CLIM mail archive


Re: The cost of CLIM and its future

    Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1992 18:09 CDT
    From: Arun Welch <>

    > Could somebody suggest a way that us Lisp companies get to stay in
    > business? 

    Sorry, but you'll get no sympathy from me on that score. 

You will from me, but, alas, that's all I can offer.  We're in a desparate fight for our
own jobs and cannot afford any more costs.  I'm afraid that that is where most companies
are today.  As long as companies fight to be the lowest cost rather than the
smartest, cleanest, or other investment requiring platitudes, they will throw out
experimental and risky work.  The way companies raise capital and the preference of the
government for profits over environment, community, etc. leads to this short-sighted

I'm not saying that my company is not responsive to environment or community.  I think it
is relative to its competitors and especially relative to the small independents (at
least the ones that operate outside of their own communities).  However, financial
performance is so much more important than anything else that all else seems unimportant.
Our company will make approximate $800 million this year in profit and is in a panic.
We're laying off people and reducing all expenses.  Anything less than $1.5 billion is
unacceptable.  Somehow, I think our government has let the capital holders off with too
little responsibility for such a large profit to be considered grounds for retreat in
non-financial areas.

How's this self-pity and political dribble relate to CLIM?  By arguing that CLIM and Lisp
will continue to bear more than its share of the ongoing recession/depression.
Innovation and excellence will also continue to suffer.  We as a country don't value
these enough to protect or nurture them during tough times.  We will find ourselves
continuing to be the supplier of raw materials, mercenary forces, and agricultural
products to an advanced and technologically superior world.

    When CLIM was first
    announced it seemed to be something that people asked their vendors
    for, but at this year's AAAI I can't think of anyone who really wanted
    it when talking to me at the Venue booth, and only a couple of people
    even asked if we implemented it.

Well, I didn't go to AAAI (finances and panic to demo or die), but without CLIM, I would
have no hope of being able to use Lisp.  If my code does not port among Sun Motif, Sun
OpenWindows, PC MicroSoft Windows, PC OS/2, and MacIntosh, then I will be in trouble.
Now, I know it will not painlessly port and may not port to all environments, but it
better come close.

Please keep up the good work on CLIM.
I'm sorry Venue didn't prosper: it had such good ideas.  The market is harsh and largely
unjust.  (Prospering IBM and Perot at the expense of Venue and ILA is unjust!)

Don Mitchell
Amoco Production Company	(918) 660-4270
Tulsa Research Center
P.O. Box 3385, Tulsa, OK 74102


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