FAQ 1.2 Who supports Perl? Who develops it? Why is it free?

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This is an excerpt from the latest version perlfaq1.pod, which
comes with the standard Perl distribution. These postings aim to
reduce the number of repeated questions as well as allow the community
to review and update the answers. The latest version of the complete
perlfaq is at http://faq.perl.org .


1.2: Who supports Perl? Who develops it? Why is it free?

    The original culture of the pre-populist Internet and the deeply-held
    beliefs of Perl's author, Larry Wall, gave rise to the free and open
    distribution policy of perl. Perl is supported by its users. The core,
    the standard Perl library, the optional modules, and the documentation
    you're reading now were all written by volunteers. See the personal note
    at the end of the README file in the perl source distribution for more
    details. See perlhist (new as of 5.005) for Perl's milestone releases.

    In particular, the core development team (known as the Perl Porters) are
    a rag-tag band of highly altruistic individuals committed to producing
    better software for free than you could hope to purchase for money. You
    may snoop on pending developments via the archives at
    http://www.xray.mpe.mpg.de/mailing-lists/perl5-porters/ and
    http://archive.develooper.com/perl5-porters@perl.org/ or the news
    gateway nntp://nntp.perl.org/perl.perl5.porters or its web interface at
    http://nntp.perl.org/group/perl.perl5.porters , or read the faq at
    http://dev.perl.org/perl5/docs/p5p-faq.html , or you can subscribe to
    the mailing list by sending perl5-porters-subscribe@perl.org a
    subscription request (an empty message with no subject is fine).

    While the GNU project includes Perl in its distributions, there's no
    such thing as "GNU Perl". Perl is not produced nor maintained by the
    Free Software Foundation. Perl's licensing terms are also more open than
    GNU software's tend to be.

    You can get commercial support of Perl if you wish, although for most
    users the informal support will more than suffice. See the answer to
    "Where can I buy a commercial version of perl?" for more information.


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