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8.0 (long message)

    Date: Thu, 8 Feb 90 12:04 EST
    From: JR@YUKON.SCRC.Symbolics.COM (Johanna Rothman)

	Date: Wed, 7 Feb 90 16:12 EST
	From: miller@CS.ROCHESTER.EDU (Brad Miller)

        Would anyone from Symbolics care to comment about the 8.0 release? I'd be
        very interested in the following points, and I'd expect there are others on
        the list who might be interested as well...

    I will be happy to comment. I need a day or so to get the answers together.
Sorry for the delay.

        1. Timing (when might customers get it), e.g. April, June, ... I don't
        expect an exact date, but +/- a month would be helpful.

We expect to start rolling out the release in April, and we expect that
all customers will have the tapes by the end of May.

        2. Substantive Changes to the Way Things are Now
	  e.g. dropping support for <foo>, new interface to <bar> 
	  <No, I don't expect a copy of the release notes, just, like the bullet
	  items on the subchapters>

Here are some excerpts from a letter that all customers should receive
in the next couple of weeks:

Genera 8.0 is the unification release, to run the same software on all
hardware architectures.  This will allow the user to develop on any
machine and deliver on the platform of choice.  The 7.3I/7.4I Genera
features are included in the 36xx-series worlds.

7.3I introduced the new scheduler, among other features. This means you
must recompile your 7.2 code.  You don't have to compile 7.3I/7.4I code,
unless you want performance enhancements. (I'm not going to list the
features and changes here.)

Genera 8.0 does not support the Rev. 1 Ivory chip. If you have a Rev 1
Ivory chip in a MacIvory model I, then Customer Service will be
contacting you shortly to replace the chip. (This will not turn your
model I into a model II!)

The distribution for the 36xx series will only be available on 9-track
(Archive) tapes. If you have a vintage 3600 with the original tape
drive as your only tape drive, talk to your Customer Service or Sales
rep for upgrade information. 

Prolog will not be released for Genera 8.0.

Addition of support for: 
 - CLOS: Common Lisp Object System
 - Common Lisp Developer: Allows the user to develop in a strict Common 
   Lisp environment.
 - Multiple UX400S boards residing in the same Sun system; further
   information on supported multiple-board configurations and performance
   will be available in April.
 - increased Macintosh integration for the MacIvory.
 - RPC: now available over the network, not just between CPU's in the same box

The 36xx-series machines will have access to all the new features that
were in 7.4I, such as the new event-driven scheduler, embedding support
and development systems, improvements to the metering interface; and
support for Hayes modems and the LPG3 laser printer.

        3. Substantive Performance Enhancements / Degradations
	  e.g. we finally fixed the disk subsystem :-); 3620s and 50s are finally
	  almost as fast with i/o as 70s and 40s...; better GC performance...

We've done a lot of work on the I/O side in general.  Many networking
and I/O functions have been extensively rewritten to provide more robust
and faster performance, with speed improvements of up to 400 percent in
some cases.  The Network File System (NFS), the X-Window System client
function, handling of character I/O streams, and support of
Postscript hardcopy are much faster and more reliable.  TCP/IP
performance has also been improved.  The Sun Microsystems RPC protocol
is now available for all systems.  Dialnet has been made more robust.

On the down side, the 36xx disk I/O hardware and low-level software has
not been changed, so don't expect performance improvements there.

The compiler produces noticeably improved code, on both architectures
but more so on Ivory.  Previous releases did not use the full Ivory
instruction set.

We believe that overall performance of Genera 8.0 is comparable to
Genera 7.2.

        In particular I'm curious about the status of

        CLOS (well integrated/ bag on the side of flavors/ pcl clone)

CLOS is integrated, but there is more integration to be done,
particularly with Flavors.  Performance is comparable to Flavors for the
most common cases.

        ANSI draft standard COMMON LISP (all / some / most with exception of <>)

None supported.  There is an unsupported partial implementation which
might or might not become supported in a future release.

        X windows (part of Genera / still layered / server only / client only)
		 (r11.4 compatible / r 11.3 compatible / r 12.0 compatible :-)

Still layered, the Server side is still MIT X11 R3, compiled in
Symbolics C. We're looking into upgrading to 11 R4, but that won't
happen in time to release. The X client has been rewritten for vastly
improved performance.

        CLX (part of Genera?)

A component of the Genera X client.

        NFS (part of Genera / still layered)

Still layered.

        Tcp (part of Genera / still layered)

Still layered.

        <<we're still running 7.2 here; so the questions above should be taken in
        light of 36xx machines that don't NEED NFS/TCP/X to work as, say, the UX400S
        does, which I presume comes standard with these). >>

Yes, the UX400S has an incremental world with NFS, TCP, and X client
already built into it.

If you have other questions, feel free to contact Gary Roberts, the
Genera marketing manager, or Johanna Rothman, the Genera program