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Re: Bundling of layered software

	Date: Wed, 21 Mar 90 15:46 EST
	From: cjl@ai.mit.edu (Chris Lindblad)
	    Date: Wed, 21 Mar 90 09:12 PST
	    From: RDP@alan.kahuna.decnet.lasc-research.lockheed.com (Robert D.
	    Meanwhile, as the broken record player continues to play...
	    "Bundle Concordia and Statice into Genera <skip>, bundle Concordia and
	    Statice into Genera <skip>, bundle..." <:-)
	So do you think they should also bundle Macsyma and the S products?  While
	they're at it, why don't they just give away all their software!  Oh yea,
	first they should get it to run on other vendors hardware.
	Symbolics has to charge money for its products in order to exist.
I think RDP's point is that there are some products which are clearly special-purpose
(Macsyma and S-products and Joshua) while there are others which are more like other
extensions to the standard programming environment (concordia - better documentation
facilities for your code; statice - databases are, in my opinion, something everyone
uses, although usually they do it by cobbling together something out of textfiles and

Symbolics has been a leader in "bundling" tools and extensions to lisp (tools: windows,
zmacs, debugger, examiners - extensions: loop, flavors, clim) to the point where every
major addition to what is becoming a part of the accepted "minimum production lisp
environment" is something that has become a standard part of Genera for at least a
couple of years already.

I agree that Symbolics has to make money, but I'd like to see them also continue to
lead the rest of the programming world with what we should expect of a programming
environment - at this point that certainly includes an extention to the programming
language that facilitates "persistant data objects" and a new tool, namely a hypertext
editor for (at minimum) facilitating documenting and (hence) browsing code.

I'm not trained in marketing, but it seems to me that this is a better way to sell
more statices, concordias, and (most importantly) generas. Currently, the way Statice
and Concordia are marketed doesn't make it clear that these are important, general
purpose extentions to a programming environment - and hence it doesn't emphasize one
of genera's major strengths, namely it can offer something that no other lisp vendor
can (at this point) even claim to have in the product pipeline (unlike the other
tools and extensions which used to set genera apart).

So, bundle 'em - figure out how to make money off of it. Talk to us (your users) about
what schemes for charging are going to accomplish the goal of (a) making concordia
and statice standard (i.e. bundled) extensions to genera and (b) making the charges
(for upgrades and new licenses) such that you insure the bulk of the Symbolics user
community can pay for it.