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ActiveState, Microsoft Sign Open Source Perl Agreement

ActiveState and Microsoft recently signed a three-year agreement for a Perl Open Source development and support contract.

As part of the agreement, ActiveState will add features to Windows ports of Perl, as well as support for Unicode on Windows platforms, a feature for users utilizing Asian language content. Some amount of the development effort is expected to be released as Open Source code under the Artistic License, Perls Open Source license.

News.com reports that Microsoft has run into trouble with the open source community before, with accusations of an "embrace and extend" approach of undermining the standard technologies by adopting them and then modifying them.

The report added that ActiveState's chief executive Dick Hardt said the goal isn't to help Microsoft make Perl its own, but rather to make Perl work better on machines running the Microsoft Windows operating system.

Beta versions of the next release of ActivePerl are scheduled to debut in August at the Open Source Convention.