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Who pays Larry Wall?

by morgon (Deacon)
on Oct 22, 2010 at 00:13 UTC ( #866667=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
morgon has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Ok, this may be the wrong section in the wrong forum and after all it is none of my business anyway, but maybe I get an answer nevertheless for this question:

Is there any institution that funds Larry Wall's effort to develop Perl 6?

The background to this question is that many years ago I read somewhere the Larry was on O'Reilly's payroll and when I later read that he was no longer with O'Reilly I had assumed that he would then be funded by some other company or institution (in particular I held the believe that his Perl 6 efforts would be funded by grants from the Perl Foundation - I can't remember anymore how I came to believe that).

Then on this year's YAPC someone told me that this was not the case, which left me wondering...

btw: I really ask out of pure curiosity (simply ignore it if you think it is not appropriate), I do not want to imply anything with this question and I know that Perl 6 is developed by many people besides Larry.

Comment on Who pays Larry Wall?
Re: Who pays Larry Wall?
by sundialsvc4 (Monsignor) on Oct 22, 2010 at 01:01 UTC

    Wyzards Survive.

Re: Who pays Larry Wall?
by halfcountplus (Hermit) on Oct 22, 2010 at 01:26 UTC

    Someone told me that Larry a) moonlights as a moustache model, and b) has his own line of Hawaiian shirts.

Re: Who pays Larry Wall?
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Oct 22, 2010 at 01:57 UTC
    Is there any institution that funds Larry Wall's effort to develop Perl 6?

    No; Larry has a day job just like the rest of us.

    I held the believe that his Perl 6 efforts would be funded by grants from the Perl Foundation...

    TPF has a modest amount of money for small, focused grants to develop Perl 6, but they're insufficient to support even one full time developer.

      Perl 6 is hugely understaffed, low funded, slow progressing project. And this isn't very motivating to read.

        Would you like a refund?

      Larry has a day job just like the rest of us.

      I don't have a day job, you insensitive clod!

      (This whimsical but fortunately veracity-challenged statement brought to you by a Stuffed Tiger and the days when Slashdot was still fun.)
Re: Who pays Larry Wall?
by Anonymous Monk on Oct 22, 2010 at 02:15 UTC
    Larry doesn't draw a salary, but he is fed and housed by Junior Museum and Zoo, next to the bobcat exibit
Re: Who pays Larry Wall?
by mojotoad (Monsignor) on Oct 22, 2010 at 03:12 UTC
    I can't guarantee this is true, but here's the scuttlebutt:

    I heard that Larry is paid via cannisters of cash lobbed through time by future Perl 6 developers.

    Also, if he needs to, he can survive off of residuals from his mustache.

    Cheers,
    Matt

      cannisters of cash lobbed through time is a LIE

      \_ _/ x x ~|~ V
      Clearly you've never visited the Junior Museum and Zoo
        No I have not. I'll make a point of visiting Bobcat Ridge next time I'm out that way.

        It wouldn't surprise me in the least, however, if Larry actually is involved with the project. It seems worthy.

        Cheers,
        Matt

Re: Who pays Larry Wall?
by Your Mother (Canon) on Oct 22, 2010 at 04:17 UTC

    I'll tell you who pays him. I pay him!! And I've seen neither "protection" nor the negatives which cost me a second mortgage, for the love of bit-shifting!

Re: Who pays Larry Wall?
by ambrus (Abbot) on Oct 22, 2010 at 08:53 UTC
Re: Who pays Larry Wall?
by moritz (Cardinal) on Oct 22, 2010 at 11:15 UTC
    Is there any institution that funds Larry Wall's effort to develop Perl 6?

    The TPF has received a generous donation of USD 200K from Ian Hague, and uses that to fund some Perl 6 activities.

    People can submit grant requests that "advance the completion of a Perl 6 implementation". Some previous grants have included specification work that was required to actually implement something.

    So while TimToady might be eligible to apply for such a grant (especially for his work on the standard grammar, which is part of some implementations, and important template for others), to the best of my knowledge he hasn't done so.

    So in summary, nobody pays him for his Perl 6 work - he does in his "copious free time" (to quote Tom Lehrer).

    Others occasionally apply for grants, but nobody is anywhere near having Perl 6 development as full time job.

    Perl 6 - links to (nearly) everything that is Perl 6.
Re: Who pays Larry Wall?
by bart (Canon) on Oct 22, 2010 at 11:27 UTC

      Yeah, he worked as a studio musician too, early in his career. The highlight was supporting the Carpenters in Ticket to Ride (youtube). You can clearly see Larry on the far left, singing harmonies and playing acoustic guitar at the 2:11 mark and 2:21 mark.

Re: Who pays Larry Wall?
by zentara (Archbishop) on Oct 22, 2010 at 12:31 UTC
    He will get his rewards in Heaven..... ( or Hell, depending on how well Perl6 works :-) )

    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth.
    Old Perl Programmer Haiku ................... flash japh
Re: Who pays Larry Wall?
by eyepopslikeamosquito (Canon) on Oct 23, 2010 at 22:48 UTC

    From this recent Big Think Interview with Larry Wall (August 9, 2010):

    Question: Have you made any money from Perl?

    Larry Wall: Well, that depends on how you define it. I get a few book royalties, but it's not really enough to make a living. I have received a few grants over my life, but that's also not enough to make a living. I would say that the real way in which I have benefited from Perl is the way in which many open source authors or creators benefit, and that is that some company will be willing to hire them just to work on that. So in a sense, I have my current job because of Perl, and I am mostly expected to work on Perl, and also advise them in things that are related to that.

    But in a sense, my job is remuneration for that. They're not going to make a movie out of Perl, this notwithstanding, so I don't expect to have a Harry Potter on my hands. But I'm comfortably well off because of Perl.

    So, re time to spend on Perl 6, I'm speculating that Larry's personal situation has improved considerably since 2005, based on this old perl6-language mailing list thread (April 6, 2005):

    Unfortunately, I don't have much time to edit synopses much these days +. No billionaires have written me into their will lately (or if they have, they haven't pegged out yet), so for now I have to earn my own way out of the financial hole I'm in, and that takes a lot of time away from Perl. I'm just barely keeping up with the email, and I'm not getting anything done on the translator. Sorry. If you want to help, earn a billion dollars and write me into your will. And then peg out. Nothing personal. :-)

    John Macdonald, at least, was happy to oblige :-)

    On Wed, Apr 06, 2005 at 11:30:35AM -0700, Larry Wall wrote: > If you want to help, earn a billion dollars and write me into your > will. And then peg out. Nothing personal. :-) > > Larry Darn. So far, I'm, 0 for 3 on that plan. However, I promise that item two will follow very shortly in time from item one. No promises about the delay between items two and three, though; nor any assurance of my ever achieving item one (it's failure, in fact, is virtually assured).

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