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1Re: What do users REALLY want?0

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Date: Fri, 5 Jan 90 11:41 PST
From: Eric Buckman <BUCKMAN@ALAN.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com>
Subject: 1Re: What do users REALLY want?0
To: slug@ALAN.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com
In-Reply-To: <19891221215835.8.ATTILA@MERLIN.bellcore.com>
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    Date: Thu, 21-Dec-89 15:38:11-PST
    Date: Thu, 21 Dec 89 16:58 EST
    From: attila@flash.bellcore.com (Leslie A. Walko)

    community seems to be splendid at technicalities, but a little high
    handed about business rationale.  I was really more interested in
    generating some discussion on how the user community feels about a
    change in Symbolics corporate strategy.
    So all, yea amateur economists, speak up!

    Leslie Walko	attila@bellcore.com

I have a comment/question/statement to make about the above request for comments:

Are all these comments / suggestions on what Symbolics should or shouldn't do
really worth anything, or are we as users just talking among ourselves.

What I mean here, is that it seems we have a really good technical community
that is participating on SLUG, that is, users as well as Symbolics employees.
However, all of these business discussions really should concern
Symbolics Marketing (that is if they have one) and whatever other folks they
have making marketing decisions (like Wurtz).  My guess is that at best, those
types take a once in a while look at what all us users are saying about what we think
is important. I have never seen any responses from Symbolics Marketing or Sales
on SLUG, to me, it seems like Symbolics has a pretty good non-communication
flow going on between their technical folks and their business types.  Tell me
I'm wrong, tell me that we're going to see great marketing moves and decisions
from Symbolics on anything close to the same level that we see great technical
accomplishments from them.  Tell me that their Marketing people read this list

While I'm flaming........ what's the story on Symbolics coming out with great
new technical products, but not following up on them.  It looks to me like:
Dynamic Windows, Concordia, and Statice were NEVER finished.  For instance:
Dynamic Windows (specifically incremental redisplay) has caused us to waste an
endless amount of time. My guess is that support for that product has stopped in
favor of CLIM (I hope that's true, because we've heavily based our software on
the presentation system etc. and have a lot invested in the expectation that
that software work well.) I see a second implementation of the software
(CLIM) being our only hope for getting a clean, non buggy version of that sort
of capability.  Same goes for Statice, it seems to have a bunch of trivial
unfinished parts to it.  That would be fine if Symbolics were continuing to work
on it, and a new release was eminent.  Ditto Concordia.  The point here is
we are now a site
of somewhere between 50 and 100 Symbolics platforms well distributed among many
functional areas of our company, i.e. manufacturing, research, project teams,
design areas.....  Coming from a lab that develops software for those
application groups, we have so far been very pleased with the power that
Symbolics provides, both in terms of their development environment (where we can
turnaround applications a lot faster, and with a much much lower head
count, than other groups working on other platforms/languages.  Some of this
success can be attributed to using Symbolics software as pre-written code.  i.e.
Building up from Concordia to create a  hypertext based help system for an
application, or using Statice as the substrate on which to build database

My point:

While I agree that it is important for Symbolics to deal with issues like
porting, I hope that at the same time they are not trying to ride too far on
existing products (like Concordia, Statice and Genera) without putting in the
continuing effort that keeps those products worthwhile, as well as the
need for Symbolics to continue to lead the way with other
new products for us to build applications software on.

eric  (buckman@alan.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com)