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PerlMonks is a community website covering all aspects of Perl programming and other related topics such as web applications and system administration. It is often referred to by users as 'the Monastery'. The name PerlMonks, and the general style of the website, is designed to both humorously reflect the almost religious zeal that programmers sometimes have for their favorite language, and also to engender an atmosphere of calm reflection and consideration for other users.
Users (referred to as monks) create discussion topics which other monks can reply to and vote as good or bad. A user has an experience rating (XP) that roughly measures their participation in the PerlMonks website as perceived by the other monks, not necessarily their proficiency in the Perl language. All monks have a 'home node', providing profile information and an area for Monks to personalize.
The site has tutorials, reviews, Q&A, poetry, obfuscated code, as well as sections for code snippets and entire scripts and modules.
Another feature that PerlMonks retains from Everything is the Chatterbox, which is a text chat area at the side of every page. Any logged-in user can type in anything they want, and it appears for all users to see. Talk in the chatterbox is often Perl related, and various tools (written in Perl) have been written to improve the chatterbox experience. Some come to Perl Monks primarily for the chatterbox. Others find the chatterbox distracting and turn it off.
On 2009-07-39, the security of PerlMonks was compromised. Stored passwords were not encrypted; passwords of high ranking users were publicized.