O’Reilly news


January 6, 1999

Vancouver, Canada--The increasing popularity of Perl, a widely-used programming language for system administration and Web development, has led to a growing need for support and quality assurance. PerlDirect™ from ActiveState Tool Corp. is the first offering of a complete Perl support program designed for corporate IS/IT managers who would like to expand the use of Perl, an Open Source scripting language. Early PerlDirect clients include Credit Suisse First Boston and Wells Fargo.

PerlDirect provides reliability, stability and accountability for Perl through the following features: validated, quality-assured releases of Perl and its popular extensions; advice and support; Y2K Test Suite; and a Perl Alert weekly bulletin. PerlDirect also offers an exclusive opportunity to provide direct input in a leading organization involved in Open Source development. Basic annual subscription rates start at $12,000 USD.

"PerlDirect goes beyond fixing problems," explained Dick Hardt, Chief Technology Officer and Founder of ActiveState Tool Corp. "In addition to all the critical components of PerlDirect, we're providing context and structure for a huge amount of Perl-related information which is available, but difficult to sift through, interpret, and manage. As active members of the Perl community, we know where Perl has been and where it's headed. As business people, we listen carefully to our customers' needs for new Perl development and are offering that input to the greater Perl community."

With validated releases, ActiveState provides instant access to all the most recent and popular modules while providing users with the security required for mission-critical software. These are quality-assured, tested releases of all distributions of core Perl and its popular extensions. In addition to the latest Perl source, the quarterly PerlDirect CD includes: pre-compiled binaries for Windows and popular UNIX platforms; tools and utilities for Windows NT-UNIX portability; and unrestricted distribution rights within the client's organization.

The PerlDirect package includes incident-based support with the Perl Clinic (http://www.PerlClinic.com). The Perl Clinic is a technical support service maintained by ActiveState, which includes well-known Perl specialists Tim Bunce, Gurusamy Sarathy and Chip Salzenberg.

To help Perl users in their efforts to verify Year 2000 compliance of their Perl systems, ActiveState has prepared a toolkit of Y2K test scripts: the PerlDirect Y2K Test Suite. PerlDirect's Y2K Test Suite provides a valuable set of tools for identifying potential problem areas and facilitates Y2K testing of Perl and Perl modules on a system with installed Perl components.

Perl Alert is a weekly bulletin which provides up-to-the-minute information about significant issues related to Perl, new modules, bugs, and new releases, with special alerts as warranted. ActiveState distills news from over 3,000 news items a week taken from all of the Perl on-line new sources, as well as from its many contacts in the Perl community. As a result, PerlDirect customers receive critical information, while saving valuable time.

Future ActiveState Open Source activities are directed by PerlDirect subscribers. This influence will ensure that the features that PerlDirect customers require will be included in future Open Source developments by ActiveState.

PerlDirect Gold is a premium corporate service which builds upon the base of services offered by PerlDirect. The Gold program assigns each subscriber an ActiveState support engineer. More than simple advice and problem resolution, PerlDirect Gold provides an ongoing transfer of expertise from ActiveState experts to their customers.


Perl was created by programmer Larry Wall, now Senior Programmer at publisher O'Reilly & Associates. Perl is known for its usefulness and versatility. Being Open Source, Perl is in active development by literally hundreds of volunteer programmers, working worldwide. More than a million programmers currently use Perl. O'Reilly & Associates hosts annual Perl conferences and publishes numerous Perl books, including several best-sellers, as well as Perl resource kits (for both UNIX and Win32). More information is available about Perl at http://www.perl.com, and about O'Reilly & Associates at http://www.oreilly.com/.


Founded by Dick Hardt, ActiveState Tool Corp. is a privately-held corporation with investors that include O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. ActiveState is the leading provider of products and services for Perl, a widely-used Open Source programming language. ActiveState works closely with the Perl community to support the deployment and maintenance of Perl software, to develop professional tools that make using Perl easier, and to create extensions that enable Perl to work with new technologies. More information is available at http://www.activestate.com/.

PerlDirect and the Perl Clinic are trademarks of ActiveState Tool Corp. Open Source is a trademark of Open Source is a trademark of Software in the Public Interest (http://www.opensource.org). All other names may be trademarks of their respective organizations.

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