I've long been claiming that what makes the Perl community so great is Perlmonks. "The monastery" is awesome not only because it houses the best Perl minds out there, but also because of how it is built. The reputation system it is based on serves as a honey-trap for narcissistic, semi-autistic programmers (that is, most of us) and makes it fun to read and browse.

Well, stackoverflow - the brain child of Joel Spolsky and Jeff Attwood audaciously attempts to conquer the whole programming community "the monastery way". Reputation, "badges", rep-based editing, rating and discussion are all there, packed in a beautiful web design that leaves Perlmonks 10 years behind in web technology. It appears that the amount of activity is already quite healthy.

I wonder what will become of stackoverflow. Will it suceed or go bust ? Is what works for a tightly knit single-language community suitable for the all the programming "web" ? Will people actually like browsing the website in the long run, or will the enthusiasm eventually fade away ? It is hard to say now, but I sure hope it suceeds. Because overall, it's a pretty good idea.

P.S. They should really improve their search. I wonder if all the stackoverflow posts are indexed by Google (sure hope so).