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Re: T after two
- To: linus!ramsdell@MITRE-BEDFORD
- Subject: Re: T after two
- From: Jim Meehan <Meehan@YALE.ARPA>
- Date: Thu ,11 Jul 85 13:28:24 EDT
- Cc: Jonathan A Rees <JAR@MIT-MC>, T-Discussion@YALE.ARPA, Adams@YALE.ARPA
- In-reply-to: Msg of Mon 8 Jul 85 09:10:51 edt from linus!ramsdell at Mitre-Bedfo
Date: Mon, 8 Jul 85 09:10:51 edt
From: linus!ramsdell at Mitre-Bedford
I heard some distressing news from someone at Bell Labs.
He was using an Apollo and found that Cognitive Systems
would only sell him T for $10K! I do not understand how
T is to become popular with such a large price tag.
CSI isn't exactly selling T, it's selling CSI LISP. But for comparison,
the price for Chez Scheme, from Cadence Research Systems, is just under
$6000 (to companies). ...
What Jonathan says is correct. You can get the Apollo CSI LISP
interpreter and compiler, including documentation and support, for
$10K. If you want just the interpreter, the price is $4K. The system
itself has a new interpreter, loader, file-system interface, etc.;
there are some new language features, like multiple-value returns;
it also has an online HELP system, a graphics subsystem, etc. The
compiler is TC with bug fixes and some user-friendliness (e.g., the
assembler is built in, so no more .asm files).
On the VAX (VMS), CSI LISP costs $4K. It sits on top of Common Lisp
(i.e., DEC's VAX LISP), so your CSI LISP programs are compiled into
Common Lisp, but you never see the underlying system, not even during
debugging. This is entirely new code. The version that sits on top
of LISP/VM is still under development.
As far as price goes, the price is comparable to similar products,
and there are educational and multiple-sale discounts, but if it still
sounds high, you should try playing with some numbers yourself: weigh
the expenses of salaries, hardware, maintenance, sales, marketing,
office-space rental, etc., against the number of systems you think
can sell, and come up with a price that keeps you in business.
CSI would be *delighted* if there were a company out there that sold
and supported T. In an industry that's strong on tools and seminars
but weak on actual products, we weren't exactly thrilled with the idea
of diverting some of our AI/natural-language people to support LISP.
But Yale wasn't in a position to provide commercial support, DEC and
IBM hadn't yet announced their LISPs, the LISP machines were way
overpriced for our customers, and we thought that T was the greatest
thing since sliced bread, so we decided to fix it up and support it
ourselves, which may yet turn out to be either good taste or bad
judgment. Or maybe both.