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I have no comments about promises and timing that Symbolics has made.  I
do want to respond to one misunderstanding about our software support effort.

    Date: Wed, 25 Oct 89 18:03:22 EDT
    From: MILLER@vax.cam.nist.gov

[much deleted]

    It doesn't  seem  all  that  expensive.  But,  as  I  read  the infamous
    "IMPORTANT  MESSEGE",  they  wont  even  ACCEPT  a  bug  report  from  a
    non-contract site, much less respond or even acknowledge it!!!  [I guess
    if they get no bug reports, they dont have to fix em right? :)]

That was an unfortunate wording problem.  We always accept bug reports,
especially email reports from anyone, regardless of their software
support status.  We want bug reports from anyone who runs into a problem.

[much more deleted]

    In lieu of that, I would hope that at least symbolics would accept email
    bug reports from  subscribers.  The  report should  be acknowledged;  not
    just its receipt, but a comment on status, known workarounds, etc.

Anyone on software support should and does received an acknowledgement
that we received the original bug mail, and mail when we have a closure
on the problem.  One problem we do have is in response time when an
incident takes a long time to close.  

When something takes a long time to close (say more than 2 weeks?),
would you like to see mail saying that we're still working on it, and
that we either have made no progress, or what progress we have made?

I've had an incident open for about 6 weeks that the developers were
completely stymied on for a long time.  If you were the customer I was
dealing with, would you want to see a response saying "We're still
stuck, don't know when I'll have something for you, but we're still
working on it"?  I suspect that might be irritating to a large number of

Do you have recommendations for a procedure when software support takes
more than a week or two to close a reported incident?