Perl 6 - the future is here, just unevenly distributed

IRC log for #perl6book, 2011-03-28

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Time Nick Message
07:52 sjn joined #perl6book
10:43 fhelmberger left #perl6book
13:26 sjn o/
13:26 sjn anyone alive here? :)
13:26 moritz_ notreally
13:26 sjn ah, only zombies here then...
13:27 moritz_ zombies and bots
13:27 * sjn had a talk with Masak and Allison last week, about a Perl6 book :)
13:27 moritz_ 4 bots, 6 zombies, one human
13:27 sjn yay!
13:27 moritz_ sjn: a summary would be very welcome
13:28 sjn moritz_: I proposed that We[TM] (you know, "The Volunteers") spend some time formulating a basic programming introduction book with Perl6
13:29 sjn Masak's all up for it, and is willing to start blogging content for it starting this summer
13:29 sjn Allison is willing to put some of her publishing resources behind it
13:30 sjn and I'm in it for the purpose of making my own project (Kaizendo) a tool for helping this happen
13:30 * moritz_ weeps
13:30 sjn :)
13:30 sjn yeah, it's horrible :)
13:30 moritz_ we haven't even printed the first book
13:31 sjn moritz_: no worries
13:31 sjn here's what we talked about
13:31 sjn 1) keep working on the existing book, and make it the reference we want it to be
13:32 moritz_ waitwaitwait
13:32 sjn 2) make an alternative version of that text that is specifically suited for teaching kids, based on 1)
13:32 moritz_ we are talking about "Using Perl 6" as the "existing book", right?
13:33 sjn good question :)
13:33 sjn maybe not?
13:33 moritz_ that was never intended to be a reference
13:33 sjn moritz_: I'm really here to find out
13:33 moritz_ allison has that very old "Perl 6 and Parrot Essentials", which was open-sourced
13:34 moritz_ and partially updated by me and other people
13:35 sjn there's a wikibook project going on too, right?=
13:35 moritz_ I think by whiteknight, yes
13:35 moritz_ no idea how active that is
13:35 moritz_ I've looked over it and fixed the most obvious results...
13:36 moritz_ it's clear that a Perl 6 book should better be written by somebody actually using Perl 6 :-)
13:36 sjn well, if there's a copyleft license on that, then it should be fixable
13:37 * sjn is keen to help make this happen, specifically by finding people to help, and by making the editing process easier
13:38 moritz_ I welcome your enthusiasm, but I personally won't do anything for it before we get "Using Perl 6" gets printed
13:38 moritz_ priorities etc.
13:38 * sjn has no illusions that this is something that will be finished overnights, so at the moment I'm asking if you (and anyone else who cares) is interested in making something like this happen
13:39 sjn moritz_: what's the license on that?
13:39 sjn cc-by-sa-nc?
13:39 moritz_ yes
13:39 sjn ok, cool
13:39 moritz_ we might drop the -nc in future
13:40 sjn http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Perl_6_Programming is cc-by-sa
13:41 sjn well, there's still opportunity for some cooperation here :)
13:42 sjn and one way is if we find a good outline for the books
13:42 sjn one that covers all the important bits in a sensible sequence
13:44 sjn and that we all can use as a basis for the narrative
13:44 * moritz_ will ask masak which existing book was meant
13:45 sjn moritz_: sure, get him in here :)
13:45 sjn moritz_: on that note, I see that the readme says "t will be some kind of example-driven introduction to Perl 6, and at
13:46 sjn the same time showing off the reasons why we love that language."
13:46 sjn +I
13:46 sjn Which I think is a good start for an introductory book as any other
13:48 moritz_ except that the audience of "Using Perl 6" is people who already know how to program in other languages
13:48 moritz_ which I think is mentioned in the preface, but not in the README
13:48 sjn moritz_: right
13:49 sjn moritz_: on that note, have you looked into what I'm trying to do with my project? (the goal with my project is to address exactly the problem you're pointing at)
13:49 moritz_ sjn: I was at your presentation at YAPC::EU in Pisa
13:49 sjn right
13:50 sjn you also put a logging bot in our channel :)
13:50 sjn just don't know if you remember what the project was about
13:51 moritz_ yes I do :-)
13:52 sjn well, if you think about the goals there, the abstract version is "make textbooks that tell one story, but in different ways"
13:52 sjn moritz_: your project is one way, aimed at people who know programming :)
13:53 sjn what I'm proposing is taking that work, and adding another aspect to it
13:53 moritz_ I kinda thought of it as two different stories so far
13:53 moritz_ but I can see your POV too
13:53 sjn an aspect that's suited for kids who can't program
13:53 sjn (and with that, get a chance at putting Perl6 into curriculums :D)
13:55 sjn anyhoo, think about it a little
13:55 moritz_ will do
13:56 sjn I think if we go for this, there's a LOT of cool possibilities here :)
13:58 sjn oh, and do talk with masak and allison about it
13:59 * sjn hasn't talked with jnthn or pmichaud about it though
14:00 sjn moritz_: btw, what do you mean with "thought of it as two different stories"?
14:01 moritz_ sjn: have you ever had the fortune to attend a math class at a university?
14:01 sjn yes
14:01 moritz_ to me it felt like a totally different story than school math
14:01 moritz_ not just a story that's told with a bit more rigour :-)
14:01 sjn yes, it is
14:02 moritz_ my thoughts on teaching Perl 6 to beginners vs. to experienced programmers
14:02 moritz_ are similar
14:02 moritz_ to the math story
14:03 moritz_ to beginners, you basically teach programming, and use Perl 6 as a tool
14:03 sjn exactly
14:03 moritz_ "Using Perl 6" tries to teach Perl 6 to somebody who already knows programming
14:03 moritz_ sounds like a different story to me
14:03 sjn yeah, you kan skip a lot of the introductory language
14:04 sjn "just the facts, m'am"
14:04 moritz_ yes, but it's the fact that differ
14:04 sjn really?
14:04 moritz_ yes
14:04 sjn in what way?
14:05 moritz_ I tried to explain it above, I'll try to come up with a different way
14:05 sjn in my mind, it's the stories that convey the facts, that differ
14:05 sjn say() works the same way in either case
14:06 moritz_ in an introductory book, "how do you program at all" is a large part of the facts
14:06 moritz_ which we completely omit in "Using Perl 6"
14:08 sjn ok, what (that isn't prose or descriptional language) is added in the introductory text?
14:09 sjn historic background?
14:09 sjn homework?
14:09 moritz_ explaning the concept of variables
14:10 moritz_ lexical scopes in detail
14:10 moritz_ recursion
14:10 moritz_ arrays
14:10 moritz_ hashes
14:10 moritz_ general programming techniques
14:10 moritz_ conditionals
14:10 moritz_ loops
14:10 moritz_ debugging
14:10 sjn so you're not going to talk about those in "Using Perl 6"?
14:11 sjn not even mention those?
14:11 moritz_ just in the sense "here is how you access arrays and hashes"
14:11 sjn right
14:11 moritz_ and not "what is an array? what do I need it for? when would I use an array vs. a hash vs. a scalar?"
14:12 sjn is it feasible to structure a text that you could _either_ have the "here's how you use arrays" version of the text, _or_ an in-depth description of how you can use them?
14:13 sjn ...and still keep the over-all narrative?
14:13 moritz_ I honestly don't know
14:13 sjn (that would of course mean that the paragraph introducing hashes would perhaps be 10 paragraphs in the introductory text)
14:13 moritz_ for one the terser style covers many more topics in a chapter
14:14 moritz_ so you'd need a different structure if you want managable chapter sizes
14:14 sjn maybe?
14:14 * sjn has no problems with very short chapters
14:14 moritz_ just look at the "basics" chapters in "Using Perl 6" and tell me how many chapters that would be in the introductory chapter
14:15 moritz_ and it's in one chapter not because we want long chapters, but because we actually take that long to explain the example
14:15 moritz_ ok, a shorter example might be used
14:15 moritz_ but you see why I'm not sure if it's possible - it might very well be, I just don't see it yet
14:16 sjn moritz_: my proposal is to try make it happen :)
14:16 sjn figure out what's necessary to make it possible
14:17 sjn build a tool that makes the possible easy :)
14:17 moritz_ and my response is "sure, but I won't help before UP6 is printed" :-)
14:18 sjn ah, so talking about outlines and such isn't something that you're willing to do? :-/
14:18 moritz_ depends on how much talking :-)
14:19 sjn well, the goal is to find the smallest sensible outline that both work for the UP6 book and it's introductory cousin
14:19 sjn and then write those in parallel
14:20 sjn you keep writing UP6, with the help you can find, and get another version of the book developed at the same time
14:20 moritz_ that's nice and all, but so far I can't see how we'll get two books done in parallel if we can't manage one
14:20 sjn (there's another refinement of my proposal)
14:20 moritz_ unless it's by influx of new helpers, of course
14:21 sjn moritz_: there's where I'd like to help
14:21 sjn by 1) putting the editing/improvement process on a webpage, and
14:22 sjn 2) create buzz around the two books (which should be easy, since this concept has a smidgeon of novelty to it)
14:22 sjn BUT, doing this is rather hard if I don't have your buy-in :-/
14:23 sjn and the other's in the authors.pod
14:24 sjn (it's not only hard because doing a crazy thing like this depends on everyone having an idea that it's something we'd like to do, but also because writing books isn't very sexy, and a rather difficult activity to "sell")
14:27 moritz_ I hope you don't find it too discouraging that I'm still skeptical
14:27 moritz_ because buzz and a pretty editing interface doesn't generate more people that know Perl 6 well enough to write a book about it
14:28 moritz_ sure, people can learn it, but IMHO you need to know a language to some depth to be able to teach it well
14:28 sjn moritz_: kaizendo-pretty-editing-interface is about creating a dialogue between the people-that-know and the people-that-read :)
14:28 moritz_ (which I don't know if I've reached it yet, but there are just few others that have)
14:29 sjn so no, I'm not promising more editors, I'm promising more people to give you feedback
14:29 sjn (at least, that's my goal :)
14:30 sjn and as with any other community bootstrapping process, it really doesn't matter which end you start with (either the community or the "know-it's"), it only matter _that_ someone starts
14:31 sjn and keeps at it
14:31 sjn and does what's necessary to create attention
14:32 sjn and as with any other such venture, the more (ambition * success) you have, the more people you can pull in :)
14:33 * sjn proposes to up the ambition level a little (maybe by about 100% or so) and help with the success bit
14:34 sjn maybe this will fail, we'll bomb out, burn out and just make asses out of ourselves, but at least that's a soft failure :)
14:35 sjn it's minor damage - especially if the attempt at doing this creates (temporary) a little more activity so that just UP6 gets a small boos
14:35 sjn boost*
15:56 sjn hey, no commit messages in this channel? :)
15:57 moritz_ should be
15:57 moritz_ doesn't seem to work
15:58 sjn hm
15:58 dalek book: 1ad574f | duff++ | src/classes-and-objects.pod:
15:58 dalek book: [classes] rewording
15:58 dalek book: review: https://github.com/perl6/book/commit/1ad574f2d0
15:58 dalek book: edeee38 | (Patrick Donelan)++ | src/roles.pod:
15:58 dalek book: s/does affect/does not affect/
15:58 dalek book: review: https://github.com/perl6/book/commit/edeee38386
15:58 dalek book: d347870 | moritz++ | TODO:
15:58 dalek book: add a TODO file. Because we have much to do :-)
15:58 dalek book: review: https://github.com/perl6/book/commit/d347870de7
15:59 moritz_ sjn: I didn't manage to spell the channel correctly :/
15:59 sjn aah
16:02 sjn moritz_: btw, just to get the noodles cooking, I've mucked around a little in the outline: https://github.com/sjn/book/blob/master/outline.pod
16:04 sjn I'm thinking atm that for figuring out what's useful in a book, it's good to start out by listing the essentials
16:04 sjn then we can easier add/reorder if we find something's missing
16:07 * sjn tries to the build environment up and running
16:10 moritz_ fwiw if you don't want to set up the whole latex stuff, you can also use 'make html'
16:10 sjn thanks ^^
16:23 sjn moritz_: https://github.com/sjn/book/commit/9ec5beafb2927d59422249a8cdc68bea428d2091
16:50 * sjn looks at Pod::PseudoPod
16:51 PerlJam sjn++
16:51 PerlJam sjn: why committing to your fork rather than the main repo?  Just to manage your own changesets?
16:51 sjn PerlJam: mostly, yes
16:52 sjn also, I don't want to commit my crazy stuff to the main repo before I have buy-in :)
16:52 sjn and, I don't think I have access
16:53 PerlJam ah, indeed you do not.
16:54 PerlJam let's see if I remember how to talk to the bot (or which bot to talk to)
16:55 PerlJam hugme: add sjn to perl6
16:55 * hugme hugs sjn. Welcome to the perl6 github organization
16:56 sjn yay! \o/
16:57 sjn btw, how does one find out who's on that list?
17:01 sjn nvm, link was in welcome mail that just arrived
17:01 sjn https://github.com/organizations/perl6/teams/14366
17:07 moritz_ hugme: add sjn to book
17:07 hugme moritz_: ERROR: Can't add sjn to book:  not authorized
17:07 moritz_ excuse me?
17:08 moritz_ sjn: the book repo still has a separate access list -- you have push access now
17:47 sjn moritz_: thanks ^^

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