EFNet #Perl is a long-standing
Perl discussion channel. The channel is intended primarily for
intermediate to advanced level Perl programmers. Because of this
fact it has gotten somewhat of a reputation. While you can
certainly get help if you ask an intelligent question, if it's
obvious you have neglected to read the documentation you most
likely will be dealt with in a rather terse, and possibly harsh,
manner. You will first be pointed to the documentation; usually
it will be a specific documentation reference, so you will not be
totally lost. If you continue to display a lack of ability to
first read and research on your own it is most likely you will be
devoiced or banned.
While that certainly sounds daunting, it is possible to get along
well with the other members of the channel, and to get your
questions answered intelligently and easily. It just takes more
effort on your part to follow up and read carefully.
Discussion in the channel is not restricted to Perl. While it
is generally not acceptable to ask off-topic questions, quite
often discussion will tend not towards Perl but a wide range of
other topics. Many of the regulars have been in #Perl for a
long time and enjoy chatting with each other.
#Perl is certainly not short on rules. Many of the rules are
designed to keep newbies and off-topic questions out. Others are
intended to make it easier to communicate when you do have a
legitimate question. An alternate description of the rules can
be found at the original #Perl
Read the available documentation.
Speak normal English.
Do not paste.
Do no cross-post.
Do not use color or special markup.
Do not ask web or CGI questions.
Do not send automatic noise messages.
Read all of the relevant documentation that you have available to
you before asking a question. If your question is about how to
find the documentation itself that's fine. Usually if you ask a
question that has a documented answer you will be pointed to that
documentation. If, however, it becomes obvious that you're not
reading you may be dealt with more harshly.
K3wlt0k, l33t speak, txting, hyperreductionism, whatever you like
to call it, don't use it here. This includes replacing letters
with numbers (4 for a, 0 for o), using non-word abbreviations
("ne1" for "anyone", "u" for "you", "ur" for "you're", etc.).
Your grammer and punctuation don't need to be perfect; you don't
need to start each sentence with a capital and end with a
punctuation mark. However, you do need to make an effort to use
The purpose of this rule is to aid in communication. If you want
your question answered or your problem resolved the people you're
asking need to be able to understand you. It is especially
difficult for some non-native English speakers to understand
these types of abbreviations. While many others may be familiar
with them, it nevertheless takes effort to translate. Your
question may very well be misunderstood or completely ignored.
Do not paste large amounts of text to channel. This should be a
common-sense rule, and a matter of normal IRC etiquette. The
rule is designed primarily to prevent channel flooding. There
are quite often paste bots around that you can use to show your
code. This rule is also here to allow the people helping you to
easily refer back to the text in question without having to
scroll back and forth in the IRC window.
Cross-posting is when you post the same question to multiple
channels simultaneously. The idea is to get the question
answered by as many people as fast as possible; what it really
does is waste the time, energy, and patience of the very people
that are trying to help.
When the same question is posted to multiple channels what
usually happens is each channel begins responding. They ask
questions to clarify the problem, and offer solutions that may or
may not be appropriate. The problem is each channel is doing
this, without being aware that another channel is doing the same
thing. Answers and questions overlap between channels, and
generally you will be unable to respond to everything.
If you are not getting a response from the channel, by all means,
post your question to another. However, provide some opportunity
to answer; 10 to 15 minutes is not an unreasonable amount of time
Some IRC clients, most notably those available for Windows, allow
you to markup your text so that it looks different; this can
include adding color, bold, underlines, and overstrikes. Do not
use these features. Not everyone will be using the same IRC
client you're using, and therefore may see random garbage in what
you say. Others may be using clients that fully understand the
markup your client is using, but do not appreciate having what
they consider unimportant text highlighted for them.
This rule, more than any other, tends to trip people up the
most. As with most of the rules, no one notices this one
(it's usually in the topic) until after they've asked their
question and have been told several times that it's not
allowed. Quite often at that point the person questions why
they can't ask about the web, assuming they haven't already
been devoiced or banned.
There is a notable exception to this rule that bears
mentioning: intelligent mod_perl questions are
usually acceptable. Be careful when asking such a question
though; if you're told "no web" then just stop and try
The primary reason web questions aren't allowed is simply
because everyone (everyone being those who make the rules) is
really tired of dealing with the web. Most of the channel
regulars have to deal with the web as a normal course of
their job, or they have personal web sites, etc. While this
probably makes them ideal people to ask intelligent web
questions of, it makes the topic really very boring.
Another reason high on the list is the fact that the large
majority of questions that are asked in #Perl actually have
nothing whatsoever to do with Perl. Certainly most of the
time the programmer is using Perl to solve his problem, but
the question asked is either a web server configuration
issue, or a misunderstanding of how the various standards
(HTML, HTTP, CGI, etc.) work.
Tom Christiansen (thoth on IRC) has a rant
that sums up the general sentiment, though the tone may be
harsher than many of the regulars would use.
The best thing to do when you have a web question is to try a
different channel. EFNet #Perlhelp, Freenode #Perl, #cgi,
#cgihelp, #www, and #apache are all alternative channels you
You can try rephrasing your question to remove all reference to
the web. As the pound.perl.org
page suggests, this can be a good way to narrow down
precisely where your problem lies. However, more often than not
you are just removing relevant facts that make it even harder to
debug your problem, and usually it will become obvious that
you're hiding something. At that point the response can be
harsh, depending on how much time you've spent, and who you're
This includes automatic away or back messages, messages
indicating what song you're currently listening to, and messages
giving thanks for "+v". This also includes automatic messages
that you trigger manually, such as if you type "/away". This
type of message does nothing but clutter the channel with useless
information. If someone were really interested they would simply
- paste bot
- factoid and eval bot
This is one of the original infobots. She (that's right,
she has a gender, shut up) has been hanging out in EFNet #Perl for a long time,
so she's collected quite an attitude. Quite often she'll
interject in the middle of a conversation; sometimes it'll be
funny, sometimes scarily appropriate, sometimes off the wall, and
sometimes it will make no sense whatsoever.
The repurl project intends to
replace this very bot. Currently purl is only on EFNet, but once
she gets replaced she will probably show up on several others.
The purl you see on MagNet
#Perl is actually not the same bot, it's not even based on
the same code. See MagNet #Perl's
page for more information on that purl.
This is a paste bot provided by the #Perl Mongers. It currently
resides on two networks; the EFNet
page is here, and the Freenode
page is here. It is in many channels so be sure to select
the appropriate channel when you submit a paste.
If you would like us to provide knowpaced for your channel feel
free to contact us about it.
Buubot is a factoid and eval bot being developed by buu. While
it can be useful for its factoid abilities, the most useful
feature is its ability to eval code provided to it. Simply give
it some code in channel prefixed by "eval:" and it will run the
code and display it back in channel. It also responds to /msg,
and hangs out in
<Somni> eval: @x = qw(1 2 3); join(" ", @x);
<buubot> Somni: 1 2 3
While the eval feature is certainly fun, please don't abuse it
in channel. If you wish to show someone in channel some code
you are working on, either to describe a problem or solution, or
show off something clever, that's fine. If you wish to just
test the bot, or test code, please use /msg or #buubot.