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I'm not sure at what point this discussion should move to CL-ISO to
include Mathis and Squires, but I guess sifting through a few
preliminary ideas with just the five of us couldn't hurt.
On the steering committee:
Ohlander We need someone from ISI. As I understand it, Ohlander
will be in charge of the group that will include, among
many other things, the Common Lisp support. I think
that all of us find him easier to deal with than Balzer.
If Ohlander can't or won't do this, we have to think
hard about whether to include Balzer.
Maybe those three are enough. Perhaps we want to include someone with a
hard-core technical orientation in this group. Possibilities might
inlcude Weinreb (if he is not on the technical comittee and wants to put
up with this hassle) or perhaps Gabriel (as the most political of the
gang of five). I'm guessing that people won't care too much about this
body being representative, but if the issue is pressed, perhaps someone
like Gary Brown from DEC could be added as a token industrial type who
will do some work and who won't make trouble. Maybe someone from TI or
IBM as well?
On the technical committee:
I'm not sure how many of us were present at the time, but at one of the
lunches I raised with Weinreb and Moon the question of whether one of
them should perhaps step down so that it wouldn't look like the
committee was stacked in favor of Symbolics. (Of course, the one to
step down would have as much influence in the technical discussions as
he ever had. The only question is who spends time flying off to
meetings and who gets an official vote. I don't expect any technical
issues to be decided by one vote, in any case.) At the time, Weinreb
said that he would probably be the logical one to step down, and he
wouldn't mind that. If he still feels that way, we can proceed on the
assumption that the technical committee starts with Gabriel, Steele,
Moon, and me. (People don't seem to count me as a Lucid person, which
is good; I don't really count myself as a Lucid person when I'm dealing
with Common Lisp issues.)
Danny Bobrow seems to be a unanimous choice. The only question might be
his willingness to serve on this committee. We should go ahead and find
out about that. If he joins, that takes care of Xerox. If not, the
choices are probably Masinter, van Melle, or maybe Ken Kahn. Masinter
is the obvious choice from among those three on merit, unless people
feel he is still harboring a grudge of some sort. He would probably be
quite ticked if we chose one of the others, but couldn't complain if we
I have great respect for Bawden, and if we were choosing strictly on
technical merit he'd have my vote. However, we've got to worry about
perceptions, and I'm not sure what camp he identifies with. Is he
connected with Symbolics at all, or is he strictly MIT? And how is he
viewed by such people as Greenblatt and Hewitt? The point is that
Greenblatt and Hewitt will both tend to raise hell if they feel
unrepresented, but having either of them (or Carette) on the committee
would be poisonous. So finding some respected MIT person who is
reasonable but is not viewed as a stooge of Symbolics is politically
important. Would Bawden fill this role? If so, let's go for him.
If not Bawden, maybe Rees or Clinger (though the l;atter is no longer at
MIT). Both are reasonable and, while they are deeply scheme-oriented,
seem to understand that there are good reasons why Common Lisp is not
Griss would be a good choice if he's interested in doing this. I think
he's gotten over his early desire to subset and bend Common Lisp so that
it could be implemented on top of PSL. Having someone from H-P is
Another constituency that might be worth including (though not
absolutely necessary) is Franz/Tektronix. The problem there is in
finding someone. I think that Fateman's beliefs (e.g. that not having a
standard would be just peachy, since it worked for Lisp 1.5) are just
too far from the rest of the community's for him to be a good choice. I
know very little about Foderaro, but would prefer him sight-unseen.
On the international front, we need to talk to mathis about just when
these guys get folded in, and how many of them there should be. Adding,
say Chailloux and Ida to the committee right away would be fine with me
WHEN and IF we can easily exchange netmail with them. From what I've
seen about Padgett and Fitch, they don't belong on a Common Lisp
committee. If we want to split into two groups, one for big Common Lisp
and one for some sort of subset, then probably all of these guys go with
the subset (plus Kessler).
Wegman? I dunno. The last time we talked, he still had a chip on his
shoulder about Common Lisp vs. VM. Do we really need an IBM guy? We'll
ahve some other industrial types, and other people keeping the world
safe for fixed instruction sets.
Hedrick is probably not a good choice just because he doesn't work well
with a group.
Kessler? I don't know him. Seems to me he is the ideal U.S.
representative to any subset effort that starts up.
McCarthy? Would he be active or just a figurehead? I don't know where
his head is at these days. Does he like Common Lisp, or does he pine
for something more mathematically elegant?
Barber? I haven't dealt with him technically. Is he any good? He's
probably the best choice if we need to take someone from Gold Hill.
I don't see anyone at DEC who would be terribly good. Gary Brown isn't
very technical, and both Walter vanRoggen and Paul the Greek have about
as many bad ideas as good ones. I don't see anyone very attractive at
DG or TI or Gould or Intermetrics either. There are competent people at
all of these places, but not language designers.
Meehan? Hmmm... he might be reasonable if we had no other schemers
aboard and wanted one. Of course, Steele knows a bit about Scheme, or
did at one time.
Pratt? Which Pratt is this working at LMI? Not Vaughan Pratt, I
Skef Wholey and Rob maclachlan would also be excellent choices, except
that they are CMU'ers and therefore would appear to be redundant with
me. Lots of other Symbolics and Lucid people as well.
So to me it looks like we should go for
Bawden (if he's not too much aligned with Symbolics)
and, when the time comes
Ida (or one of the Kyoto guys)
other international types
Would that look reasonable to everyone, if we could get all of those
people? We've got big companies, startups, and academics; original
Common Lispers and latecomers; microcoded and stock hardware of several
sorts. That selection might not please Greenblatt and Hewitt, and it
might not please DEC, TI, Tektronix, and IBM. But would it enrage them?