Brother Ovid (possibly sister, who is to know...) -
- Check out what "Web Sphere" actually is (for all the licensing costs) its major component is the Apache Web Server, with some bags hung on the side. I understand many of the bags aren't bug free.
- Appeal to their government procurement concerns; what vendors can provide Visual Age and Web Sphere? - only one - IBM. Not by any means a bad company, but it is a sole source decision. Who can you "buy" Perl from? - show them the supported platform lists. A huge and positive delta.
- Consider complexity management. Show them a comparison of code snippets. Perl, even clearly written Perl, is generally more maintainable and concise.
- Don't let them be snookered in by the "power" of Object Oriented development. Its valuable in many cases, but not neccesarily for their applications. Well written structured code often beats OO for clarity and maintainability. Yes you can OO in Perl, but that's not its fundamental beauty.
- Whip through a list of the modules that give great strength to Perl, the NET:: stuff, the business:: stuff. They will recognize and value these existing code assets.
- Web Sphere and Visual Age have a lot of black box componentry. Who is to know what is in there? The Perl components can be inspected and re-built by a security team at any time to validate their internal functions. Try that with proprietary tools. You can also do a digital signature on the Perl source and use Federal standards to validate the integrity of this code, over time.
- The Perl community probably has 1000 to 3000 serious contributors. (Someone who knows for real please give an accurate count.) How many developers are on the IBM team? Can't be that many.
Now, don't get me wrong, Java beats the living, brown &%&*^ out of C++, but Perl can do the heavy lifting and be far more maintainable. Hope this helps, please let us know the outcome.