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Price Gouging

Martin Cracauer writes:

   "Why not lift MCL's price to the level of UNIX-based Common Lisps?"

This isn't the solution. I suspect that many of the current owners of MCL
couldn't (or wouldn't) afford the price of such a product. Software
development costs are rarely recovered by raising the price of the item,
especially for products in limited vertical markets, such as where MCL
finds itself.

Although all "hardware" companies _try_ to make a profit on their
development software, this is rarely the reason for creating it. The usual
intention---and I believe the intention of Apple with MCL---is to open new
business areas for the sale of _HARDWARE_.

I have already expressed my dismay in Apple's indication that they will
discontinue development of MCL. But, I feel, they should reconsider this,
not because they might make a bit more money by raising the price (although
this is surely specious), but because by continuing the development of the
product, the result will be greater numbers of _HARDWARE SALES_ (as is
evidenced by most of the replies in this newsgroup).

Many small developers (like me) use MCL for prototyping applications. I
certainly couldn't afford five times (or even two times) the cost of the
product, even as good as it is. I'd switch to Prograph CPX, Smalltalk
Agents, or even (shudder) C++ as the means to develop prototypes, many of
which result in acceptance of the Macintosh as a viable platform for the
target application and which generate large numbers of _HARDWARE SALES_.

That's the bottom line for almost any development tool created by a
hardware manufacturer.

Apple has let down its developers many times in the past and it's saddening
to see that when it appears that there's a real opportunity to reap great
rewards by evangelism and developer support, they have threatened (I hope
it's only a threat) to pull the plug once again.

I, for one, see a lot of very useful integrated environments on the Windows
platform, many of which offer a great opportunity for prototype
development, which, of course, often leads to the acceptance not only of
the technology, but large purchases of the CPU hardware and peripherals as
well. Have any of you looked at Visual Basic or Visual C++ lately? They're
awfully tempting.

I'd hate to see a mass migration to the Windows platform, merely because
Apple is so shortsighted that it can't see the utter lunacy of dropping one
of its premiere prototyping environments. It could really happen...and if
it does, regardless of Apple's belated response, there would be no moving
back into the fold. Windows is a very good environment and although it's
not quite as elegant as the Mac, it may now be the best choice for
developers. Microsoft hasn't yet left its developers in the cold, with
broken promises and dropped products. They have often failed to make their
release dates, but the products have always arrived, eventually.

Please, PLEASE, Apple. Don't forsake us now.