That does not surprise me. Although the numbers are only for sourceforge.net, my guess is that it is close to the ratio in entire IT society.
Compare Perl with C and Java, I believe most of the people have those concerns:
- Perl is, to most of the people, being considered as a language for various small or medium size projects, but not for large scale enterprise solutions. I don't consider this as a negative view, and this does not make Perl less important. Perl is important and extreamly useful in areas where it fits.
- Resource. The fact you can find less Perl programmers, make you less likely to do a project in Perl; and on the other hand, you don't do many projects in perl, you grow less Perl programmers. Doesn't matter whether you like the fact, Java has strong marketing and financial support behind it. It is unlikely Perl can surpass it within today's structure of the IT market.
- Perl is weaker in certain key areas. For example, Perl is much less strong in GUI comparing with java or Microsoft products, and strong GUI support is such a high criteria in many projects. It made Perl less likely to be able to penetrate this area seriously. On the other hand, the question would be whether Perl actually seriously targeting certain application areas.
It would be more meaningful, if the numbers are for different application areas.