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A Published Special Report on Open Source and Perl Justifications for enterprises

by tjh (Curate)
on Jul 10, 2002 at 19:43 UTC ( #180844=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

While catching up on my reading I came across something maybe of interest to those searching for additional (or any) written items helping to forward the open source, and Perl, cause

From time to time I see threads asking for references to be used to convince Powers_That_Be to allow or use Perl, and maybe other Open Source products.

This recent special report from eWeek takes a valiant, and even handed, stab at it. I won't attempt a review of the report here as the report is quite long, except to say I've seen several worse attempts at this topic, and not many better (any? I can't recall any... there must be others.) Generally, this report is likely to be a keeper for those that may need a broad, arm's length view of Open Source for the enterprise.

Brief excerpts:

"Open-source software quietly moved into the enterprise, embraced by data center managers who were able to grasp the value of cheap, malleable software for running discrete servers."

"In the last couple of years, however, the movement has blossomed not only within enterprise IT departments but also at technology vendors up to and including IBM, Oracle Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Apple Computer Inc"

The article mentions some objections sometimes mentioned in those in-house discussions including cost of testing, frequent updating (including patches and bug fixes), support, adequate desktop usability, and others.

A surprising mention is a criteria for evaluating an open source product by estimating the vitality of its community. Then it says, "However, it's been eWeek Labs' experience that even the smallest open-source projects can offer good support."

The report is in three sections with Perl mentioned in the third, "Broaden Options, With Caution".

On the whole, the report takes a broad view, attempting to cover, or at least summarize, a variety of open source projects that enterprises may, or should consider. Everything from web servers, ERP/CRM (I'd never heard of the one mentioned), accounting, LDAP, Perl, PHP, OSes, client-side, handheld, and collaboration to storage.

eWeek didn't spend near enough column-inches on languages, but Perl got the most of what they did. Given that the report seems to have only been interested in applications, I'm not surprised. They might've helped their audience more by discussing the value of Perl, et al, in managing and maintaining most of the other products they discussed.

They did a credible advocacy job, even if they didn't think that was their goal. They get ++ from me.


  • Comment on A Published Special Report on Open Source and Perl Justifications for enterprises

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Re: YA Report on Open Source
by cjf (Parson) on Jul 11, 2002 at 04:57 UTC

    Where's Perl mentioned in all of this? All I could find were quotes that sounded like they won the "In 500 words or more, say absolutely nothing" contest. Seriously though, I start to wonder when I read something like the following:

    Open-source software quietly moved into the enterprise, embraced by data center managers who were able to grasp the value of cheap, malleable software for running discrete servers.

    Anyone else feel like their brain cell count has just dropped dramatically? Why can't they just say this is what open source software is, this is how it can help your business. Instead they have paragraphs like the above, and then proceed to mindlessly drop the names of open source projects left and right. Short of creating buzzwords, this doesn't accomplish anything.

    Update: Found the bit about Perl, under Web Development:

    On the Web development side, there is a similar amount of options and a similar success story, in this case Larry Wall's Perl. Perl actually predates the Web and was built to be a highly portable language ideal for many simple tasks. Developers found it handy for scripting pages and handling tasks such as database access. Despite many challengers, Perl is still heavily used on the Web today.

    Other than perpetuating myths about Perl's uses, that doesn't say much either.

      Agreed. There's a certain patina of content-free writing in it. However, I've been around that style of writing so long that I view it to be the 'language' of the types of readers eWeek is interested in. Poised in that style it's likely to be more believable to those readers.

      Plus, the Perl coverage was so scant I hesitated in bringing it to PM, yet it was there, even though it ignored Perl's history as one of the oldest and most used Open Source tools ever. Shortsighted on their part, but still useful for us nonetheless IMHO.

      The mention of Perl only with web development tools still makes me shudder.

      Ultimately, it was good to see so much page space devoted to the Open Source category and helping to better legitimize it, even though much of it was from 50,000 feet.

Re: A Published Special Report on Open Source and Perl Justifications for enterprises
by trs80 (Priest) on Jul 12, 2002 at 00:57 UTC
    -- to them (eWeek aka Ziff Davis) from my cockpit.

    Total spew, no research, lame CONS in their comparison table and nothing but an attempt to appear friendly to Open Source.

    They use the "come here, go away" approach on the topic, they use the cover article as a lead in for readership and then quietly tell you to leave Open Source alone or more to the point, paint no compelling reason to use it.

    There is of course the hidden political agenda that is at hand. August 1st is the start of the licensing agreement from Microsoft......Ok so I am a conspiracy theory kind of guy.

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