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Progress is Our Most Important Problem

    Date: 28 Jan 87  1932 PST
    From: Dick Gabriel <RPG@SAIL.STANFORD.EDU>

    Wasn't that GE's slogan?

    According to my calculations, we have 3 days left before the
    document must be ready. I see a number of problems.

    1. We are still arguing over CPL computation. When I asked Ken Olum
    to tell me what he thought about the possible algorithms for it
    he said he simply tried things in New Flavors until they worked.
    He said a good model is that there is some sort of algorithm and you
    don't try to understand it. Then he ran out of the room.
    Now that I've beaten everyone's brains out on the issue, I think we
    can happily settle on topological sort with last-visited preorder as
    the tiebreaker.

    2. I'm inclined to go with Moon's method combination for now, though
    some of Danny's simplifications are attractive.

I guess Danny and Gregor are really opposed to the short form of
DEFINE-METHOD-COMBINATION.    Although I support the high-level goal  
of keeping the standard lean, I disagree with this particular point.
The short form is easy to use, easy to document, and easy to understand.
It reduces the need for almost-duplication of code (when defining more
than one simple type of method combination).   And most of the forms of
method combination that we've seen people need and use can be defined 
that way.   

    3. I don't care about the change-class protocol as long as it works. 

I'm adding this to the document right now.   

    4. I'd like to flush :allocation :dynamic and :allocation :none.
    If people want :allocation :none, then the inheritance writeup
    needs work. (Sonya?)

I've already rewritten the inheritance section according to suggestions
from Moon which you've seen, and comments from some people here.   At
present, the document goes on the assumption that both :dynamic and
:none are still there.   

I'd also like to flush them, though.   I believe the consensus of our
in-house reviewers was the same.    To me, :dynamic doesn't add anything 
valuable to the programmer, and :none introduces a lot of complexity and
muddies up the model without adding much value.   

    I think we really have until Feb 14 to get this all done, but is there
    some way I can add to your desires to work hard on this and get it done?

My personal desire to work hard on this and get it done is already
strong.   I should be finished with adding the CHANGE-CLASS protocol and 
moving some of the DEFINE-METHOD-COMBINATION writeup into the functions
chapter by today or tomorrow.  

I agree with you that getting Problems 1, 2, and 4 settled as soon as
possible is the way to go.   Number 3 isn't a problem, is it?  I had the
impression that the mail reached consensus, and it's just a matter of 
documenting it, which is almost done now anyway. 

Why do you think we have until Feb 14?   


I'd like to bring up one other point.   Right now, only the Concepts and
Functions chapters have any real meat in them.   I assume everyone
agrees that only those two chapters will be distributed in the March
meeting.   The cover letter should mention that we will continue to work 
on specifying the remainder of the Programmer Interface, and the 
Meta-object Protocol.