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I find that I don't really know what the steering committee is, exactly.
What are its powers and responsibilities? Is it unrelated to the ISO
process, only part of the ISO process and not part of anything else, or
something in between?
One of Moon or myself can step down if it becomes necessary to make
other parties happy. However, I'd prefer to save this up for later in
the negotiation process rather than doing a "preemptive surrender". Let
them think that they twisted our arms, and then they'll feel they've
done their duty to "protect" their companies, and they'll go away happy
instead of insisting on putting George Carrette on the technical
committee and so forth. I do think we'll be forced into this at some
point, so it's OK if you want to plan for it internally, but outside the
quinquevirate let's still assume that all five of us are in, for now.
I've spoken with people here about Balzer, and Gabriel's impressions are
shared. I think we should try hard to keep him out of any position of
real control or responsibility. I'm not an experienced politician, but
I think it would be better to keep him involved in the CL stuff
somewhere, rather than try to evict him entirely and make an enemy of
him. Having him involved in the "services" without actually being on
the steering committee (whatever that is) might be the right compromise.
Ohlander does sound better than Balzer, from the little knowledge I
have. Gabriel has dealt with Ohlander extensively over the last few
years and so could tell us more.
I still think we should keep the steering committee small, and try to
make sure it doesn't also get into the game of "my company needs to be
directly represented". So far I haven't heard any objections to keeping
I don't know whether Masinter is harboring any grudges, but I have
generally found him to be difficult to deal with. He's hard to
understand. When he tries to explain technical points to me, I usually
can't see what he's getting at, I think because he doesn't maintain a
good model of what I know and what I don't know, the way a teacher has
to do. I've also found him to be even more opinionated than we are,
although that might just be an impression due to the communication
problem. I do, however, suspect that he is harboring a general grudge,
that he feels he's been forced into dealing with Common Lisp and he
doesn't want to. That's just a suspicion.
Bawden is not connected with Symbolics in any way. He worked at
Symbolics as a summer employee a few years ago, writing bignum code, and
that's the only connection he's ever had. As far as I know he has never
been in this building. I hardly ever see him any more, usually only at
parties. The mail he sends to Symbolics tends to be vicious and flaming
("it's been three years, and you still haven't done anything about my
favorite pet peeve number sixteen!"). So it's hard to see how anybody
could think that he represented Symbolics.
I agree that we had better have someone from HP. If you and Steele both
think Griss is a good choice, then it sounds good to me. I don't really
Perhaps our west coast representative could try to get together with
Fodorero somehow and sound him out. Unfortunately, Lucid and Franz are
apparently considered to be Competitiors, so it might be tricky, but who
am I to tell Gabriel about politics?
What was Wegman's complaint re VM? Was it technical things, like how
it's hard to do the Common Lisp I/O system on VM because VM's model of
I/O is so different? I am forced to admit that as long as we claim that
we're trying to make EBCDIC work and all that, maybe we really do have
to do something about IBM-oriented I/O. But maybe that's not what you
mean about Wegman.
The Pratt in question is Dexter Pratt. Maybe Moon remembers more than I
do about him. My memory tells me that at MIT, his job was to actually
assemble CADRs. I could be confusing him with someone else.
The list at the end of your message looks good. I suppose people from
those companies can be outraged no matter what we do. But given that we
don't want the committee to be too big, and that we need international
participation, there is a very limited number of slots available. I
don't see reasonable grounds for anyone to be outraged. That's probably
the strongest thing we can hope to say.