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Genera 8.x CD-ROM

    Date: Fri, 24 Jan 1992 13:23 EST
    From: jc@gmdzi.gmd.de (Juergen Christoffel)

    how much unused space is left on the Genera CD-ROM (I got 8.1 on tapes
    and so can't check it out). If there's plenty of free space on it, how
    about asking Symbolics to fill it up with some valuable lisp goodies?

There is "plenty of free space" on the Genera CDs; depending on how one
figures these things, there is at least 150 megabytes free, even with
lots of redundancy in the included material and no attempt to economize
or compress.  However, what you propose is not going to happen.  Free
space is the least of the considerations.

There was an earlier conversation on SLUG asking for added goodies, such
as hacks from the SLUG library.  It was actively discussed here in our
release-planning process.  We decided that, nice as the idea was, we
couldn't do it.  The brief summary of reasons is:

(1) Regardless of whatever disclaimers we attached to the SLUG material
on the disk, we could not avoid a certain responsibility for it; and we
just couldn't afford to offer help, field bug reports, and the like, for
the non-Symbolics material.

(2) Regardless of disclaimers, mixing Symbolics proprietary software
products with public domain material would compromise our copyright
claims on our own stuff.

(3) There are costs involved in including anything at all in the excess
space of the disk.  It has to be gathered, put in the right form,
included in the mastering process, installation-tested (at the very
least) from the master and from the finished disk, etc.  Our resources
for doing the necessary release-production and QA are even tighter than
in general; we couldn't afford the cost of this inclusion.

So we couldn't do it, and I don't see these reasons changing any time
soon, if ever.  However...

    Imagine: archives of useful software (Hermes, ISI Grapher etc) or
    mailing lists like SLUG (and CLIM, CLOS, Common-Lisp, and ...) might
    be made available that way if authors would allow.

    As for SLUG, I have (hopefully) complete archives of messages dating
    back to at least 1987 and could make them available. It's a valuable
    source of information I search regularly in parallel to the DOCset.

    Such email archives might be put to a better use if put on a CD. Of
    course one had to think about indexing messages for fast lookup, as
    Zmail isn't that efficient in handling thousands of messages all at

I think that producing one or more SLUG CD-ROMs is a wonderful idea.
E.g., a SLUG Library CD, a SLUG Mail Archives CD, etc.  But SLUG will
need to be the organization that does it.  We can give you general
technical advice and contractor contacts.  But somebody else will have
to do the production.

Douglas Dodds   (dodds@symbolics.com)
Symbolics, Inc.
Burlington, Mass.