[% setvar title New Perl Mascot %]

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New Perl Mascot


  Maintainer: David Grove <pete@petes-place.com>
  Date: 28 Sep 2000
  Last Modified: 30 Sep 2000
  Mailing List: perl6-licenses@perl.org
  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 final.


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 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 nastiness.


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 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.


Tux: The Linux Mascot