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Re: [Scott_Fahlman@SEF-PMAX.SLISP.CS.CMU.EDU: CLIM, ILA, etc.]

< I've added my current active project members to the loop. >


Many thanks for taking the time to fill me in on recent events.
    (Let me point out that I don't think that having multiple Lisp UI
    packages is a bad thing.  The main point of CLIM was to have at least
    ONE package that was endorsed by a large number of Lisp vendors and
    was available in a wide variety of Lisp environments so that
    programmers could build portable applications.)

We agree.  We have already done our own version of CLM and are cooperating
with the Gina people.  Despite a few spats (do you know Brad Myers?), we
are pretty close to the Garnet group here at CMU.  But with CLIM emerging
as the one package that can run "everywhere", we wanted to have CMU CL be
part of that everywhere.  Else people without money to spend on software (a
surprisingly large number of "bootleg" projects in industry, as well as
starving university people) would not have access to this world.
    Toward that end I think that I can assure you access to the ILA CLIM 2
    prototype sources under satisfactory copyright, licensing and other
    restrictions.  I had been left with the impression that you guys would
    be evaluating the software that we sent you a while back and that if
    it passed initial evaluation we would work out the copyright/licensing
    issues.  If you still want to move forward on this, I can put you back
    in touch with Mark to close the loop.
Yes, we're still evaluating that software, though some other
higher-priority things have intervened.  Basically, if we can get hold of
this code without awkward restrictions, we're eager to proceed as planned
and try to get it running and polished in CMU CL.  Basically, we're only
interested if it is clear to all the people (and lawyers!) involved that we
have the right to modify the code and make it available, including sources,
to the world via anonymous FTP.  We don't want to get into charging for it
or paying for it, and we don't want to get into explicit licensing
paperwork with all our various end-users.

The last I heard from Mark, he was going to put some sort of blanket
permission to use on the thing and just make it all available for anonymous
FTP.  That's not the only model we can live with, but it is by far the
easiest for us.  In any case, I'd like to get back in touch with Mark.

    I will leave aside any discussions of the technical merits of the two
    bodies of software.

I was quoting the opposition's views, not our own.  In fact, your code
looks good to us -- as far as we've dug in, at least.

    I believe that Franz and Symbolics plan to offer this
    software to other parties for a fee; you should perhaps contact Bob
    Laddaga at Symbolics (Laddaga@Symbolics.COM) if you are interested in
    pursuing this.

We're not interested in paying or collecting any fees.  If they (or you,
under either hat) want to offer directly to end users a cheap
(Borland-style pricing) CLIM package that runs on CMU CL, we would
cooperate with that, point our users in that direction, and probably stay
out of the CLIM game ourselves (except maybe as paid-up users).

That could be a nice way to resolve this if anyone sees a market.  The
price would have to be low enough that all these industrial bootleg users
would just pay it out of their own pockets or petty cash.  They currently
use CMU CL because their Lisp-hating bosses would ask embarrassing
questions if a purchase order went by for Lucid or Allegro.
    As for CLIM and CMU CL, I think that you have two basic options.  The
    first is to attempt to license the commercial CLIM 2 software from
    whomever claims to have the rights to grant the license.  I doubt that
    they will give it away, but you should check.

Not attractive to us, for reasons noted above.

    The second is to 
    base CMU CL CLIM on the ILA software prototype.  This software is N%
    compatible with the actual API of the product version for reasonably
    high N.  The number has been decreasing somewhat of late, as changes
    are made to the spec and the product software, but the basic
    capabilities remain pretty similar, and a modest development team
    should be able to track the changes or mount a one-time catch up
    effort once the final version of CLIM 2 is released by the vendors.
This may be the way we go if nobody has interest in the shrink-wrap option
above.  Timing is an issue here.  Our funding is up next April, and we may
head in rather different, more reasearchy directions after that.  I expect
we will continue to maintain CMU CL and occasionally port it to a new
machine, but may not be mounting big efforts just to keep this or that
group of users happy.  So we would have to see if tracking CLIM 2.0 and
successors looks like a big effort.

Thanks again for the info.

-- Scott