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final MOP push

Now that PCL is out of the way, I can tell you that I have committed
myself, between now and June 1rst, to working on the MOP.  MOP related
work is the only big thing I will be doing between now and then.  Jim
desRivieres, who many of you know by name, has also committed himself
until June to MOP work.  Danny Bobrow will also be working with us, but
not full-time.

In fact, we have been working on this for the past several weeks, and
have made a lot of progress.  That is why I feel comfortable writing to
you about it now.

We are working on two things.

1) Produce a final draft of the specification.  This isn't intended
   to be an official document, but is intended to document, as best
   as possible, what can be said about the MOP.  This document won't
   be the tight spec ala chapters 1 and 2 we had once hoped for, but
   we do expect it will be useful.

   I believe that it is important to get as much feedback about what
   this document says as possible, given the time constraints.  I
   would hope that we could get it to a state where it could serve
   as documentation for the `defacto standard' MOP that people want
   to do.  To achieve that, at least the vendors involved are going
   to have to like what it says.  Having the current users like it
   is important as well.  I would like to widen the circle of people
   on this message in a couple of weeks, see comments about this at
   the end of this message.

   I am taking primary responsibility for this work.

2) Produce a document which serves to explain some of the rationale
   behind the MOP.

   The document begins by presenting a simplified version of a
   metacircular interpreter for CLOS.  From there, it moves through
   a set of motivated examples, showing modifications which give
   the user the kind of control required to handle the example.

   Each of these modifications, in effect, introduces another part
   of the (simplified) MOP.  So, in its style, this document is a
   step-by-step MOP-ification of a (simplified) CLOS.  This form
   makes it possible to introduce the concepts a MOP manipulates;
   a way of thinking about it; rationale for it; and examples of
   using it all in a nice story line.

   A lot of work is required to get the simplifications and story
   line for this right.  We have been making good progress on that
   here, but will also want feedback on this paper.

   Jim is taking primary responsibility for this work.

My purpose in sending this message now is to let you know what is
happening here.  I want to set up a mailing list that we can use for
discussing these documents.  At first, because of the time constraints,
I want to have just the people who have worked on this before on this
list.  Please let me know if you notice someone who I should add to the
list.  In a couple of weeks, I want to add more people, one from each of
the concerned vendors and a number of the more experienced users.

I plan to mail the newest version of the section on user interface
macros in the next 24 hours.

Thanks for your past and future help on this.