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CLIM standardization


We in the CMU Common Lisp project would very much like to see a single,
coherent Graphical User Interface standard for the Common Lisp world --
something like CLX, but at the next level up.  The lack of such a standard
is hurting Lisp relative to C and C++.  That's ironic, since the user
interface should be one of Lisp's strongest selling points.

CLIM looks like a strong contender to become the de facto standard, but two
problems stand in the way: first, the inability of the companies involved
to settle on a single definition for for CLIM and a coherent process for
updating this standard as needed; second, the fact that CLIM, being large
and proprietary, is effectively unavilable to users of CMU Common Lisp and
other free Common Lisp implementations.  If CLIM continues to be available
only on high-priced commercial Lisp systems, some different GUI standard
will emerge among universities and other cost-conscious users.  This will
split the community and ultimately hurt us all.

I have had some preliminary discussions with Mark Son-Bell of ILA about
ways in which a free or low-cost CLIM could be made available to the
community on top of CMU Common Lisp.  Nothing is settled yet, in part
because of the current confusion in the CLIM world (Franz and Symbolics
arguing with ILA and Lucid, and so on).  I understand that you and ALU may
play a role in trying to mediate this dispute.  The purpose of this note is
to let you know that we in the CMU Common Lisp project would very much like
to see these problems resolved, and we would be interested in participating
in any E-mail discussions between CLIM vendors and potential users.  (We
don't have much of a travel budget, so participating in face-to-face
meetings would be hard.)

Scott Fahlman

Scott E. Fahlman
School of Computer Science
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Internet: sef+@cs.cmu.edu