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[franz!fisi!fkunze: common lisp technical committee membership]
I thought that the Franz people had finally given up, but apparently not.
I have sent Kunze a preliminary answer, which I will forward to the rest
of you, and will answer him more fully over the weekend. As we
discussed, I'll point out that a committee with representation from
every company is infeasible, and will also mention the plans to make a
list of "participating" companies (with technical committee members not
stressing their company affiliations).
Date: Monday, 7 April 1986 13:32-EST
From: franz!fisi!fkunze at kim.berkeley.edu (Fritz Kunze)
To: at su-ai.arpa:FAHLMAN@C.CS.CMU.EDU, ucbkim!USC-ISIF.ARPA!MATHIS, firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: common lisp steering and technical committee membership
April 7, 1986
To: Steven Squires
This letter is a formal response to the recent proposal for
setting up the Common Lisp Steering and Technical committees.
We at Franz Inc. feel that the treatment of commercial
interests in standardization is a very critical issue.
Franz Inc. currently has 6 announced contracts with computer
vendors for implementations of Extended Common Lisp.
Other contracts are not yet public, and additional ones
are under negotiation.
Thus we represent a potentially large percentage of the Common Lisp
community. We are not represented on either the steering or technical
committees, although we have made every effort to be on them.
We note that Richard Gabriel, president of Lucid Inc, a company
whose sole product is an implementation of Common Lisp, is to be
on both the steering and technical committee. Scott Fahlman's name
has also appeared as associated with Lucid (e.g. on slides
presented by Richard Gabriel at a Sun Sales Show).
This has the effect of looking like an endorsement, by DARPA, or
ANSI, of Lucid. I will be happy to provide you with ample evidence
where perceived relationships/and or appearances have severely hurt
us commercially, especially in competition with Lucid.
We think it is imperative to correct this. We think the membership of
the technical committee should be broadened, and the steering committee
should be narrowed. The technical committee should include
representatives --essentially all of whom are at finger-tip's distance
by electronic mail-- from all interested parties. Similarly, the steering
committee should not have any taint of commercial partiality.
While companies which primarily sell hardware or have broadly
diversified products can afford to ignore these details, competing
companies which focus on satisfying the needs of DARPA, DoD, and research
and education communities should be nurtured. We fear the
effect of the committee membership will be to provide
implied exclusive approval of one vendor as an OEM supplier of
We sincerely hope that a remedy to this situation can be found soon.
President, Franz Inc.