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  1. #1
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Does what appears in search engines affect how you view the Perl language?

    Interesting blog by Christian: http://blogs.perl.org/users/mithaldu...us-damage.html

    It's quite frequent that if I'm searching for some topic, whether on Google or DuckDuckGo or whatever, I often get very old, outdated results near the top. Recently I was searching for how the JAWS screen reader dealt with something specific to tables, and got the old Freedom Scientific page for JAWS 5. The current version of JAWS today is 13. I asked someone at a SE if there was a way to check the age of these pages and not let them get so high up (for thing that evolve quickly like languages and versions of software), and the reply was it's pretty difficult to tell programmatically what's outdated versus simply old (but still good).

    SE's rely on things like how many links a page gets, and how often a page is referenced. The problem for things like Perl then is that the old crappy stuff gets referenced the most, which makes them sit near the top of results, which helps get them referenced more, endless cycle ensues.

    For some of the Perl results, the results are old pages of current sites. Why not have BIG BLUE LINKS near the tops of these older pages to more updated versions? This steers people to better resources, which would get the newer pages referenced more, which would bring them up in SE's more, cycle continues in a better way.

    But for the problem of no single, super-effective Perl tutorial: I'm not sure how one would get enough people involved. Unless it was higher-level tutorials over using stuff people happen to be using, like
    howto CPAN
    howto Elastic Search
    howto (web framework here) <-- this area seems to be doing much better than general Perl stuff

    One thing I hear PHP-lovers (and newbs) say is how great the PHP documentation is. I've never looked at it myself, so I don't know how exactly it's great, but can a bazillion newbs be wrong? Perl documentation that does right whatever PHP.net does right.

    The results I get in Google for "Perl Tutorials" is very likely NOT the same as what someone wholly new to Perl gets... because Google filters and I do visit www.PerlMonks.org : )

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    Hi

    I suspect a lot of people are put off by what they find in search engines.

    I've used Perl for various tasks since v5.6; not yet known a platform wide security issue to be introduced by the language (unlike others) and we're now up to at least v5.14. My default resource for Perl is perl.org or the resources that come with a default Linux installation. I use the search function on perldoc.perl.org . If I feel I'm making a mistake and just not seeing what I'm doing wrong I can get advice from the different perl.org lists, my local perl mongers or perlmonks.

    Yet Perl is still regarded as a dead language...

    The only entry I would entirely trust from my search for 'perl tutorial' was fifth and below a tutorial for Perl on Windows dated 1999
    - which probably contributes a good deal to the viewpoint that Perl must be dead.

    I'm not sure how much the SE's manage to skew results like that?

    How can a 12 year old tutorial for Perl under Windows and an 11 year old book Beginning Perl beat the sites popularly used by Perl folk, such as perlmonks and perl.org?

    I have used the PHP documentation on php.net. It's my default resource for php issues. The documentation is searchable, same as perldoc.perl.org.and the site's a different shade of blue. It doesn't have a camel.

    Regards

    Lesley

  3. #3
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how much the SE's manage to skew results like that?

    How can a 12 year old tutorial for Perl under Windows and an 11 year old book Beginning Perl beat the sites popularly used by Perl folk, such as perlmonks and perl.org?
    In general older resources with the most links/references get more google juice. It's the only good explanation I have for why W3schools.com keeps coming up for front-end stuff : )

    Meanwhile, Perl people who know what they're looking for would probably be in the minority of searches... since, especially, Perl people wouldn't be using the googles to search for tuts, but maybe very specific things like "do X in Catalyst" where the resources who do appear are much younger/more updated.


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