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0.6. Additional Resources

The Internet is a wonderful invention, and we're all still discovering how to use it to its full potential. (Of course, some people prefer to "discover" the Internet the way Tolkien discovered Middle Earth.)

0.6.1. Perl on the Web

Visit the Perl home page at http://www.perl.com/. It tells what's new in the Perl world and contains source code and ports, feature articles, documentation, conference schedules, and a lot more.

Also visit the Perl Mongers' web page at http://www.perl.org for a grassroots-level view of Perl's, er, grass roots, which grow quite thickly in every part of the world, except at the South Pole, where they have to be kept indoors. Local PM groups hold regular small meetings where you can exchange Perl lore with other Perl hackers who live in your part of the world.

0.6.2. Usenet Newsgroups

The Perl newsgroups are a great, if sometimes cluttered, source of information about Perl. Your first stop might be comp.lang.perl.moderated, a moderated, low-traffic newsgroup that includes announcements and technical discussions. Because of the moderation, the newsgroup is quite readable.

The high-traffic comp.lang.perl.misc group discusses everything from technical issues to Perl philosophy to Perl games and Perl poetry. Like Perl itself, comp.lang.perl.misc is meant to be useful, and no question is too silly to ask.[4]

[4] Of course, some questions are too silly to answer. (Especially those already answered in the online manpages and FAQs. Why ask for help on a newsgroup when you could find the answer by yourself in less time than it takes to type in the question?)

The comp.lang.perl.tk group discusses how to use the popular Tk toolkit from Perl. The comp.lang.perl.modules group is about the development and use of Perl modules, which are the best way to get reusable code. There may be other comp.lang.perl.whatever newsgroups by the time you read this; look around.

If you aren't using a regular newsreader to access Usenet, but a web browser instead, prepend "news:" to the newsgroup name to get at one of these named newsgroups. (This only works if you have a news server.) Alternatively, if you use a Usenet searching service like Alta Vista or Deja, specify "*perl*" as the newsgroups to search for.

One other newsgroup you might want to check out, at least if you're doing CGI programming on the Web, is comp.infosystems.www.authoring.cgi. While it isn't strictly speaking a Perl group, most of the programs discussed there are written in Perl. It's the right place to go for web-related Perl issues, unless you're using mod_perl under Apache, in which case you might check out comp.infosystems.www.servers.unix.

0.6.3. Bug Reports

In the unlikely event that you should encounter a bug that's in Perl proper and not just in your own program, you should try to reduce it to a minimal test case and then report it with the perlbug program that comes with Perl. See http://bugs.perl.org for more info.

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