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Is ActivePerl repositories go free again?

by exilepanda (Pilgrim)
on Apr 30, 2017 at 04:39 UTC ( #1189192=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??
exilepanda has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Dear monks,

Story part 1: Days ago, I was looking for where to download PDK9.5(doesn't matter), and while I stepped in some page under ActiveState(from search result), I saw something alike mentioning ActivePerl will go free in the future. Because I was in a rush, I only glanced the page for few second (and can't find them again as my browser clear history per close)

Story part 2: Yesterday, I was trying my best luck to install some modules in my very old machine using Perl 5.16 in WinXP, and when I hit on ppm.. I saw the repositories are all updated. I can tell there was something like redirected, 403 sort of before, seem I need a business license to access those repositories, but I could update them again yesterday.

Can somebody tell if the repositories open for free again (for any perl version)?? Since I involved many machines, so I don't sure maybe I saw those redirect 403 from other machine.

  • Comment on Is ActivePerl repositories go free again?

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Re: Is ActivePerl repositories go free again?
by marto (Archbishop) on Apr 30, 2017 at 07:32 UTC

    You should actually ask them to get an official answer. ActiveState Perl also ships with cpan for installing modules, though you would likely need to install the MinGW package manually. You could just switch to Strawberry Perl, which has a more complete development environment by default, more non core modules, a proper build environment and so on.

      There are reasons... but in short, before Strawberry Perl can load again. I will have to stick with ActivePerl. Thanks for your suggestion though. =)

        Place your anywhere in perls lib path as and set the environment variable PERL5OPT to -Msitecustomize - that should do the trick with strawberry.

        perl -le'print map{pack c,($-++?1:13)+ord}split//,ESEL'

        Then either create a config module to store this and switch to Strawberry or pay ActiveState for their services.

        Update: but you already knew that.

Re: Is ActivePerl repositories go free again?
by pritesh_ugrankar (Beadle) on Apr 30, 2017 at 10:13 UTC


    Totally agree with Marto. I had used both activestate and strawberry perl and found that the latter was much easier to use. Modules installation is a breeze. Best part is the portable Perl installation that strawberry provides. You can install multiple versions of them.

    Moving from v 5.18 to 5.24 was much easier. Just pointed the scripts to the new version while leaving the old version of Perl intact. So if there's a way you can move later to strawberry perl, that will be really great.

    Thinkpad T430 with Ubuntu 16.04.2 running perl 5.24.1 thanks to plenv!!
Re: Is ActivePerl repositories go free again?
by Marshall (Abbot) on May 01, 2017 at 01:47 UTC
    The last time I checked, Active State free Perl versions are only for current version and one version earlier (total of 2). I think they want you to buy a business license (which is very expensive) to access older Perl versions.

    I am not sure from your post whether or not you were able to use the ppm on the 5.16 version or not?

    I do not think that a update from 5.16 directly to the latest version will work. I think you would have to completely uninstall 5.16 and then install a fresh copy of the latest supported AS Perl version.

    Important: You can save and restore a profile file. See >ppm help profile. On your 5.16 machine I think you can ">ppm profile save Myprofile". Save that profile file somewhere "safe". After you have latest Perl version running, use its ppm command line to ">ppm profile restore Myprofile". That should install all the packages that you had before on the 5.16 version. Its been a long time since I have done this. I think I had to find and manually install Tk-TableMatrix because it wasn't in the main AS repository. You may not even have an issue like that at all.

      Hi folks - my name is Pete, I work at ActiveState and just wanted to quickly note that the above answer is roughly correct. We support PPM access for versions of ActivePerl that we are currently shipping CE (Community Edition) for, with a bit of a buffer when new versions come out (so there will be a period where older CE versions will retain access to PPM). Currently, those versions are 5.24.1 and 5.22.3 so I would venture to say that for an older version like 5.16 you won't be able to access PPM modules for install without a BE (Business Edition) license. PPM is available for all versions with BE. Hope that helps! Feel free to ping me if you ever have questions.

        Can you link to something official documenting this on the ActiveState site, perhaps a maintained support matrix showing what to expect would be useful for users?

      Oh this is a nice one! I knew about this but never tried then forgot, thanks bring it up again =)

      Though, I can locate Tk-TableMatrix in 2 different versions of AS Repositories ( 5.20 and 5.16 )
      Now Perl is 5.24... Is that possibly means it's really free now? XD

      Moreover.. I glanced the AS Perl page again.. that content is sightly different from what I can remember before. They are now saying to buy a BS license for Professional support, where I sure they said a BS license is required for production code (but now it's gone).

        The profile file is an XML document. My current "profile" on this Win XP laptop is shown below.

        What you can or cannot do with software can get into a very complicated legal mess.
        I don't understand this question:
        Now Perl is 5.24... Is that possibly means it's really free now? XD

        There are complicated licensing issues. A main thing that AS wants to prohibit is re-distribution of old software versions. If you install AS Perl on a client machine, they want to force you to install from their website, not an image that might be 5 years old. So I can't just burn my C:\Perl directory onto a DVD and ship that.

        I can ship an Active State generated .exe file as a standalone program. I have a AS PerlApp license. That is fine.

        What you can and cannot do with different licenses of "freeware" is complicated. I am not a lawyer. I haven't built an .exe file in some years. There are AS license requirements as well as each module's limitations. This can get complicated. This can get into a) a technical aspect of whether or not I can generate said .exe file and then b) whether it is legal for me to sell that product (or even give it away free) to you

        My version 5.20 profile:

        If your user installs Active State from the AS website and then "runs" this profile file, that is fine because your user is just re-creating what I did for "free" from the original sources. There is a legal difference between a) I give you my copy of the above software rather than b) you making your own copy direct from the "source". Most modules don't have any source code copy re-distribution limits at all, but Active State software does.

        Is that possibly means it's really free now?

        Nope, its still pretty much the same as it always was

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