Subject: Re: Licenses vs. public domain
From: "Tim O'Reilly" <>
Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 17:04:22 -0700

I really think that the fears are overstated. First off, Visual Perl is
NOT an extension to the language; it's a development environment that
supports the language.  Second, it was a coup on ActiveState's part to
get Perl and Python support into MS Visual suite, something that they
worked long and hard to pull off.  This is not some plot by MS to take
over Perl; it's a plot by Perl and Python to get greater penetration
into the MS marketplace and toolset. 

Simon Cozens wrote:
> (lists.fsb):
> >The purpose of the Artistic License is very simple.  Allow people to do
> >anything they want with Perl *EXCEPT* muddy the water about what Perl
> >itself is.  (Think Microsoft, embrace, extend, and all that.)
> You know as well as I do that Microsoft products have a disgusting habit
> of becoming the de facto standard. (Java? Read what Judge Jackson said.)
> Yes, they embrace and extend.
> I really don't want to see them embrace and extend Perl, because if
> Visual Perl is - or becomes[1] - an embraced and extended version of
> Perl, then I'm exceptionally worried that this will become the de facto
> Perl, "real" Perl or not. So long as they call it "Visual Perl", they'll
> be well within their rights to butcher it how they like.
> And they're within their rights to publicise it as being the "improved"
> or "business standard" Perl; they've got the marketing forces to push
> their own version into the fore and ours, *mine*, dammit, the language I
> spend my working life hacking away on, into the darkness. That worries
> me. That really, really worries me, and it makes me angry.
> Perl's a language I love, and I don't want to see bad things happen to
> it, especially when I can't do anything about them. The Artistic license
> relies on people playing fair; some businesses don't do that.
> This is leading me to have to some very heavy thinking about where
> Perl's going to go, and if I want to go there with it. Like I said,
> we'll have to see.
> [1] because I don't (or rather, won't) believe that ActiveState have
> this in mind, but I suspect that MS do.
> --
> Thus spake the master programmer:
>         "After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless."
>                 -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

Tim O'Reilly @ O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
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