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MCL's future and Dylan

I'd like to suggest that Apple think seriosly about what not porting MCL to
the Power PC will mean to the future Dylan and any other development tools
they might try to produce.

The move to a new system of development can be a risky one, and a very
costly one if this system ceases to exist. The move cannot be justified
only on the basis of the technical merit of the new system. Developers must
trust that the system will continue to be supported.

You are asking those developers who move to a new system to lay their bets
and put their money down. Before they do so, they will likely look at the
track record of your company. They may not like what they see.

This is especially true for Dylan. Dylan is not being marketed to the Lisp
community directly, but I'm sure you realize that you need a core of
die-hard language fans to make the language viable. In the case of Dylan,
you should expect many of these fans to be Lispers, since they already know
the benifits of a Dynamic language. However, Lispers will know that a
mature, stable and well-liked environment, MCL, was left to languish
despite being a reasonable sucessful product.

My advice to Apple would to make a priority of increasing developer
confidence in the viability of their development tools. I would also like
them to realize that although developers are not directly a large source of
income, that as they loose developers, they will loose the programs that
make the Macintosh an attractive product to consumers. I also want them to
realize that they WILL loose developers and ARE already loosing developers
to more lucritive markets. Maybe these won't be the top-selling developers,
but the Macintosh software line needs breath not just a few big-selling

-- Mike Gertz -- emgertz@scripps.edu
Scripps Research Inst., San Diego, CA