This is a response to John Napiorkowski's article: Why All the Hate?
Matt S. Trout was talking about the fact that we need to become better with marketing. I second that.
One of the tools of marketeers is the survey.
My suggestion is this: Why don't we publish a survey about perl and get it answered by as many people as possible, even the nay-sayers, reddits and diggers? At least this way the perl community as a whole could better grasp what parts we really need to focus on, based on user feedback? And we'd even include people outside the core community.
I believe that some of the questions should be like this (some alternatives in parenthesis):
- How much do you like perl?
- What are perl's biggest strengths? (we need to make a list here)
- How much do you dislike perl?
- What are perl's biggest weaknesses? (same here)
- How long have you been using perl?
- How are you using perl? (scripter, sysadmin, non-user, cpan dev)
- Are you a member of the perl community? (current, former, never, left)
- What is your age?
- Are you excited about perl6? (yes/no/neutral)
- Do you think the CPAN install process requires improvement? (yes/no/neutral)
- Do you follow perl-related websites? (yes/no/neutral)
It would be wonderful if either EPO, P5P or the Perl Foundation would find the means to issue a survey like this. If it comes from either of these organisations it would probably be taken seriously. This way we could really find out what matters to people, instead of just "guessing" what it is.
I know that something like this was done in the past, and it was what ignited the whole perl6 process. Isn't it about time we do something again?
If you have more suggestions for questions/options to the survey, please state so in the comments. Other comments are also most welcome.
having been involved in tons of focus groups, I think having a poll is a good idea, but we need to do it correctly. I'm wondering if there's anyone that owes perl a favor who is connected to any of the focus group agencies that do this sort of thing for a living. Rather then guess.
I'm not that convinced that yet another popular poll is the best approach. It's always insightful gathering the opinions of others, but how would the Perl community benefit exactly from such an effort? I believe that 'what matters' is already pretty much our driving force and that our true true need is making this more visible to the rest of the world.
There's a Perl Foundation grant outstanding for the Perl survey , that I started at the beginning of this year. After a bit of work, deadlines for the new Catalyst book exploded in my face, but now that is finished, I'll be doing a proper scientific survey on the Perl community. Thanks for the suggested questions!
It is important to note that focus groups are different from polls. In a focus group the focus is on unconscious imaginations people have on a given subject, then the marketeers try ways how to relate the product to the positive imaginations. Because of the methods used a focus group cannot be too big. An opinion poll on the other hand is more about the big numbers.