in reply to Perl Commercial Entities?

I have been programming for under 4 years now. I sincerely believe that it would have been impossible for me (admittedly a motivated learner with an excellent technical background) to have learned as much about programming as I have without Perl being open source (not shareware) and full of people who are generous with their time and knowledge.

This is one of the reasons that I am willing to be generous back. Because I have benefited and I would like to see the torch passed.

Based on my experiences and discussions with others over that time, I honestly believe that Perl is much better for being open source. Were it shareware a number of issues would be raised, starting with fights over how to divide the loot and an attitude of, What's in it for me? By contrast as it stands you can reasonably have people like me come out of nowhere, learn it, and contribute back bug fixes and patches. There is real value in that.

For those reasons and many, many more, were Perl to become shareware I would stop calling myself a Perl programmer the next day.

However there are things that the open source model does not supply. And yes, if you want a support contract you will have to pay. If you want programmers, you will have to pay. If you want a security audit, you will have to pay. If you want books, you will have to pay. And pay. And pay.

So Perl is far from a free product. And by trying to make people pay up front (rather than down the road) you will limit its utility, discourage contributions, and lessen the other sources of revenue...