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Statice limitations

    Date: Mon, 2 Jul 90 10:07 PDT
    From: Robert D. Pfeiffer <RDP@ALAN.kahuna.decnet.lockheed.com>

    The "Statice/CLOS issue" should be resolved in Genera 8.1.  Statice will
    actually continue to be implemented in Flavors as it is now.  So entity
    handles will also continue to the Flavor instances.  The thing that will
    change to resolve this situation is better integration of Flavors and
    CLOS.  In 8.1 CLOS methods will be able to specialize on Flavor
    instances.  This will solve the problem for me and, I would guess, the
    majority of customers.  A potentially still open issue is that CLOS
    classes still will not be able to build on Flavors (or vice versa).

The ability to apply CLOS generic functions to Flavor instances will be
very helpful, but some compatibility problems may remain, even aside
from the cross-inheritance issue.  For example, the DEFINE-ENTITY-TYPE
macro generates1 0Flavors method definitions (e.g., for attribute
accessors).  These1 0Flavors methods must belong to1 0Flavors generic
functions; they thereby preclude the application of those same generic
functions to CLOS instances.

Certainly, though, some degree of interoperability between Flavors and
CLOS is far better than none.  

    As to the deficiency with Update Database Schema, it is now clear to me
    the the right people inside Symbolics understand and acknowledge that
    there is a problem.  I'm sure that if/when they decide to address this
    issue, they will do a good job of it.  I personally haven't heard any
    dates committed to and I agree that your concerns in this area are valid
    if you need the ability to preserve data in the face of schema updates
    (as I do).  I haven't yet explored trying to "roll my own" functionality
    to address this so I have no idea how hard it would be to do as a

Acknowledging the difficulty is the first step...

    BTW: In case you haven't heard, a major piece of good news at the SLUG
    conference came in the form of Ken Tarpey's announcement the "Statice
    runtime" will be bundled into Genera 8.1.  In other words, you still pay
    extra to develop Statice-based applications but the customers of your
    application will be able to use Statice "for free" (if you are
    delivering in Genera, this is).  For the situation here, Symbolics has
    implemented an ideal pricing strategy.

For our own group, "ideal" would be "free," but I am indeed glad that
Symbolics will be encouraging Statice usage in this way.

I'm glad to hear that other Symbolics customers are using Statice and
are interested in some of the same issues we are.

	Lawrence G. Mayka
	AT&T Bell Laboratories

Standard disclaimer.