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RFC 343 (v2) New Perl Mascot

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September 30, 2000 23:32
RFC 343 (v2) New Perl Mascot
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=head1 TITLE

New Perl Mascot

=head1 VERSION

  Maintainer: David Grove <>
  Date: 28 Sep 2000
  Last Modified: 30 Sep 2000
  Mailing List:
  Number: 343
  Version: 2
  Status: Frozen


Perl has no common symbol usable by the public at large to state to
the world "I am a Perl Programmer, and D**n Proud Of It!".


This RFC seems to have been received with no ill will at all, except
that most who responded preferred first to ask O'Reilly for open
permission to use the Camel, and go for a new symbol if that failed.
Since nobody had any problems with it, and it was well accepted, and
since it's getting close to deadline time, I've frozen this RFC as


The symbol that would be commonly used for this is the Camel, of course,
but that symbol has strict trademark restrictions, and is unsuitable for
the purpose of identification. Sadly, no other symbol is currently
recognized to symbolize Perl and its community, and a freely available
symbol is definitely needed.

The concept is simple. People rally around a common symbol for their
common goals.

Linux has Tux, the cute little Penguin. GNU has the gnu, the wonderful
wildebeest. BSD has its daemon with his fork().

Christians have a cross, Jews have the Star of David, Muslims the
crescent moon.

Perl programmers have nothing, unless they're on special terms with
a trademark holder. They only have the text of the word "Perl",
for which an open trademark has been proposed in another RFC.

Additionally, the Perl community as a whole should have a single
symbol to stand behind. Currently, two such symbols exist, representing
Unices and Win32, which is a mentality split that has been targeted
for termination since 5.005. These symbols are the Camel and the
Gecko, respectively. If there is ONE Perl, there should be ONE
symbol representing all of its people.


The best possible solution would be for O'Reilly to declare publicly
that the Camel image, when used with Perl, is freely licensed for use
by everyone without restriction. Barring the success of such petition,
a new symbol for this language and its communities should be selected.

The selection of a particular symbol should be left to Larry Wall,
though I personally hope it isn't chartreuse because that particular
color doesn't go well with most website color schemes. ;-)

The use of religious symbols should be avoided, as should any symbol
that could be more identifiable with one of Perl's cliques, such as
a particular operating system or architecture.


This symbol should be representative of the perl community, and not
of the Perl language. This symbol should be representative of the Perl
community, and not of the Perl language. If this image is copyrigyted
and/or trademarked, it should be licensed freely without restriction
of any kind. It need not have any official connection to the Perl
language or software itself, or any special saction from Larry Wall
or any entity, except that it is recognized as a symbol for the entire
perl community, and makes a statement, "Perl Programmer Here", or,
"Proud to Perl". (The essence, not the text.) It should not be used
to represent a I<stamp of approval> from Larry Wall or any Perl
organization or entity.

Since the symbol would be licensed freely, displaying the symbol on a
website should not require a link to any website, commercial or
non-commercial. Displaying it in other places should not require
legal disclaimers, trademark acknowledgements, or other such legal


Use of the Camel, LLama, Gecko, Owl, Panther, and other such trademarked
animals in association with Perl in any of the above contexts should
be discouraged, unless O'Reilly and Associates agrees to license the
Camel symbology freely for use by anyone without restriction.

Until then, failing to discourage such uses could lead to an elitist
mentality, where a select few could use a camel, and everybody who is
not I<special> would use a [insert new symbol name here].


This symbol should be available to all members of the perl community
in its original form or a derived form for use on websites, books,
jewelry, clothing, flags, software, icons, and all other places where
the user would like to be recognized as proud of being a member of this
community. This symbol is one of advocacy and community, not one of
official sanction.


Variations on the symbol should be tolerated in color and content.
However, no use of the symbol or a variant of the symbol should be
allowed to be copyrighted or trademarked to represent Perl, any
software related to Perl, or any company or entity, to the extent
that such copyright or trademark would be restricted to that
usage or entity or unavailable for public usage.


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