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Non-ITS Maclisp Maintenance

I basically agree that finishing NIL is a better goal than fixing up
MACLISP-20.  I think 20's will be around longer than you think, however; I
guess I can't really see a major place for the VAX in AI -- by the time it
has the 10 years of well-funded software development that 10's/20's have
going for them, personal computing will be the only real choice for the
future.  We plan to hack on the 2060 till we have enough personal engines
to turn it into a file computer.  WIth any luck, I'll never even learn to
use SOS or the other crufty DEC software on VMS.  However, the portability
goal of NIL makes it a better long term hope than LISPM LISP per se.  I
think NIL on a personal machine, though, is more viable than on the VAX.
(Of course if it worked well enough and included something like ZWEI I
suppose our VAX might come in handy...)  Meanwhile, It is starting to look
like TI may write THE NEW MACLISP MANUAL (modelled after THE NEW UCILISP
MANUAL).  The more tapes of machine readable headstarts we can get, the
more likely we are to win.  I was going to try hacking a chapter over the
net, but working that way is just a lose.  Our 2060 has typically 10 people
on it (never more than 20) with 768Kwords, and so THAT's where I can get
good enough response to face the task.  We still have to explain to
management why we are going to devote 2-3 manyears/year to writing a manual
for MACLISP instead of just using INTERLISP, sigh!
  Regards, Mark