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Re (tilly) 1: Perl Commercial Entities?

by tilly (Archbishop)
on Mar 19, 2001 at 22:31 UTC ( #65499=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


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...

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Re: Re (tilly) 1: Perl Commercial Entities?
by sierrathedog04 (Hermit) on Mar 21, 2001 at 03:16 UTC
    Shareware was just a stage on the road to open source.

    I used to buy cheap shareware sometimes. Trinkets like a CD player and an HTML editor. I would not do so now, since Perl provides most of this kind of stuff for free.

    Better yet, Perl gives me the tools to build my own tools.

    The great thing about Larry Wall is that he is not at all conceited about the value of his brainchild. Larry talks up the Ruby language in interviews. And I doubt Larry would claim that Perl is soooooo great that one should buy it instead of using its competitors for free.

      Shareware? No, I don't think it was a step towards OSS, after all Free Software Foundation was started quite some time before the idea of shareware, which was really just a way to provide closed source (and free as in sample) taste of commercial proprietary game(s) coming up.

      Great idea, but not to mix with FS nor OSS.

Re: Re (tilly) 1: Perl Commercial Entities?
by princepawn (Parson) on Mar 20, 2001 at 00:22 UTC
    Your post hit home with me. I am in the same position. I certainly didn't have money in graduate school to buy all the Perl modules I used and I sure needed them. So I want to help out too.

    But you are missing my point: 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.

    But neither of these is the issue. What these people want is an email response back regarding some patches that they have worked on to libnet and they are getting no feedback. They are not whining and complaning, they are actually fixing libnet and Graham isn't getting back to them.

      Situations like this have come up previously here at the Monastery, and I think tye gave a very useful answer.

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