Increase ROI For Newcomers
Return On Investment: Cost more important than Gain
(Return on Investment) is defined as (gain - cost) / cost. In the picture above,
you can see ROI (z-axis) in dependency of cost (y-axis) and gain (x-axis). As
you can see, if the cost remains high, high gain is nullified. So promising a high
gain without keeping cost low is a lost game.
You may think that ROI considerations is something reserved only to (large)
companies or management exercises, but it's not. Every person does this
"what do I get for my investment" game. Even though it may be often an
unconscious or intuitive judgement.
What does this mean for the Perl world? The same as for any other world:
Lower the cost! and high gain at high cost is irrelevant. Same as a chip
manufacturer simply doesn't throw bare chips and the floor hoping that
some customer will pick them up and adopt them. Today you get SDKs
(and the better the SDK, the more chances your product has), reference
designs, support etc. to make sure your adopting of a new technology is
as painless as possible.
Implications for various Perl Projects
Perl5: Installation/deployment experience must be short and positive.
Always! Most of the time you don't get a second chance. If you "burn"
a potentional user he will not try again for a long time.
If you manage that, the user must have success as quick as possible.
So ask yourself "What do people want?" What is necessary to offer to help
them achieve this? Searching in heaps of cruft
is certainly no activity
every new user longs for.
Perl6: Do not strive for the best of all programming languages, in every universe,
ever and godsend ... without ... striving for extreme ease of learning, transition
and available resources. In other words: The language will not by adopted by
many, if there will be too big entry barriers. Yes, preferably an easy installation
package, an IDE, easy documentation as well as a converter (preferably Perl5
to Perl6) should be in place if you hope to attract users to Perl6.