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A bug with defconstant?

Just some notes; partially to stir up some controversy, partially to
stir up some complaints for the next NSLUG meeting, partially to be a
pain in the butt.

I sent a bug report to symbolics, via dialmail.  A few days pass with
not even an acknowledgement that they received the report.  Finally,

	Date: Tue, 2 Feb 88 21:31 PST
	From: Jerry Bakin <Jerry@MARLOWE.inference.dialnet.symbolics.com>

	1I sent this out late Sunday night.  No replies;0 1no0 1acknowledgement.

0        . . .

    Fixed in 7.2.  

Very nice, I am pleased; still the Symbolics reply is lacking.  It takes
time to send a bug report out.  Especially ones in which the problem has
been distilled down to a small piece of code reproducing the error.

I resent being brushed off with only a message stating the bug has been
fixed in an up and coming release which I do not have.

If I take the time to send a bug report (and I have sent quite a few), I
would like to receive:

1)  A detailed explanation of the cause of the bug.
2)  A time when I can expect the bug to be fixed.

A)  A patch fixing the bug.
B)  Restricted source code.
C)  Any possible workarounds, code or hints from the developers.

What is the Symbolics policy on customer support?  Is it customer
SUPPORT, or is it bug report reception?  If it is the latter, I want to
be paid for submitting bug reports.  If it is the former, and I actually
pay for customer support, then I want (1) and (2).  Mandatory.  
A detailed explanation helps me anticipate when the bug will recurr, and
helps me in creating workarounds.  A time for fixing the bug convinces
me that Symbolics takes us seriously and is improving the project.  It
also lets me determine if I need to fix the problem on my own.

I would like (A), but failing (A), I want some help in determining (C).
If we are paying for customer support, how come it is impossible to
receive patches?  If we need to create our own patches to fix Symbolics
bugs, how about some relief on the source code policy?  Finally, not to
knock the customer support people, but they are not the developers.
While they must exist to buffer the developers from us lusers, there
comes a time when difficult problems should be solved by direct
discussions with the developers.  Often, I find I have to "educate" the
customer support staff if only to be able to explain what the bug is.
Then, after spending time to bring them up to speed, I discover I am not
going to get a fix anyway.  What a waste of time.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with any of the people in
software support.  It is with policies which seem to come down from
Symbolics management.

Finally, in addition to patches fixing my bugs, I would like to receive
patches to other bugs.  Or, failing that, I would like to receive (on
some regular basis) a list of known bugs.  Bulletins used to be sent
out.  Where are they these days?


Jerry Bakin
(213) 417-7997