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Re: Mail, Domain Names, NSLUG, and 7.2 and 8.0, and the coming ice age in Hell.
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 87 11:35:03 CST
From: email@example.com (Kenneth Forbus)
few people could justify one brand of computer over another because of
mailer quality alone.
While this is true, I don't think it means "There is no point having any
mail reader at all" or "We might as well have a minimal, crufty mail
reader." Consider that many personal computers now come with a mouse;
since you can't tell your funding agency to buy a Symbolics machine just
because it has a mouse, does that mean there should be no mouse at all?
Based on responses we get from our users, we feel that some of them
value the Symbolics system because of the benefits of its programming
environment, and that they would not be happy with a computer that had
(1) a 1GB address space, (2) a very fast implementation of what's in
"Common Lisp the Language", and (3) nothing else.
Keep in mind that your needs are not the same as everybody else's needs.
As a rather extreme example, consider the folks at the National Bureau
of Standards who were working on design of an advanced CIM facility, who
told us that they used their Symbolics machine solely for rapid
prototying of new user interface ideas.
Look, suppose we provided the batch-oriented simplistic crunch box
described above. Would you enjoy using that to develop your AI
programs? For those of us who program in teams, electronic mail is as
vital a tool as an editor or a debugger. Ken, when was the last time
you wre a member of a five-person team working on a commercial software
I do understand the basic point you're making above, but it's really not
I don't see that as "legitimate" at all. Should Symbolics provide
MacDraw and Lotus 1-2-3?
If our users feel that they need these facilities to do their work, then
yes, we ought to (modulo other priorities) provide these things somehow.
There has not been much customer demand for spreadsheets, and I think we
all can imagine why. Even if you use a spreadsheet, it's not
particularly important to have a spreadsheet as part of your integrated
programming environment (yes, wise guys out there, I can think of
reasons it might be, but they're low on the Priority Queue).