CLIM mail archive


Re: contents of clim-library as of 92/09/09

Scott McKay writes:

> I would also like to know the answers to these questions...  In my
> opinion, a major reason for the success of X Windows is the sheer
> extent of the stuff publicly available for X Windows.  I don't think
> CLIM can be successful without a similar effort.  Of course, CLIM
> itself may be too immature or limited to support such an effort.  I
> don't know, but I would like to.
> If anybody wishes to write good CLIM demos and donate them to the
> cause, that would be terrific.

I don't see the point in contributing anything to CLIM.

Programs like the X Window System or GNU Emacs have been contributed
to me, so I contribute back by spending time porting and debugging
them and making available improvements or X clients that I write.

For CLIM, we have to pay $1000 per license even though the software is
not very stable yet (cf. number of problem reports in this list, for
example).  We also have to invest a lot of time to learn how to use
it.  Sure, we could send someone to a CLIM course in Germany but we
don't have the money for that.

When I write an X application in C using the X Toolkit, I can look at
the source for many existing clients as well as for the libraries I
use.  If you send me the CLIM sources, I promise to write a couple of
utilities for your FTP archive!

If I write a program in CLIM, only people who can afford CLIM will be
able to use it.  So for maximum usefulness I prefer to use a
not-so-nice UI library that is free (such as Garnet or CLUE).  Almost
everybody with a Unix machine (including 386 PCs) can use either AKCL
or CMU CL, CLX and one of these free toolkits (CLM is also free, but
currently depends on Motif which is not, LispView is now also in the
public domain but only works under Lucid).

For the same reasons there are much more contributed X clients using
the Athena Widgets or XView than using OSF/Motif or OLIT.

Transform ILA into the CLIM Consortium and give the CLIM sources to
everybody who is interested.  Then you will soon see AKCL and CMU CL
ports and a lot of contributions from us Lisp hackers.

Or keep it restricted to the lucky few who can afford CLIM licences or
Symbolics software maintenance contracts - but don't be surprised if
it remains in its market niche.

Sorry if this message sounds aggressive - I'm just tired of seeing
CLIM presented as a noble effort to help us poor CL users out of the
lack of user interface toolkits, and to which we should all contribute
(money, maintenance time, demos, utilies) in our own interest.  CLIM
is a piece of commercial software that happens to be proprietary to a
couple of vendors rather than one.  So it is open (the spec is
available on FTP, and maybe you wouldn't even sue me for
reimplementing it).  For me, CLIM is exactly like OSF/Motif except
that it is technically more mature and lacks critical mass.

Just my two centimes,
Simon Leinen.
Laboratoire d'Intelligence Artificielle
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne
CH-1015 Lausanne
Tel.: +41-21-693-5277

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