[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Future Plans for MCL

I have had a long and friendly association with MCL.  It started
when I used it to complete my Ph.D. research.  It continued when,
as a consultant for a fortune 500 company, I was part of a team
that developed a prototype MCL application. That prototype was 
instrumental in convincing management to fund the development of
a new software product for Macintosh's.  And I still use it at home
to research new ideas and applications because it's easier to use
and runs lisp code faster than the sparc workstation on my desk
at work.  I don't have any idea how many people I've directly and
indirectly influenced to buy Apple products, but it's more than a few.

I was one of the first buyers of the Macintosh when it was introduced,
but I would not still be using them if it weren't for MCL.  I was
one of the first purchasers of a Mac II (two of them actually) and
that was only because of the availability of MCL.  I was gearing
up for a purchase of a PowerPC Mac, but that decision just went on
indefinite hold.  I suspect that many of the pioneers that lead the
way on new applications using MCL as a tool will make similar judgements.

Let me also suggest that farming MCL out to a third party may not be
the best solution.  We have been fortunate that MCL's excellent
development staff has made new features accessible from MCL in a very
timely manner.  It will be difficult for a third party to match that
level of support.

Apple has suggested that MCL doesn't make enough profit to justify
development costs.  But as all of these messages attest, Apple
gets all kinds of secondary benefits that dwarf the immediate profits.
Secondary benefits are irrelevant to any would-be third party developer.
How could we expect them to make a profit when Apple doesn't?  And
without profits their support would soon go away.  We need Apple to 
continue (and preferably to expand) their support of MCL.  How about
turning it into a viable delivery vehicle as well as an excellent
prototyping tool?

The answer isn't Dylan.  As much as I'd like to see that happen, it has
much too far to go before it will be as useful as MCL is today.  The
answer isn't C++.  I can't speak for everyone who has developed applications
in both languages, but speaking for myself, C++ is comparatively brain-dead.
The answer is a rejuvinated effort to support MCL.

Please Apple, reconsider.

Paul Krueger, Ph.D.
     Paul Krueger                                    Cray Research Park
     pkrueger@cray.com                               655F Lone Oak Drive
     (612) 683-5243  Fax: (612) 683-5889             Eagan, MN 55121 USA