ActiveState license: I can't distribute perl with my Windows application?

A

Arvin Portlock

I produce a number of perl programs for people in my
community but outside of my organization to use freely.
As my audience uses Windows and they have widely varying
technical skills, I really like to package everything
up into a single setup script so all they have to do is
install it and run it. I include a very minimal version
of ActiveState's perl, stripped down to just the few
modules and files needed to run the particular application.

I don't like to force my users to install anything else,
including perl. I don't want to force them to use ppm to
grab any additional modules they may need. I don't want
to teach them about PATHs and opening the command prompt
and navigating directories, executing perl or anything like
that. I like to set things up so all they need to do is
install my program, click an icon or drag a file and be
done with it.

So I had another look at the ActiveState license, and sure
enough, it looks like I'm in violation:

"You may make and give away verbatim copies of this
Package for personal use, or for use within your
organization, provided that you duplicate all of the
original copyright notices and associated disclaimers.
You may not distribute copies of this Package, or copies
of packages derived from this Package, to others outside
your organization without specific prior written per-
mission from ActiveState (although you are encouraged to
direct them to sources from which they may obtain it for
themselves)."

Does anybody know whether ActiveState looks favorably on
written requests for my type of distribution? Is my only other
alternative to use perl2exe?

Arvin
 
B

Brian Wakem

Arvin said:
I produce a number of perl programs for people in my
community but outside of my organization to use freely.
As my audience uses Windows and they have widely varying
technical skills, I really like to package everything
up into a single setup script so all they have to do is
install it and run it. I include a very minimal version
of ActiveState's perl, stripped down to just the few
modules and files needed to run the particular application.

I don't like to force my users to install anything else,
including perl. I don't want to force them to use ppm to
grab any additional modules they may need. I don't want
to teach them about PATHs and opening the command prompt
and navigating directories, executing perl or anything like
that. I like to set things up so all they need to do is
install my program, click an icon or drag a file and be
done with it.

So I had another look at the ActiveState license, and sure
enough, it looks like I'm in violation:

"You may make and give away verbatim copies of this
Package for personal use, or for use within your
organization, provided that you duplicate all of the
original copyright notices and associated disclaimers.
You may not distribute copies of this Package, or copies
of packages derived from this Package, to others outside
your organization without specific prior written per-
mission from ActiveState (although you are encouraged to
direct them to sources from which they may obtain it for
themselves)."


Why don't you ask ActiveState for permission?
 
A

Arvin Portlock

Brian said:
Why don't you ask ActiveState for permission?

Actually, It turns out I don't have to. When taking another look
at perl2exe (which wouldn't really work for me anyway, turns out),
I noticed IndigoPerl. Must have slipped by me the last time I was
at their website. IndigoPerl *can* be distributed without written
agreement, as long as the licenses, etc., are intact.

I may just shoot a request off to ActiveState so I don't have to
go back and repackage everything. I certainly have no complaints
with their requirements and restrictions on distribution, it's
quite understandable. But it's nice to have Indigoperl to fall back
on now. But I'm still wondering how ActiveState has responded to
requests like this in the past. Surely I can't be the only one?

Arvin
 
R

Randy Kobes

Arvin said:
Actually, It turns out I don't have to. When taking another look
at perl2exe (which wouldn't really work for me anyway, turns out),
I noticed IndigoPerl. Must have slipped by me the last time I was
at their website. IndigoPerl *can* be distributed without written
agreement, as long as the licenses, etc., are intact.

The current license for IndigoPerl:
http://www.indigostar.com/indigoperl.htm#License
might not, in some circumstances, be as simple as that:

3. You may make and give away verbatim copies of IndigoPerl
for personal use, or for use within your organization and
to others outside your organization, provided that you
duplicate all of the original copyright notices and
associated disclaimers.

4. You may not distribute copies of IndigoPerl or components
derived from IndigoPerl to others outside your organization
where IndigoPerl is bundled with a commercial product without
specific prior written permission from IndigoSTAR Software
except as noted below.

5. You may distribute copies of IndigoPerl or components
derived from IndigoPerl to others outside your organization
where IndigoPerl is bundled with a commercial product as
long as total sales of the bundled product do not exceed
$1000 US per year.
 
A

Arvin Portlock

Randy said:
The current license for IndigoPerl:
http://www.indigostar.com/indigoperl.htm#License
might not, in some circumstances, be as simple as that:

3. You may make and give away verbatim copies of IndigoPerl
for personal use, or for use within your organization and
to others outside your organization, provided that you
duplicate all of the original copyright notices and
associated disclaimers.

4. You may not distribute copies of IndigoPerl or components
derived from IndigoPerl to others outside your organization
where IndigoPerl is bundled with a commercial product without
specific prior written permission from IndigoSTAR Software
except as noted below.

5. You may distribute copies of IndigoPerl or components
derived from IndigoPerl to others outside your organization
where IndigoPerl is bundled with a commercial product as
long as total sales of the bundled product do not exceed
$1000 US per year.

Looks like the only sticky point for me is that part about
"verbatim." All of my stuff is non-commercial, distributed
free of charge. Even my windows installation program, Inno
Setup, is free. And including the copyright notices and dis-
claimers is a no-brainer. With a minimal install I can get a
setup file under 2 Mb, not small enough to fit on a floppy,
but dial-up friendly all the same. The Indigo Perl distri-
bution is huge. It includes Apache and mod_perl (very nice!)
and is much bigger than the ActiveState package. If I can't
pare it down that would be a shame. I wonder if "verbatim"
means I can't include non-standard Modules? Nah, that can't
be. Modules don't *have* to go in the perl tree.

Thanks for pointing this out. I thought I was out of the woods.
I've already gone around and removed the scripts that had
packaged ActiveState, I'd hate to have to do it again. I'll
have a close look at the IndigoPerl license, perhaps shoot
them an email asking for clarification/permission. Apache
seems to also make Win32 versions of perl available, though
I haven't had a close look at those yet.

Arvin
 
T

Tad McClellan

Arvin Portlock said:
As my audience uses Windows and they have widely varying
technical skills, I really like to package everything
up into a single setup script so all they have to do is
install it and run it. I include a very minimal version
of ActiveState's perl,

So I had another look at the ActiveState license, and sure
enough, it looks like I'm in violation:

Is my only other
alternative to use perl2exe?


No, there is another alternative.

ActiveState does not own Perl, they just offer an
already-compiled-for-you Perl.


Decline their offer, and you can compile it for yourself on Windows,
but I don't know how difficult that might be...
 
A

Andy Hassall

ActiveState does not own Perl, they just offer an
already-compiled-for-you Perl.

Decline their offer, and you can compile it for yourself on Windows,
but I don't know how difficult that might be...

Last time I tried it, I was pleasantly suprised by how easy it was.

Just set the installation directory in win32/Makefile, run "nmake", "nmake
test" and "nmake install" from that directory, and it's done.

README.win32 has instructions for free compilers including the free cutdown MS
compiler, which look more complicated but doable.
 
A

Arvin Portlock

Andy said:
Last time I tried it, I was pleasantly suprised by how easy it was.

Just set the installation directory in win32/Makefile, run "nmake",
"nmake
test" and "nmake install" from that directory, and it's done.

README.win32 has instructions for free compilers including the free
cutdown MS
compiler, which look more complicated but doable.

Me and Visual C++ don't get along. But I can work with gcc.
At first I didn't really take this suggestion too seriously
but the more I thought about it the more I agree it's completely
doable, even for me. I'm only creating the interpreter after
all. All of the modules and such are free and up for grabs.

My latest project is a tutorial on how to do what I'm doing,
making easy to use and easy to install perl programs for
Windows using Inno Setup, a packaged minimal perl installation,
desktop icons, config files with Config::IniFiles, etc. I want
to make sure all the licensing issues are absolutely correct.
Compiling my own perl and distributing it would help a lot more
people than just me, so I'm going to look into it. Thanks for
yout tips.

Arvin
 
T

Thomas Kratz

Arvin Portlock wrote:

[ redistribution and copyright issues with AS perl]
Does anybody know whether ActiveState looks favorably on
written requests for my type of distribution? Is my only other
alternative to use perl2exe?

In addition to the other good advice about compiling your own perl for
windows, have a look at the PAR module to generate distributable
standalone executables from your perl script (like perl2exe but free).

Thomas

--
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$_=$_[$%][$"];y,<~>^,-++-,?{$/=--$|?'"':#..u.t.^.o.P.r.>ha~.e..
'%',s,(.),\$$/$1=1,,$;=$_}:/\w/?{y,_, ,,#..>s^~ht<._..._..c....
print}:y,.,,||last,,,,,,$_=$;;eval,redo}#.....>.e.r^.>l^..>k^.-
 
R

Richard Williams

Arvin Portlock wrote:

[ redistribution and copyright issues with AS perl]
Does anybody know whether ActiveState looks favorably on
written requests for my type of distribution? Is my only other
alternative to use perl2exe?

In addition to the other good advice about compiling your own perl for
windows, have a look at the PAR module to generate distributable
standalone executables from your perl script (like perl2exe but free).

One thing to bear in mind about PAR is that it includes binary components
from your installed perl bundled into the executable it outputs, so if
you're running ActiveState there could still (I think) be licensing
issues. Of course, there's no reason you can't use PAR with your own
compiled perl just for the packaging convenience.

One other option is TinyPerl:

http://tinyperl.sourceforge.net/

which includes a perl binary (unfortunately not updated in a while) with
no restrictions beyond the standard license. Like PAR, it can be used to
generate executables, but it's trickier to add modules to them.

There are a few other Win32 binaries that might be worth a look (though
some are rather old):

http://www.cpan.org/ports/index.html#win32

I suspect compiling your own perl is still the best option (which, as
others have noted, isn't difficult).

Richard.
 
A

Arvin Portlock

There are a few other Win32 binaries that might be worth a look (though
some are rather old):

http://www.cpan.org/ports/index.html#win32

I suspect compiling your own perl is still the best option (which, as
others have noted, isn't difficult).

Richard.


I guess I'm lazy after all. The Apache perls seem distributable,
even if modules and files are removed. Plus they seem pretty up
to date:

http://www.apache.org/dyn/closer.cgi/perl/win32-bin

But if anyone notices licensing problems there I have overlooked
then I'm definitely going the gcc route and making my own.

Now, does anyone know about a good distributable Python for
Windows?

PAR is fascinating. It seems the most flexible of the lot,
but most importantly it looks like it can create Macintosh
executables (I try and stay as cross-platform as I can). Anyway,
I've made note of all of these suggestions in my tutorial.
Thank you everyone, for all of your advice.

Arvin
 

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