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Matt Wright buys out CPAN. DOJ say Wha?
However, all is not well at the MSA headquarters (located at One MSA Way, Seattle). MSA has often been accused of providing scripts that are badly written, buggy and insecure and has been the target of a lot of wrath by the otherwise rather tolerant and meek perl community. Recent scathing remarks by Randal Schwartz, aka merlyn, were picked up by the media causing a minor uproar. The accusations have been sufficiently loudly voiced that recently even DOJ's interest was piqued - this inspite of their recent shortcomings in a similar but smaller case of monopolistic practices.
The backslash has been accompanied by the formation of Not Matts Scripts (NMS), a rebellion group designing a set of drop-in replacement scripts for those provided by MSA. A nonprofit group, led by the London PM and calling themselves a Merry Bunch of Hackers, these perl programmers aim to provide a fully functioning alternative that "work exactly as before, except that the user will sleep easier knowing that their web site is that little more secure".
The continued popularity of Matts scripts inspite of NMS attempts to undermine it is touted by some as proof that all the fuss is just too many $`$'$&s in the s//g. While London.pm proudly points to their growing list of ISPs that prefer NMS over MSA, their wins in the server market is dwarfed by their complete failure to penetrate the desktop community. Perhaps the biggest blow to MSA was a few comments by Matt that was leaked by his webmaster to the world. An excerpt from the memo, now often referred to has the Halloween Memos evidenced the lack of faith Mr Wright himself had in his own organization:
While the free code found at my web site has not evolved much in recent years, the general programming practices and standards of CGI programs have. nms is an attempt by very active programmers in the Perl community to bring the quality of code for these types of programs up to date and eliminate some of the bad programming practices and bugs found in the existing Matt's Script Archive code. I would highly recommend downloading the nms versions if you wish to learn CGI programming. The code you find at Matt's Script Archive is not representative of how even I would code these days.
This mornings replacement of the CPAN front page with a copy of MSA frontpage was met with varied response. Markus Dominus wearing his favorite red "Just Another $#@_&! hacker" t-shirt, said it was a disappointing blow but admitted that most people are idiots anyways, while d@rKn1t3, a thirteen year old self proclaimed hacker was heard to say "p30pl3 who use NMS are l@m3r5. I can't own j00r." Tom McSweeney, corn farmer from Idaho and winner of this years rude vegetable competition commented "Wha?"."