Andy is tired of putting up with bad behavior in the Perl world and so am I.
This needs to stop.
There is too much unconstructive, undeservered, passive-aggressive, drive-by abuse.
(My goodness, even PerlMonks has meaningless arguments over the precise technical meaning of simple concepts like "constant" and "initialization" that have recently devolved into accustations of deliberate misleading and lying.)
This also needs to stop.
I don't care if other communities are better or worse or the same. I don't care if you've been coding for a thousand years or ten seconds. I don't care if you wrote the book on Perl or have never even read a book on PERL.
There is no excuse for abusive behavior.
Civility starts with me. I've written and said things I knew were wrong and the time and said and wrote them anyway and I regret them. I've said and written things that turned out the wrong way and I regret them too. (I've had other people—some well-known leaders and some not—call me out for doing so, and I've asked them to keep me accountable for what I say.)
That's part of fixing the community.
The other part—at least as important—is building up an intolerance for abuse. In the several hours since I first saw the first linked comment, no one has called it inappropriate and rude and abusive. No one on PerlMonks stepped in to calm either of the two recent threads that have gone out of hand. (Has anyone at PerlMonks even brought up the idea of a temporary banning of people who post abusive comments? In my mind, it's a fair trade to rid the site of vitriol from even a so-called saint for the good of everyone else.)
For goodness sake, the Beginner's list has even had a long discussion over whether it's okay to be abusive to novices who might not even known which frackin' manual to read because no one has ever told them that the manual exists, because (and I quote) "They need to grow a thicker skin if they are ever to succeed in programming."
(I'm subject to regular abuse from a few quarters for writing a book for novices and giving it away for free, as if I had some sinister agenda to get rich by forcing people to format their code the same way as I do. The horror. The horror.)
These are not insurmountable problems. I've seen first-hand IRC channels (Perl IRC channels!) where someone has said "That joke's a little insensitive and a lot off topic. We appreciate not having that type of discussion here." or "This channel isn't the best place for help on that topic. If you join #another-channel, I'm happy to help you there."
I don't care who you are or what you've done if you can't be civil. I don't care if you've excused yourself from politeness thanks to your self-diagnosis of a social disorder with the Camel in one hand an the DSM in another. You're not welcome in projects I lead if you cannot or will not treat others with respect. I will abandon projects which do not value mutual respect and civility. I will speak up when I see incivil behavior which needs to stop. I will watch what I say and write and will apologize and reconsider my actions when people tell me I cross a line. We're building software, after all, as part of a community, with the belief that working together helps us build better software more easily.
In short, the Perl community needs far more people like Karen Pauley, Ask Bjørn Hansen, Jess Robinson, Tim Bunce, and, yes, Larry and Gloria Wall. If you agree, please, please speak up.