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Genera 8.0 Announcement

This letter went out in hardcopy to all customers this week. The sales
reps also received this letter. If you have questions, please address
them to your sales rep, Gary Roberts, or Johanna Rothman.


Dear Symbolics Owner,

We are pleased to announce the imminent availability of Genera 8.0 for
all Symbolics systems.

Genera 8.0 is the culmination of a year's effort by the Symbolics
Software Products Group to build upon and extend the feature set of
Genera 7.4.  It includes a full implementation of the new Common Lisp
Object Standard (CLOS), as well as numerous other customer-suggested
feature enhancements, performance improvements, and bug fixes.  Genera
8.0 provides additional benefits to the users of the 36xx family of
systems as it incorporates improvements from Genera 7.3 and 7.4,
previously only available for Ivory products.  Finally, Genera 8.0 is
the first release to run uniformly across all Symbolics platforms-- 3600
family, XL400, UX400S, and MacIvory.  The implementation of the same
feature set across all systems will greatly simplify development for
users who work within a mixed-system environment.

Genera 8.0 will be sent automatically, in May, to customers who have
systems at their site under a warranty or Genera software maintenance
contract that is current as of April 2, 1990.  Other Symbolics system
owners who would like to receive the release should read the attachment
to this letter entitled "Information on Ordering Genera 8.0".   Please
note that distribution kits for previous releases will become
unavailable upon the introduction of Genera 8.0, and that support for
these earlier releases will end six months later.

Customers eligible for Genera 8.0 will receive distribution media, an
initial documentation set, and one extra documentation set for each
additional five covered systems at a site.  Owners of MacIvory and XL400
systems will receive their distribution on QIC-100 cartridge tape.
Owners of 36xx family and UX400S systems will receive QIC-11 cartridge
tape written on 9 tracks.  Please note that neither format can be read
on Cipher 4-track tape drives.   If you have an older 3600 system with a
tape drive that cannot read 9-tracks tapes, contact Symbolics Customer
Service at 1-800-824-4263.

Below are described some of the features new in Genera 8.0.

Support for the Creation of Portable Code: Genera 8.0 supports the
Common Lisp Object Standard (CLOS), part of the ANSI Lisp draft
standard, for portability of object-oriented Lisp programs.  Symbolics
support for CLOS includes a Zmacs-based utility for converting existing
programs from Flavors to CLOS.

The Common Lisp Developer, included in Genera 8.0, is a tool which aids
in developing and testing Common Lisp programs on a Symbolics system.  A
programmer working under the CL Developer is automatically guided toward
writing code that conforms to a strict interpretation of Common Lisp
(Steele), thus increasing the ability to port the program to any other
Common Lisp environment.

Genera 8.0 also provides the foundation for CLIM, the new Common Lisp
User Interface Management System standard, which will be available from
Symbolics as an optional layered product within the next few months.

Improved Networking and I/O: Many networking and I/O functions have been
extensively rewritten to provide more robust and faster performance,
with speed improvements of up to 400 percent in some cases.  The Network
File System (NFS), the X-Window System client function, handling of
character I/O streams, and support of Postscript hardcopy are much
faster and more reliable.  TCP/IP performance has also been improved.
The Sun Microsystems RPC protocol is now available for all systems.
Dialnet has been made more robust.

Support for "Lisp Server" System Configurations: Symbolics systems
can now be accessed as "Lisp servers" across a local area network,
allowing workstations such as the SPARCstation 1 to exploit the
power of Genera .  Genera 8.0 has been designed to support multiple
UX400S boards residing in the same Sun system; further information on
supported multiple-board configurations and performance will be
available in April.

New Garbage Collection Option: The programmer may choose to use the
new in-place garbage collector, reducing application memory

Improved Documentation: All Genera, layered products, and Ivory system
documentation has been extensively rewritten for this release.  Material
has been reorganized to facilitate lookup of related topics.  An all-new
tutorial in Genera programming techniques and a completely updated
system index have been added.  New features are fully documented, and
errors from past editions have been corrected.

Improvements for the MacIvory: Genera 8.0 continues to increase the
integration between Ivory and the Macintosh.  Zmail can now read and
write mail files in the Macintosh file system; FEP commands are
available through desktop menu; and the Genera screen behaves more like
a MacIntosh window.  Genera can now access CD-ROM drives on the
Macintosh SCSI bus, which Symbolics will be using in our future software
release distribution strategy.

Improvements for the 3600 Family: In addition to the above, 36xx users
will be able to take advantage of features previously available only to
users of Ivory systems, including a new event-driven scheduler, which
can be used to increase program performance; embedding support and
development systems, which allows code developed on 36xx systems to run
on other Symbolics machines; improvements to the metering interface; and
support for Hayes modems and the LPG3 laser printer.

Compatibility with Previous Releases: Genera 8.0 provides for a smooth
transition for customers now using Genera 7.2, 7.3, or 7.4.  Programs
currently running under one of those releases will execute under Genera
8.0 without the need for source code modification.  Binaries running on
XL400, UX400S, and MacIvory systems can run as is, without
recompilation, although recompilation is recommended to take full
advantage of performance improvements.  Programs now running on 36xx
systems under Genera 7.2 will also run under Genera 8.0, after

Layered Products: Most layered products have been updated to fix bugs,
to implement customer-requested feature enhancements, and to operate on
top of Genera 8.0.  Layered products are included in the Genera 8.0
distribution kit for customers who are eligible for updates of those
products.  Layered product updates are available for:  TCP/IP, the
X-Window System, NFS, DNA, C, FORTRAN, Pascal, SNA, Joshua, Concordia,
Plexi, CLOE, Statice, LPG2/3, and DMP1.  These improved product versions
will run only on Genera 8.0.
Information on Ordering Release 8.0

Genera 8.0 will be sent automatically to customers under current
warranties or software maintenance contracts.  Please note that all
systems at a site must be under current warranties or Genera software
maintenance contracts to be eligible for this release. Other customers
may arrange to acquire Genera 8.0 by ordering one of the following
options.  Please contact Symbolics Contract Administration Department at
(818) 998-3600 or 1-800-824-4263, or your local Symbolics sales
representative, to order. The software support options are:

release updates, documentation updates, and a subscription to the
Software Services Technical Bulletin;

ongoing telephone and electronics mail access to Symbolics Software
Support Engineers;

8.0 and layered products.

Contact Symbolics Sales for further descriptions of these services.  
A Note From Symbolics Customer Service

In conjunction with the release of Genera 8.0, Symbolics Customer
Service is taking the opportunity to streamline a number of our software
support policies and procedures.  The net impact of these changes will
be to increase the efficiency of our service operation and to allow us
to provide a higher overall level of service to our customers who are
under support contracts.

New Call Processing Procedure: Effective March 1, 1990, customers who
contact us through our toll-free software support hotline should follow
the same procedures as they do for opening hardware service calls.  The
caller should leave a message for software support engineering with the
dispatch operator.  The call will be logged, and a support engineer will
return your call within two business hours.  This new procedure will
allow our software support engineers sufficient uninterrupted time to
investigate and thoroughly handle your reported problems.

Strictly Enforced Service Eligibility Requirements: Symbolics software
support policy is, and has always been, to require either a Software
Contract Service or a purchase order when providing service.  Use of the
toll-free hotline, replies to bug reports, and other assistance
services, are restricted to customers who are paying for these services.

Customers who are not under Software Contract Service may request
support services from us on a time-and-materials basis.  To do this, you
must first supply us with either a blanket purchase order or a purchase
order with a "not-to-exceed" hour limit.  The "not-to-exceed" limit must
be at least ten (10) hours.

Please note that in order to receive new software release distributions,
all Symbolics systems at your site must be eligible to get the release.
The Genera 8.0 distribution will not be sent to customers for whom any
of their systems are ineligible, unless Symbolics has agreed in writing
that such systems are "deactivated".

For All Customers: Symbolics will accept bug reports through electronic
mail, facsimile, or U.S. mail from all customers, regardless of their
contracted support levels.   All customers are encouraged to send bug
reports and comments through electronic mail to:
access to electronic mail, you may send your reports to:

Symbolics, Inc.
Attention: Software Support Manager
9600 Desoto Ave.
P.O. Box 2154
Chatsworth, California

Fax: (818) 998-3735

Customers eligible for a reply should send us the serial number of your
Symbolics system. For customers who send their bug reports through
electronic mail, use the :Report bug or Debugger:Send Bug Mail facility
to automatically include the serial number.

Gary Roberts, Genera Marketing Manager
Johanna Rothman, Genera Program Manager