|Don't ask to ask, just ask|
PHP isn't popular because of Zend. It's the other way around. Zend is doing well because PHP is popular.
PHP is more popular with the average Joe because it's easier to use. Indeed, that's the design of Personal Home Page. Almost every shared web hoster makes it available for use, and the average person don't have to learn much to use it. They stick the tags where they want information to show up, and it magically appears there. It does just what that market needs.
The Perl optimizer is called mod_perl. A factor of 25 would be on the low side of its speed improvements.
I'm not sure what you mean by Oracle and IBM support, unless that's just that PHP can connect to databases. Perl's DBI certainly isn't afraid of PHP, and DBD::DB2 is officially supported by IBM. Perl already comes with unix and Mac OS X. It's freely available for Windows (and I don't think its necessarily a good idea to have it come with Windows). Their core, however, appears just to be a bundled set of libraries for each operating system. Perl, mod_perl, and apache already work on those platforms.
I'm not sure why you think Zend is the only one doing consulting or training. Besides Stonehenge, there are plenty of other Perl trainers out there. Give me a call and you'll have Perl consulting. You know our credentials because you know our names from our books, magazine articles, conference presentations, and our presence on PerlMonks. Or don't call me. Post your problem to Perlmonks and get it answered for free.
Perl doesn't need corporate sponsors. What would we do with the money? You've come up with a solution before you have a problem. A big pile of cash isn't going to fix anything.
How did I get sucked into this? :(
brian d foy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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