small group of volunteers that I have a lot of respect for.
I travel to a variety of conferences and get to meet another section of the community. I’m always going to prefer face-to-face interactions over electronic ones and I really enjoy talking to other community members. I try to meet up with Perl Mongers when I travel, even when on holiday, and I have met some amazing people.
I am involved with some virtual Perl communities. I am trying to get used to IRC, but I’m not great at it. I avoid mailing lists unless it’s really neccesary for me to be part of them. I read lots of blog posts but rarely comment.
I love the diversity in the various Perl communities that I’m involved with.
I am aware that there are problems, problems to do with expectations. When I deal with people in the community directly I’m expecting them to be polite. And I imagine they are expecting me to be polite. This is especially true when I’m dealing with people I don’t know.
Every community ends up with its own rules of conduct. When dealing with large groups of people, people who don’t know each other, the behaviour is picked up from the other members of the group. It’s like walking into a room that’s incredibly clean and tidy. It feels wrong to leave your things sitting around. But if you walk into a messy environment you don’t think twice about throwing your bag on the floor. Our behaviour is affected by the environment. If you lurk on a list for a while and every email message is polite, your first message will probably also be polite.
I meet many members of the Perl community who want the community to grow. And for it to flourish I believe we need to treat each other with respect. There are so many people in the community that I do respect that it’s not that hard a thing for me to do. I don’t like them all, I don’t agree with them all, but I can be polite, and I can be civil. I have found that by doing so that nearly every member of the community that I encounter is polite and civil to me.
I think the Perl community is great, but also that it can be greater.