It looks like a group of software publishers and service providers have finally come to their senses and are now backing an effort to stand up a free certificate authority, Let’s Encrypt, whose planned launch date will be in the summer of 2015.
From the web site:
Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated, and open certificate authority (CA), run for the public’s benefit. Let’s Encrypt is a service provided by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG).
The open source (Apache 2.0 License) service, called ACME (for Automated Certificate Management Environment), will use an agent installed on each participating server to install and manage certificates.
From a quick look into the linked git repositories it looks like there are versions of the client written in python, and client and server implementations in node.js and the Heroku cloud platform.