cosmicperl has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Hi All,
   I hope this is in the right place, I wasn't sure where to post.

I develop commercial perl software applications. From time to time I get a customer who's Windows host doesn't support Perl. Many times I find that these hosts once supported Perl, but have since removed it after problem. Seeing PHP take onto windows servers where there isn't Perl I got a bit fed up that still nothing has been done about this so I contacted ActivePerl with the email below:-

Hi, I'm a big Perl support, I earn a living producing Perl script for Windows and Unix. It really bugs me when a windows server doesn't have ActivePerl installed. From my experience there are only a couple of things that are preventing all hosting companies form installing ActivePerl.

1) Script errors. Even the best coded scripts will have problems from time to time. Bugs are inevitable. If your bug turns out to be an infinite loop, then you are in big trouble. ActivePerl will eat up all the CPU in seconds and render the IIS server unreachable. If the user then clicks stop on his browser the process will not be killed by IIS after the cgi timeout. If the cgi timeout does kick in this is a whole 5 mins later. By now the hosting company has usually received a complaint from their customers, and the user has clicked refresh a few times so you have lots of scripts going out of control. If the system admin opens task manager they cannot kill any of these perl processes. This all usually resorts in a reboot. 2) This problem exists when running apache on windows as well.

Please, please, please, please, please, please, please Add a update to ActivePerl so that it kills runaway perl processes itself after a configurable amount of time, and limit the amount of CPU it can chew up, so while the process is still out of control before it is killed it doesn't render the server unusable. PHP added this back in version 3.x and this is the one and only reason why you find PHP on more windows machines than Perl these days. Please, please, please add this feature, for every hosting company and perl developer everywhere. Without this feature Perl will never be as popular on Windows machines as it should be.

Please, I'll even write the code to do it myself, just give me the source.

Your response would be VERY much appreciated.

I knew the "Please, I'll even write the code to do it myself, just give me the source." comment was a mistake the moment I sent it, Perl is open source.

They told me it wasn't up to them. I'm still trying to get them to associate .cgi extentions on Win32 to perl by default, as nothing else on Win32 is using them, and new hosts get confused when they have to edit anything in IIS

What should I (we) do. This issue needs to be resolved.

Looking forward to construcive responce.

ATTENTION I appoligise in advance to new readers for the stressed tone in some of my posts. Perl is my passion, and I'm very passionate about perl. I'm easily fired up if I think people are damaging Perl in any way. Please read all my comments before you make a post that may reignite something I've already covered.

2004-11-06 Edited by Arunbear: Changed title from 'Hosting companies not supporting Perl', as per Monastery guidelines