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Who supports Perl? Who develops Perl? Why is it free?

by faq_monk (Initiate)
on Oct 08, 1999 at 00:15 UTC ( #563=perlfaq nodetype: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Current Perl documentation can be found at perldoc.perl.org.

Here is our local, out-dated (pre-5.6) version:

The original culture of the pre-populist Internet and the deeply-held beliefs of Perl's author, Larry Wall, gave rise to the free and open distribution policy of perl. Perl is supported by its users. The core, the standard Perl library, the optional modules, and the documentation you're reading now were all written by volunteers. See the personal note at the end of the README file in the perl source distribution for more details. See the perlhist manpage (new as of 5.005) for Perl's milestone releases.

In particular, the core development team (known as the Perl Porters) are a rag-tag band of highly altruistic individuals committed to producing better software for free than you could hope to purchase for money. You may snoop on pending developments via news://genetics.upenn.edu/perl.porters-gw/ and http://www.frii.com/~gnat/perl/porters/summary.html.

While the GNU project includes Perl in its distributions, there's no such thing as ``GNU Perl''. Perl is not produced nor maintained by the Free Software Foundation. Perl's licensing terms are also more open than GNU software's tend to be.

You can get commercial support of Perl if you wish, although for most users the informal support will more than suffice. See the answer to ``Where can I buy a commercial version of perl?'' for more information.

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