The situation with Graham is in my eyes a very serious one. Because he has authored several things which are a part of the core distribution.
So this issue becomes should Perl remain a freeware model? Should it have been shareware to begin with? And here is my biggest question: is it only the software that is free and is anything beyond that asking too much?
You left out a HUGE step between these two paragraphs.
One thing here doesn't lead to another. The questions when
someone isn't maintaining something free are:
- Is it a temporary failing? (profer patches publicly and spread the word where they are and that they will be fixed eventually. Hard on the users for a while.)
- Is it time to fork and maintain two sets? (Incompatible
goals or incapable of working together. Hard on maintainers,
which to fix or use?)
- Will the old maintainer "pass the baton"? (Disrupts error reports and confuses end users but easy on the maintainers.)
- Is it time to wrest control away? (Very disruptive
and divisive but prevents the fork'ed code division problems.)
One problem with a personality doesn't lend itself to questioning the whole philosophy behind the release of the
software in question.
The nice thing about free-source software is that it DOES survive the loss of a maintainer well.
Try to get a bug fixed in a commercial program where the
rightsholder is in bankruptcy and liquidation. You may not
EVER find who got the rights to the code
to even ask if they CAN fix it.
I like ya princepawn but this post looks like it was
assembled randomly from multiple sources. The paragraphs hardly go together at all, let alone ask a coherent question. =)
To answer the three and a half real questions: 1. "Yes, it has to, it has been given to the world in such a way that it can't handily be taken back." 2. "No, shareware doesn't work when you have to distribute the runtime engine to get the scripts to work." 3a. "Yes but I take exception to the word 'only' =)" 3b. "Yes! We are lucky Graham blessed us with his work, if he wants to stop helping, what did it cost you?"
$you = new YOU;
honk() if $you->love(perl)
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