CLIM mail archive


RE: The cost of CLIM and its future

   This discussion has digressed pretty far from the original intent of this list,
   and I'm willing to drop it or take it to mail if someone really wants to

Before the discussion leaves, I would like to comment and ask a few
questions of someone in-the-know on the list.

   1) CLIM is really pretty neat. Despite any impressions I may have
   left by my comments of the last two days, I really think it serves a 
   purpose for some collection of Lisp users, and from a technical standpoint
   I've got to admire it.

EVERY other GUI-type system deals with "How to make yet another widget on the
screen." It is up to the designer, somehow, to hook an application to the

CLIM deals at the totally different (and much more appropriate) level
of interfacing the application to the users. The situation is more
than admiration of CLIM; there is a necessity to move the world of
interface design from the implementation level (is it better to make a
scrollbar in Motif or Windows-3.1?) to the software specification and
design level (how do we present and accept portions of our design to the
users) as is done ONLY by CLIM.

   2) It's gonna have a hard time gaining support until it's affordable to
   the educational market. You can substitute Lisp for CLIM in this statement
   too. Lisp is gonna have a hard time gaining market share as long as it's
   expensive for small colleges, tech schools, and public universities to
   be able to buy it.

I have commented long ago on my belief that the MAJOR reason that CLOS
has the acceptance observed today is that a readily available
implementation existed that allowed a user base to experiment and
provide feedback. This has not prevented Franz, Lucid, Symbolics, etc
from selling (and I hope, profiting from) optimized versions.

I believe that we might have a milestone of sorts here: CLIM will be
acceptable as a "Standard" Lisp GUI at such time as reasonable
implementations are available on AKCL and CMU-CL.

If Franz and Lucid (for example) feel threatened by this, let me use
my Sparcstation as an example. The projects supported my group run on
my machine on Lucid, Allegro, and CMU Common Lisps. The interface
delivered to customers on the Sun is currently Lispview on Lucid (just
in case you guys at Franz are wondering why orders haven't been
pouring in). Most of our customers can afford, and purchase whatever
Lisp is needed (along with CLIM, if it were needed).  Some others are
University, or poor research types who would prefer, or require CMU-CL
or AKCL.  Thus, some users of my stuff use a Lispview interface, some
use the Macintosh toolbox via MCL-2.0, and some just type selected
forms to the Lisp listener. I have a CLIM interface to my model. I
wish I had management's support to pursue it farther.

At such time as CLIM is available in a portable form on Franz, Lucid,
MCL, Allegro/PC, CLOE, --->>> AND CMU-CL <<<--- , my management will
switch to it whole-heartedly. In my case and in my opinion, I believe
that the BEST way for Franz to sell more Lisp/CLIM licenses for use of
my simulation software would be to make a version of CLIM available on
CMU-CL. (and just try and justify that one to the bean-counters...)

And let's not even mention the muddled mess with MCL-2.0 final and CLIM...

Until such time as a common CLIM is available (or some other
across-the-board interface toolkit,) management will retain a naive
interest in independent interfaces based on the MAC Toolbox on MCL,
perhaps Windows on Allegro/PC, and "Why bother with Allegro on the Sun?
We already have that Lispview thing running there."

So to my questions:

What is the current state of ownership, rights, licensing, or whatever for

Who pays whom, and for what? (I'm not interested in end-user licensing
of Lucid-CLIM, Allegro-CLIM, etc. we can get that from the sales-folks.)

Perhaps this would be better worded by example:

What would it take a new Lisp vendor to get access to CLIM? (There have
been comments here about the high buy-in costs for additional vendors.)
What would it take for some philanthropic organization to donate a CMU-CLIM
or an AKCL-CLIM?
Are there per-copy license fees?

					Skip Egdorf

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