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What do users REALLY want?
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 89 16:49 EST
From: email@example.com (Leslie A. Walko)
Sell processors with free "runtime" licenses, and charge for development
environment. I think my management would be willing to pay $10-15,000
per XL and UX *development* environment in return for dropping the
hardware price by the same amount.
They already do this with MacIvory, UX400S, and 3610 (which is just a
runtime-only 3620). They charge $7-9K for the development environment
on these. The don't have runtime-only XL400 or other 36xx; the
assumption is probably that no one would pay $30-70K for a delivery
workstation, so there wouldn't be much interest in runtime-only versions
of these machines.
Port some of the very attractive layered software to run on Unix. This
Joshua, Statice, Concordia.
At the meeting with SLUG, they mentioned that work is ongoing to port
Joshua. Statice would be harder, since there is no standard interface
from CL to networking. Concordia would probably be pretty hard, as it
is intimately tied into Zwei and the Symbolics window system.
Taking this argument one step further, Symbolics should make a serious
attempt to port the compiler
The compiler? No offense, but it is the laughing stock of the industry.
They've wanted to scrap it for years, but haven't had the resources to
write a new one.
Most of the unique features of the Genera debugger are related to the
Symbolics hardware and Lisp environment. Other than those, the Lucid
debugger seems comparable. For instance, the Lucid debugger lets one
examine local variables by name, but the Lucid Lisp system only retains
the names of parameter variables, not all local variables, so the rest
must be accessed positionally. Variable monitors, trap on call/exit,
etc. are dependent on hardware support.
, inspector, Zmacs
All the major Unix Lisps have a built-in Emacs-like editor; many users
don't use them, because they don't want to do their editing in their
Lisp process. GNU Emacs is just about as good as Zmacs, and there's a
plethora of extension packages available for it (including packages for
interfacing it with a Lisp process). And Zmacs wasn't written with
portability in mind.
Why bother, when GNU Emacs RMAIL is comparable? Yeah, it doesn't have
universes -- big deal. It doesn't have filters, but I believe someone
has written an extension to provide them. The hardest part of Zmail is
the part that allows it to deal with multiple mail file formats, so that
it can read and save mail in the format that is used by remote file
servers; this feature isn't as important in a Unix mail program.
to Unix boxes. By selling it in pieces, anyone would be able to effort
what they want. Selling the whole lot together would generate more
revenue than the bundled price. Furthermore, this may be a good way to
build a survival strategy for Symbolics. If the hardware market
collapses, they should remain a viable software company.
Except there's nothing particularly special about any of those pieces of
software, except for the ways in which they interact with Genera.
Sell the UX400 at $15,000.
Isn't that the current price?