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I've had a similar problem with wperl (I think it has nothing to do with ActiveState - it fails on Strawberry as well). In my particular case it was an Open2 call that hanged wperl.
The workaround was to create a script which does nothing else but launches perl.exe without a window through create process with creation flag 'CREATE_NO_WINDOW'. You run this script via wperl.exe instead of your original prog.
Mine is a Win32 solution: I don't know whether any similar thing works on Unix/Linux or not.
The launching script:
The only modification to the original program itself that you include the following lines:
From here on no window is created (not even for child processes opened with Open2) and the main program is safe since it is run via perl.exe.
In reply to Re: ActivePerl - perl.exe works, wperl.exe does not...