Perl 5.12 Completed, ActiveState Releases Commercial-grade ActivePerl 5.12 with Perl Package Management, Tools and Support

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – April 14, 2010 – ActiveState, the dynamic languages company, today announced the launch of business and community editions of ActivePerl 5.12, the day after the release of Perl 5.12 by the Perl Foundation.

"Perl is a fantastic tool for everything from the smallest systems administration tasks to the largest web applications," said Jesse Vincent, Perl 5 Pumpking and President of Best Practical Solutions. "Over the past few decades, it's been ported to more platforms than just about any other language implementation. Perl 5.12 builds on that legacy, adding new features and fixing hundreds of bugs."

"The perl5-porters, an international group of some of the most talented and dedicated volunteer software developers in the world have done fantastic work over the past two years to create Perl 5.12," continued Vincent. "I'm humbled and privileged to be able to work with them and look forward to collaborating with them to release Perl 5.14 next year."

"We see a continued interest in all dynamic languages and this is true of Perl. Some of ActiveState's largest enterprise customers are heavy ActivePerl users, whether for mission-critical systems, or system administration tasks," said Jeff Hobbs, Director of Engineering at ActiveState. "With the release of 5.12, ActiveState, as well as the Perl developer community, is showing continued commitment to the development and adoption of Perl as a critical enterprise-grade dynamic language."

The Perl community proactively continues to contribute to the popular programming language, helping it maintain its status as a leading dynamic language option for enterprise developers. Several notable updates in ActivePerl 5.12 include:

  • Perl's time functions work beyond the year 2038: With previous versions of Perl for 32-bit Unix systems, it could only represent dates up to the year 2038, after which it wraps around back to 1970. It is especially important for financial services organizations that use Perl for applications such as mortgage and insurance contracts that run for 30 years or longer. This has been updated within the internal functions of 32-bit Perl 5.12.
  • Improved Unicode support: Perl now supports all Unicode properties for developers doing globalization work in multiple languages. It includes all the synonyms, loose spelling rules for property names and values, and other areas that have been brought in sync with the corresponding Unicode specification.
  • Support for pluggable keywords: Extension modules can now cleanly hook into the Perl parser to define new kinds of keyword-headed expressions and compound statements. The syntax following the keyword is defined entirely by the extension. This feature facilitates the development of domain specific languages (DSLs) within Perl by allowing a completely non-Perl sub-language to be parsed inline, with the correct ops cleanly generated. This feature is experimental and may be removed.

ActiveState's Three ActivePerl Editions: Community, Business and Enterprise

ActiveState is releasing ActivePerl 5.12 for both its Community and Business editions today. The ActivePerl Enterprise Edition will be available in the next six months.

ActivePerl is the industry-standard, commercial-grade Perl distribution used by millions of developers around the world for easy Perl installation and quality-assured code. Whether using Perl for mission-critical applications or open source projects, ActivePerl offers worry-free implementation and significant time savings over open source Perl for installing, removing, upgrading, and managing common Perl modules. ActivePerl comes precompiled for out-of-the-box installation and includes core Perl, popular modules, the Perl Package Manager (PPM) and complete documentation.  ActivePerl Business Edition, launched in February 2010, is a new, affordable solution developed specifically for small and mid-sized development teams. It integrates low-cost commercial support of ActivePerl with access to builds for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, AIX, Solaris and HP-UX, as well as older versions across all platforms. Pricing for ActivePerl 5.12 Business Edition is $999/year/server.

ActivePerl Community Edition is a free, ready-to-install Perl distribution for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, designed for community developers or open source projects that are not business or mission-critical. It does not include access to builds for HP-UX, Solaris, or AIX (only available in higher editions). Support for ActivePerl Community Edition is only offered through the community and forums.

To learn more about major enterprise deployments of ActivePerl, see the presentation, "Take Quality Products to Market Faster with Enterprise-Ready Dynamic Languages" by Larry Backman, Vice President of Quality Assurance at  CA, who uses ActivePerl to develop CA's SiteMinder Web Site Access Manager, a product that enables secure access to web apps and sites. You can also view the full webinar recording here. To learn more about the history and development of Perl 5, visit the Perl 5 is Alive blog post.

About ActiveState

ActiveState is the world leader in enabling companies to develop, manage, and distribute applications with dynamic languages. The company's products and services for Perl, Python, Tcl and other web languages, are used by over 2 million developers and 97% of the Fortune 1000 to build and run applications from mission-critical to open source projects. ActiveState's end-to-end solutions include development tools, language distributions, indemnification, OEM solutions, support and other services. With these, customers such as Cisco, CA, HP, Bank of America, Siemens, and Lockheed Martin are able to accelerate productivity, minimize risk, and ensure compliance.


Bret Clement


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