Wednesday, December 4, 2013

ActiveState make ActivePerl non-free

I have just received an email from ActiveState which contains the following:

To be better equipped to answer support questions, particularly for customers using ActivePerl in production, we have changed the licensing terms of Community Edition: To use ActivePerl in production, you must now have a supported Business or Enterprise Edition license; we continue to provide the latest versions free for development and testing use.

So now we need a decent free-as-in-beer and free-as-in-free Perl distribution for Windows. And don't tell me Strawberry Perl - last time I looked it didn't work well, and anyway most people don't want to have to install whole development environment just to get Perl.

I guess ActiveState have the right to do this, strictly speaking, but it's a dick move nevertheless. To say I'm annoyed would be understating it considerably. It's a classic bait and switch. Build up a community's dependence on what you give them, and then start charging them for it.

For the time being I will be advising clients on Windows to steer clear of PLPerl for Postgres. I'm not sure what I'll recommend they use instead. It certainly makes it more imperative to make sure that we can use PLV8 on Windows.