CLIM mail archive


Re: The cost of CLIM and its future

   Date: Thu, 17 Sep 92 13:26:41 EDT
   From: Arun Welch <>

   > Believe me, the
   > original ILA effort started precisely because users wanted a facility
   > which allowed for the delivery of Lisp applications, with user
   > interface, across all Lisp platforms.

   I don't disagree with this being ILA's motive at the start, but the reality
   is that now it's virtually impossible for any company other than the original
   5 to get on the bandwagon.

You are right.  Those 5 companies have already invested 3 years in
CLIM.  However, the companies you list below were offered the
opportunity, years ago, to invest in a port of CLIM to their platforms
and chose not to.  You can not realistically expect their competitors
to give away the already completed software.

Just in case you're wondering what "the opportunity to invest" really
meant, a company was offered the opportunity to do a port of CLIM to
its platform in exchange for future royalties on the sale of CLIM on
that platform.  In other words, recognizing the relative sizes and
financial constraints of the companies involved, the only necessary
up-front expense was the actual porting effort.  Ibuki and Top Level,
to name two, were offered such deals, and declined.  (In these cases,
the porting effort in theory should have been minimal, as both would
have used the X Windows back end.)  As recently as late last year,
however, such a deal was struck for an Explorer port of CLIM.

(In some cases, there were problems with CL compliance, which made it
impossible to port CLIM.  But we did try to get as many companies as
we could involved.)

   > I know we can't expect sympathy, but can we get suggestions?  Can you
   > suggest something on the market which addresses the Symbolics -> MCL
   > -> Lucid -> Franz -> Harlequin portability issue?  

   In the current state, it's locked into those 5 companies. What about -> Ibuki
   -> Gold Hill -> Top Level  -> Venue -> etc. *That's* my point. It's effectively
   raised the entry point into the Lisp market by a couple of manyears of effort.
   Heck, Franz doesn't even implement it across all their platforms. 

Oddly enough, I didn't expect this answer.  I expected you to tell me
that you were recommending the use of some other toolkit or set of
techniques for porting Lisp applications and their user interfaces,
not to point out that the product that "no one has interest in"
isn't supported on the platforms you care about.

Dennis Doughty



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