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Buckman on SLUG: What do users REALLY want?
Received: from THOMAS.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com by ALAN.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com via INTERNET with SMTP id 16504; 16 Jan 90 14:07:59 PST
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 90 14:07 PST
From: Robert D. Pfeiffer <RDP@ALAN.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com>
Subject: Buckman on SLUG: What do users REALLY want?
To: Moon@ALAN.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com, SLUG@ALAN.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 90 17:18 EST
From: Moon@STONY-BROOK.SCRC.Symbolics.COM (David A. Moon)
Date: Fri, 5 Jan 90 11:41 PST
From: Eric Buckman <BUCKMAN@ALAN.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com>
Are all these comments / suggestions on what Symbolics should or shouldn't do
really worth anything, or are we as users just talking among ourselves.
I'd like to comment on this, as an individual who cares about the user
community, not as any kind of official statement from Symbolics.
I'm wrong, tell me that we're going to see great marketing moves and decisions
from Symbolics on anything close to the same level that we see great technical
accomplishments from them.
Yes, you are going to see that.
I believe you.
Bill Gates (Microsoft) is talking about object-oriented software. Bill
Joy (Sun) is talking about object-oriented software. Ed Yourdon is
talking about object-oriented software ("Object-Oriented Analysis" -
Peter Coad and Edward Yourdon). And Symbolics seems to have strongly
focused their marketing message on -- you guessed it -- object-oriented
software! Clearly, Symbolics is in touch with the marketplace. (Yay!)
My two cents worth:
The (very good) marketing message still needs to be delivered to people
that haven't even heard of Symbolics. I think that Symbolics marketing
is still a little bit stuck on "preaching to the choir".
While I'm flaming........ what's the story on Symbolics coming out with great
new technical products, but not following up on them.
This is a personal view, not an official comment from Symbolics: We have had
some significant problems with follow-through on some products, largely for the
obvious financial reasons. Nonetheless Concordia, Statice, and Joshua are very
important for the company and are getting a lot of attention. It might be that
you're not aware of what's happening until a new release arrives on your
doorstep, but it is happening and has been happening for a while.
We're actively using Concordia and Statice on the planning/scheduling
application I'm working on and, on the whole, we're satisified. We also
may or may not be using Joshua on this project in the upcoming year.
The places where we would like to see maintenance effort go are a lot of
Allow Concordia (Nsage) records to be conveniently stored in a Statice
database (or, if this is already simple, document it with some good
examples). Other Concordia issues are the rather inflexible programming
interface and the awkwardness of laying out printed (hardcopied)
Integrate Statice with CLOS (I know I've already said this in mail on
Genera-8-0-Beta but I'm trying to be a squeaky wheel :-) ). What I'd
like to be able to do is to write Statice DEFINE-ENTITY-TYPEs and CLOS
DEFMETHODs. Another thing we might like (although for us the priority
definitely wouldn't be as high) is Statice running on a Sun.
Your guess that the long-term plan is for CLIM to replace Dynamic Windows is a
good insight. It seems to me (and I think to a lot of other people) that, as a
reimplementation based on a better understanding of the problem, and as a
portable standard, CLIM is going to be a lot more useful to customers than DW,
and it would be a mistake for Symbolics to take anything away from investment in
CLIM even to fix the many known bugs in DW. You won't see CLIM as an integral
part of Genera 8.0, because the timescale isn't right, but CLIM is definitely
one of the most important ingredients of the future.
Yes, I think we will convert our DW code (which is reasonably good
sized) to CLIM as soon as it is feasible. I guess I'm not as down on DW
as some other users -- I think that it is well conceived and reasonably
well implemented. I'm sure we would not have gotten so far so fast on
our application without it. But the value of a sophisticated UI
substrate is so high that keeping up with the state of the art is
extremely valuable and it looks like that means CLIM.
..... Coming from a lab that develops software for those
application groups, we have so far been very pleased with the power that
Symbolics provides, both in terms of their development environment (where we can
turnaround applications a lot faster, and with a much much lower head
count, than other groups working on other platforms/languages. Some of this
success can be attributed to using Symbolics software as pre-written code. i.e.
Building up from Concordia to create a hypertext based help system for an
application, or using Statice as the substrate on which to build database
I'm glad to hear that. Making people like you a lot more productive in what you
do was always the big idea behind Symbolics. I admit that in the past not all
elements in Symbolics understood that; some people used to think the big idea
was to make minicomputers that would put DEC out of business.
I'm sorry this message was so long and verbose.
I would echo the sentiments of other respondents. The time you put into
generating this mail is very valuable to the SLUG community and is very