[Python-Dev] ActiveState & fork & Perl

Mark Hammond MHammond at skippinet.com.au
Tue Jun 8 05:11:57 CEST 1999

[Please dont copy this out of this list :-]

> world.  A couple of days ago, I received an email from him (part of a
> conversation on the perl5porters list apparently) where he warned me
> that ActiveState was planning a similar takeover of Python.  After
> some comments from tchrist ("he's a loon") I decided to ignore David.

I believe this to be true - at least "take over" in the same way they have
"taken over" Perl.  I have it on very good authority that Active State's
medium term business plan includes expanding out of Perl alone, and Python
is very high on their list.  I also believe they would like to recruit
people to help with this goal.  They are of the opinion that Python alone
could not support such a business quite yet, so attaching it to existing
infrastructure could fly.  On one hand I tend to agree, but on the other
hand I think that we do a pretty damn good job as it is, so maybe a Python
could fly all alone?

And Ive got to say that personally, such an offer would be highly
attractive.  Depending on the terms (and I must admit I have not had a good
look at the ActiveState Perl licenses) this could provide a real boost to
the Python world.  If the business model is open source software with
paid-for support, it seems a win-win situation to me.  However, it is very
unclear to me, and the industry, that this model alone can work generally.
A business-plan that involves withholding sources or technologies until a
fee has been paid certainly moves quickly away from win-win to, to quote
Guido, "highly competitive proprietary business goals".

May be some interesting times ahead.  For some time now I have meant to
pass this on to PPSI as a heads-up, just incase they intend playing in that
space in the future.  So consider this it ;-)


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