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Friday, Jun 4, 2021| Tags: Perl, Raku

What is the point of this blog?

It has been a long time since I last blog. The main reason behind the blog is put forward my views in response to the questions raised earlier. It did hurt me to read about it. Havind said, I do my best not to upset anyone knowingly. It would have been lot better if it was addressed to me and not public.

The mission PWC came into existence to fill the void created by the closure of “Pull Request Challenge” ran by Neil Bowers. Also being co-editor of the Perl Weekly newsletter, I was having difficult time to look for Perl related blog post. Irrespective of quality, there was time when I couldn’t find more than just one or two. Also there was so much negativity around Perl on various social platform. On top of that there wss rivalry between Perl and Raku supporters. Around that time, I had lots of spare time as well, so I decided to start the project PWC keeping in mind many goals as listed in no particular order.

1. Bring Perl and Raku supporters on a common platform.

2. Allow newbie of Perl and Raku to join the community and learn from others.

3. Create friendly environment where anyone can share his/her work in Perl and Raku without being judged.

4. Make positive noise on various blogging platforms.

5. Sharing knowledge and experience with each other.

6. Above all get to meet and interact with big names in the community.

It has been over 2 years now since we started the mission PWC.

Did I achieve any of the goals?

I will let others to decide it.

This is what I consider we achieved so far.

1. Damian Conway participation and creating quality blogs solving the weekly challenge. Please checkout his collections.

2. Andrew Shitov sharing Raku magics and doing video reviews of Raku weekly solutions.

3. Perl Weekly Challenge YouTube channel to showcase the power of Perl.

4. Raku fans sharing Perl solutions and Perl fans sharing Raku solutions.

5. We created Knowledge Bank for everyone, not just limited to Perl and Raky but 50+ other languages as well.

6. Collection of quality blogs by Team PWC.

7. Weekly reviews of Perl solutions so that newbie can learn from the experts.

8. Got to know many Perl/Raku super brains and inspired by their work. Please checkout Meet The Champion.

9. Thanks to chief editor, Gabor Szabo, we got regular exclusive space in the widely read Perl weekly newsletter.

10. Thanks to chief editor, Liz, we got regular mention in the Rakudo weekly newsletter.

11. Thanks to Will Braswell for the support and encouragement in his weekly Perl Town Hall, part of private members only Facebook group “Perl Programmers”.

12. Thanks to Pete Sergeant of Perl Careers for sponsoring the prize money.

Lets talk about the format of the weekly challenge. I started with 2 tasks challenge, primarily focussing newbie and experts. I even tried adding optional API challenge for sometime as suggested by Gabor Szabo. It was well accepted by Team PWC. Neil Bowers took the challenge and wrote the Perl interface to DetectLanguage API. Unfortunately the love for API didn’t last long and we had to drop the API challenge. We went back to 2 tasks challenge format and has been following ever since.

The general feedback is very positive about the format. Having said, I am always open to suggestions.

I noticed someone raised a concern with regard to the PWC on Facebook on 1st June 2021. There were three issues what I gathered with my limited knowledge.

Before I put forward my views, I must make one point clear that I have nothing against anyone. I take the criticism as well as appreciation. I take pride that I have mostly received kind and encouraging words. The reason behind writing the post to share my point of views and close the matter. I don’t want to drag the matter any further as it can get ugly. You don’t have to agree with my response, which is absolutely fine.

1. PWC insist on creating blog post.

I would like to make this official “no one is forced to blog” but if you do then it would be a great service to the community in general. I take the blame if anyone thinks blogging is a must. I have never given preference to anyone who blogs knowingly. You can see there are number of Champions who never blogged. Infact you don’t even need to solve both tasks if you are running short of time. I always encourage Team PWC to atleast solve the easy task to keep the continuity if possible. Participation is as simple as sending solutions by email as attachments. There are members who send us solutions by email without any blogs. Then there are some, who just send us link to blog. I grab the code from the blog post and save it the git repository. But most of the members submit solutions as Pull Request. So you are not tied to any one form of participation.

2. PWC blog post not having appropriate title as most of them say “Perl Weekly Challenge 999: ….".

I know there are some Team PWC members who come up with creative blog title. Arne Sommer is one of them. Or check out the blog by Colin Crain for that matter. Since blogging is not part of the challenge, I personally don’t want to enforce any rule. At the same time, I don’t want to loose out on blog just because title is not classy. For me, the content matters the most. As a part of my weekly routine, I read each and every blog that gets submitted. I can tell from my personal experience, every blog is unique is one way or other. Each has it own style. It may or may not be your type but I like all of them. I appreciate each and every members who make an effort and blog. Please don’t get me wrong, I do like the suggestions but let us not force it upon the members. I personally think that every solution has a story to tell. Story telling is an art and not everyone is an export story teller. The behind the scene story is the USP of any blog. Unfortunately you can’t share the story in the code as comments. To me comments are for technical person and not for lay man. Blog should be meant for wider audience.

3. PWC blog post flooding the Perl Weekly newsletter.

I have dual role, as I run the weekly challenge and also co-editor the Perl weekly newsletter. You would agree with me, Gabor Szabo, being the chief editor is the final authority what goes in the weekly newsletter. I do agree that at times, it feels **PWC(( blogs overshadowed everything else, which for someone not PWC fan, can be an issue. I remember when I joined the Perl Weekly newsletter as co-editor, it was hard to find any Perl related blog every week. It has changed in recent times and now we have a handful of regular Perl bloggers, thankfully. Still it is not enough to fill the newsletter on weekly basis. I know Gabor has been doing lots of live coding session to create positive noise. As of today, Team PWC has contributed 1614 blogs in the last 2 years or so. Thats on average 14 blogs every week. I thank every contributors. We can’t brush aside the commitments by Team PWC.

Having said, I am more than happy to opt-out of Perl weekly newsletter if Gabor asked me. I don’t want to upset loyal Perl weekly newsletter readers. Luckily it is Gabor’s turn to work on the next week newsletter. In the mean time, I can have a breather.


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