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Apple and CLIM

Speaking for members of the Boeing Huntsville AI Center (not as an
official Boeing corporate endorsement), I'd like to express our
support and satisfaction for the ILA CLIM implementation for the Mac
that runs with MCL 2.0b1p3, and make a plea for Apple to somehow
absorb or take over support of ILA's CLIM product.

Why do we make such a plea?  There are several reasons.

At the LUV-91 conference, CLIM was unofficially but overwhelmingly
adopted as the de facto standard for building portable user interfaces
for Lisp applications.  All major vendors at the conference --- except
Apple and ILA --- committed to providing CLIM implementations to the
Lisp user community.  For some unknown reason, ILA did not commit to
the CLIM bandwagon.  Our greatest fear is that ILA (a very small
company) might "go away".  This would be a bad thing, for Apple, ILA,
and their customers.

As far as we are concerned, our use of MCL is closely tied to the
availability of a CLIM implementation for the Mac.  We have several
prototype software development projects based in Lisp, all centering
themselves around Common Lisp, CLOS, and CLIM. Using these tools, our
programmers can develop truly portable applications, often on high-end
workstations/lisp machines, and eventually deliver the applications
(with no source changes) on low-cost Macs.  If we do not have a CLIM
implementation for the Mac, we will in all likelihood *abandon MCL* in
favor of some other CLIM-based delivery option.  This means that we
would be abandoning the Mac as a development and delivery platform.
In other words, for our Center,

     IF (NOT CLIM) ==> (NOT MCL)

In the corporate world, I am sure that other companies share the same
or similar views regarding their use of MCL.  As CLIM continues to
emerge as the de facto standard and portable GUI's become the norm,
the academic world will also lean toward Lisps with CLIM

So why doesn't Apple absorb ILA?  Several good things would result.
With CLIM, and new hardware platforms like the Quadra, Apple would
become a *major* player in the LISP and artificial intelligence world.
Also, Apple would immediately possesses one of the most advanced, robust
CLIM implementations on the market, with NO DEVELOPMENT required,
along with the developers to support and extend the product.

Although Lisp seems to be low on the Apple corporate agenda, a
management precedent was set when Apple took Coral under their wing
several years ago that might help fuel an ILA product/personnel buyout.

For what they're worth, these are the thoughts, hopes and desires of a
happy Apple/MCL ILA/CLIM customer, who wants to stay happy :-).
Please impart any information you can regarding these matters.

Randy Fennel
Manager, Huntsville Artificial Intelligence Center
Boeing Computer Services
POBox 240002, M/S JY-58
Huntsville AL 35824-6402

Please address any responses to:
Rodney Daughtrey	E-mail:	rodney@hsvaic.boeing.com
George Williams			george@hsvaic.boeing.com
Fax: (205)-464-4930	Voice:  (205)-464-4931