Ensuring Dylan Success 
Author Message
 Ensuring Dylan Success

Several suggestions on how you can help ensure the success of Dylan if you in
fact believe in the product:

1. Send e-mail to Guy Kawasaki re: how badly you (and the rest of the
developer community) want and need Dylan. Be sure and include reasons and
mention that you would hate to see Dylan come out first for Windows.
2. Phone APDA regularly requesting ship date so that Apple knows of the great
demand.
3. As soon as it comes out order it. Maybe even send pre-orders.
4. Use it for your projects understanding that there may be a few rough edges
at first, giving thoughtful feedback to Apple on new features required, always
keeping a positive perspective.
5. Use this mailing list as a focus to provide any tools, workarounds, bug
reports etc. that you come up with, promptly and free of charge to the
developer community via the Internet so that no other language will have as
complete and up to date support from a such a cooperative, world-wide group.

--

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______________________________________________________________________________



Sat, 11 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 Ensuring Dylan Success

Quote:
>Huh? Are you suggesting that if the first Dylan to appear will be for
>Windows, then that will hurt Dylan? Could you please explain this?

I think he was saying that if Dylan appears for Windows it will hurt Apple,
not Dylan itself. Though it might hurt Dylan since Apple developed
originally...

------------------------------------------------------

Buenos Aires, Argentina     |   Fax: 54-1 815-3149



Tue, 14 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 Ensuring Dylan Success

Quote:
>Huh? Are you suggesting that if the first Dylan to appear will be for
>Windows, then that will hurt Dylan? Could you please explain this?
>Do you have a vested interest in this matter? As a programmer developing
>software for Windows, you could say that I have a vested interest in
>Dylan, or _any_ development tool that might help me. So, I'd like to see
>a Dylan for Windows ASAP.

I was suggesting a way to perhaps spur Apple on to greater efforts. Dylan for
Windows first, may not necessarily hurt Dylan but I believe Dylan deserves
better (ie Dylan for Macintosh first). IMHO, developing for Windows is like
intentionally trying for second-best.

--



Tue, 14 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 Ensuring Dylan Success

Quote:
> I was suggesting a way to perhaps spur Apple on to greater efforts. Dylan for
> Windows first, may not necessarily hurt Dylan but I believe Dylan deserves
> better (ie Dylan for Macintosh first). IMHO, developing for Windows is like
> intentionally trying for second-best.

I'm not interested in whether a Dylan implementation is sold by Apple,
or anyone else. I'd just like a Dylan that supports a platform that I
code for, so it can make my job easier.

If someone writes a killer app in C++ (this may have happened already),
it would help sell C++ compilers, whatever the platform may be. I'm
guessing that a killer app written in Dylan would also help sell Dylan
systems. This should be true regardless of the platform that the killer
apps runs on.

There's no way that supporting any platform would be "second best" IMHO.
A few more killer apps for the Mac may help sell more Macs, but I'm
coding for a platform which is already doing well. I'd like a tool that
can make it easier, and if possible, faster to develop for that platform.
You've not yet convinced me that Dylan can't help me and other Windows
developers.

BTW, I may someday find myself porting some software to the Mac, but
it probably won't done using Dylan, as I'm not currently using Dylan.
Now, if Dylan were available for Windows, this would be possible, and
it could make it easier to port that software to the Mac.

That sounds to me a lot like an argument in favour of supporting Dylan
for Windows. ;-) Of course, I'm likely to be developing for Windows
regardless of whether Dylan succeeds or fails, so I have a good reason
for wanting a Dylan for Windows.

If Dylan were to succeed on the Mac, but fail for Windows, then I
won't get to use Dylan. If Dylan were only available for the Mac and
then I won't get to use it. If it is only available for Mac and Unix
platforms, then I _may_ eventually get to use it (for my own use
only), but only if it is available for Linux.

Perhaps Dylan isn't expected to be used by Windows developers?
I dunno. I think I'm an unusual developer, because I look at the
language first and then the platform, which is why I'm here looking
at Dylan. However, this is purely a personal interest, not yet a
professional one.

You seem to be suggesting that Dylan for Windows won't be "as good"
as Dylan for the Mac, and I can only answer that by saying that
there could be more potential Dylan developers who are using Windows
than potential Dylan developers who are using Macs. While you could
be correct, many could disagree.

I don't believe this is a Windows vs Dylan issue. I see it as a
C++ vs Dylan issue, and I'd rather use Dylan. I have some choice of
development tools (ie Dylan, C++, etc), but what I can't choose is
the platform. In that last respect, I'm a very typical developer.
--
<URL:http://www.demon.co.uk/community/index.html>
<URL:http://www.enrapture.com/cybes/namaste.html>
Current favourite word: hypersonic. As used by Fluffy.
"You can never browse enough."



Wed, 15 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 Ensuring Dylan Success


Quote:
> >Huh? Are you suggesting that if the first Dylan to appear will be for
> >Windows, then that will hurt Dylan? Could you please explain this?

> I think he was saying that if Dylan appears for Windows it will hurt Apple,
> not Dylan itself. Though it might hurt Dylan since Apple developed
> originally...

How dependant on Apple is Dylan? Could they kill the language, and stop
anyone else from developing implementations? If so, then perhaps I'll
prefer not to use Dylan until it looks like it has a "safe" future.
I'd prefer it if Dylan were "safe" already, of course!

Thanks.
--
<URL:http://www.demon.co.uk/community/index.html>
<URL:http://www.enrapture.com/cybes/namaste.html>
Current favourite word: hypersonic. As used by Fluffy.
"You can never browse enough."



Wed, 15 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 Ensuring Dylan Success


Quote:
>    How dependant on Apple is Dylan? Could they kill the language, and stop
>    anyone else from developing implementations?

> No, especially now that the language design has reached the next
> plateau, as symbolized by the DRM.  Obviously, it is better for
> people's perception of Dylan if Apple stays in the game and if a few
> other big companies eventually jump in, but CMU plans to carry on
> regardless of what Apple does, and I think Harlequin does as well.

Excellent. That's some comfort, at least.

Quote:
> Apple could prevent anyone else form using the Dylan name, either out
> of sheer perversity (not wanting to see Dylan succeed on the PC) or
> becuase they want to drag the language in some direction where the
> more serious Dylan implementors don't want to follow.  But that's
> their only point of control, and it's a very weak one.  There is some
> cost and confusion associated with abandoning the Dylan name and
> moving to another, but I don't think it would be fatal.

Do you feel optimistic about Apple's intentions? Some recent comments
made here suggest that some people are expecting very little from Apple.
Is this just a pessimistic interpretation of the recent changes at
Apple?

Quote:
>    If so, then perhaps I'll
>    prefer not to use Dylan until it looks like it has a "safe" future.
>    I'd prefer it if Dylan were "safe" already, of course!

> Dylan won't be safe until there are a couple of high-quality
> implementions out and a few more companies committed to its use.  By a
> year from now, it will probably be safe in that sense or gone.

This is my opinion, also. I don't feel that the commitment (or lack of
commitment) of one vendor indicates the death of a language, esp in
a case like Dylan, where there are a number of vendors. If it's true
that Apple's commitment to Dylan has weakened, I'm hoping that it won't
be too significant. The level of commitment from CMU and Harlequin
reassures me.

Thanks.
--
<URL:http://www.demon.co.uk/community/index.html>
<URL:http://www.enrapture.com/cybes/namaste.html>
Current favourite word: hypersonic. As used by Fluffy.
"You can never browse enough."



Thu, 16 Apr 1998 02:00:00 GMT  
 Ensuring Dylan Success

Quote:

> Perhaps Dylan isn't expected to be used by Windows developers?
> I dunno. I think I'm an unusual developer, because I look at the
> language first and then the platform, which is why I'm here looking
> at Dylan. However, this is purely a personal interest, not yet a
> professional one.

> [. . .]

> I don't believe this is a Windows vs Dylan issue. I see it as a
> C++ vs Dylan issue, and I'd rather use Dylan. I have some choice of
> development tools (ie Dylan, C++, etc), but what I can't choose is
> the platform. In that last respect, I'm a very typical developer.

I don't know if it's usual or unusual, but I too have primary interest in
language and secondary interest in platform.  Perhaps I'm an atypical
developer for being faced with choice both of language and platform.
Having already chosen the Macintosh, I would be (will be?) facing a much
higher cost for taking on a language which requires me to switch hardware
or add another operating system.

But much as I prefer Macintosh, and lament the seeming demise of Apple's
Dylan for Macintosh, I think it is vital for the language's success that
it becomes viable on every major operating system.  Indeed, the real
competition is with C++, including competition from all others who aspire
to that throne, such as CLOS and Eiffel.

I've come to view a change of language as a major transition in my life, a
bit comparable to buying a house or getting married.  It's not something I
want to do again every year or two because I didn't make a prudent choice
the last time.  Dylan I find very attractive indeed, so attractive that I
may well switch to Unix in order to develop in it.  If Apple loses me as a
hardware and OS customer because they dropped the ball on Dylan it will be
what they deserve.  I hope Apple helps salvage Dylan for Macintosh largely
because I fear for Dylan without Apple's support.  Because of Apple's
historic involvement, and because Macintosh developers are more likely to
be risk-taking early adopters, the Macintosh development community is
probably especially fertile ground for building a working base of Dylan
developers.  That said, I actually think that if Dylan succeeds like it
should it would not be long until both the DOS and Unix Dylan developers
outnumbered Mac developers.  Which would be great.  But the lack of a
Macintosh Dylan seems to me to threaten the bootstrapping process which
may well be critical to the practical success of the language.

There are a lot of very dry and boring reasons why ANY language faces an
enormous challenge to capture a signficant proportion of the market from
C/C++.  With the best of luck the best of languages will still face rough
sailing against the widespread entrenchment of C.  And Dylan is obviously
not obtaining the best of fortunes lately.

But whereas Dylan, in my opinion, desperately needs Apple for its success,
I think Apple managers may be correct that Apple does not need Dylan for
its success.  And they are paid to optimize things for Apple, not for
Dylan.  Which brings us back to the early suggestions in this thread:  Are
there things we can do to convince Apple that Dylan is worth seeing
through to completion as a Macintosh development environment?  Daniel
Nofal's specific suggestions are the sort of practical steps we probably
do need to focus on in order to influence those at Apple who hold
purse-strings, for they are not going to fund Dylan simply out of love for
its many fine attributes.

-----T



Fri, 17 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 Ensuring Dylan Success


   Do you feel optimistic about Apple's intentions? Some recent comments
   made here suggest that some people are expecting very little from Apple.
   Is this just a pessimistic interpretation of the recent changes at
   Apple?

Apple "management" is a great mystery to me.  I do believe that their
current silence on Dylan, as damaging as it is to their credibility in
the developer community, is because they are still trying to figure
out what to do, and is not the sign of something more sinister.  They
should have figured all this out six months ago, when they made (sort
of) the decision to close the Cambridge Lab, but apparently their
management structure is no longer conducive to actually making
decisions in real time.

All I can say is that I think there there are some good options still
open to Apple that would get a good native Dylan on the Mac to market
sometime in 1996, with the toolkit and OpenDoc support that are
necessary for success on the Mac, but the window is closing fast.

If they dither around until it's too late, give up on Dylan, or (worst
of all) mount some feeble, fake effort that doesn't have the resources
to get the job done... well... that would be a pretty clear sign to me
and many others that the game is over and that Apple and the Mac no
longer matter at all.  Not because Dylan is so essential to Apple's
future, but because this once-nimble and once-innovative company can
no longer get *anything* right.

We'll all know pretty soon, I reckon.

-- Scott

===========================================================================

Principal Research Scientist            Phone:     412 268-2575
School of Computer Science              Fax:       412 268-5576
Carnegie Mellon University              Latitude:  40:26:46 N
5000 Forbes Avenue                      Longitude: 79:56:55 W
Pittsburgh, PA 15213                    Mood:      :-)
===========================================================================



Fri, 17 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 Ensuring Dylan Success


Quote:
> Apple "management" is a great mystery to me.  I do believe that their
> current silence on Dylan, as damaging as it is to their credibility in
> the developer community, is because they are still trying to figure
> out what to do, and is not the sign of something more sinister.  They
> should have figured all this out six months ago, when they made (sort
> of) the decision to close the Cambridge Lab, but apparently their
> management structure is no longer conducive to actually making
> decisions in real time.

This sounds like the corporate disease, where a company gets so large
that messages take too long to get from the brian the tail, and then
back again. Developers, as we all know, are situated somewhere close
to the tail...

I'd make some reference to Tome Peters at this point, but I've just
remembered something important: I'm a developer. I don't have to
worry about problems like this! Do I? ;-)

Quote:
> All I can say is that I think there there are some good options still
> open to Apple that would get a good native Dylan on the Mac to market
> sometime in 1996, with the toolkit and OpenDoc support that are
> necessary for success on the Mac, but the window is closing fast.

Well, as I don't develop for the Mac, this isn't really my concern,
but _of course_ I hope that every Dylan implementation has as much
success as possible, in a world dominated by C/C++.

Quote:
> If they dither around until it's too late, give up on Dylan, or (worst
> of all) mount some feeble, fake effort that doesn't have the resources
> to get the job done... well... that would be a pretty clear sign to me
> and many others that the game is over and that Apple and the Mac no
> longer matter at all.  Not because Dylan is so essential to Apple's
> future, but because this once-nimble and once-innovative company can
> no longer get *anything* right.

I'm thankful that my future don't depend in any way on the future
of Apple, or any other specific company. However, I'm a pessimist
by nature (ever since I discovered the advantages of such an
attitude, at the tender age of 8 years), so this is not a prediction
of Apple's demise, nor the failure of any Dylan system. I've simply
developed a habit of changing platform every few years, and remaining
as flexible as I can.

Quote:
> We'll all know pretty soon, I reckon.

Soon enough, I guess. If Dylan is worth waiting for, and I think it
may well be, then I can wait at least a year or two (I'll probably
still be coding in C++ and CL for that long), and _at least_ a few
months before "writing off" Apple, as if I'd ever do _that_.

No, the wait isn't the issue. It's the people seem to think that
Apple's Dylan is already dead. I'm prepared to wait for Apple to
make that announcement themselves, if it's to be made at all. I'm
hoping this is just a bit of FUD, and that it hurts nobody.

Thanks.
--
<URL:http://www.demon.co.uk/community/index.html>
<URL:http://www.enrapture.com/cybes/namaste.html>
Current favourite word: hypersonic. As used by Fluffy.
"You can never browse enough."



Fri, 17 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 Ensuring Dylan Success
You know, as I've read this thread, it occurs to me that everybody is
equating the existence of a Dylan environment for the Mac to APPLE
PRODUCING a Dylan environment for the Mac.  If there's a real market for
Dylan out there (there's a lot of activity here, but maybe that's not
enough of a market), why doesn't some other development-tools vendor
step up to the plate?  To my mind, the two most likely candidates on the
Mac side would be Metrowerks (because they're rapidly dominating the
whole Mac development-tools market) and QKS (because they've got a
product now that's about as much like Dylan as anything out there).  Is
either thinking about it?  If not, why not, and what does that say about
the future of the language altogether?

Rich Gillam
Taligent



Sat, 18 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 Ensuring Dylan Success

Quote:

> You know, as I've read this thread, it occurs to me that everybody is
> equating the existence of a Dylan environment for the Mac to APPLE
> PRODUCING a Dylan environment for the Mac.  If there's a real market for
> Dylan out there (there's a lot of activity here, but maybe that's not
> enough of a market), why doesn't some other development-tools vendor
> step up to the plate?  To my mind, the two most likely candidates on the
> Mac side would be Metrowerks (because they're rapidly dominating the
> whole Mac development-tools market) and QKS (because they've got a
> product now that's about as much like Dylan as anything out there).  Is
> either thinking about it?  If not, why not, and what does that say about
> the future of the language altogether?

I don't think that MetroWerks has the in-house expertise to produce a
Dylan, though I could be wrong.  QKS probably does, but it would be a
big job.  The obvious candidates to do this are Harlequin and CMU or
someone working closely with CMU.  The real question is not whether
anyone believes that Dylan has a future, but whether anyone (including
Apple) believes the Mac does.

-- Scott

===========================================================================

Principal Research Scientist            Phone:     412 268-2575
School of Computer Science              Fax:       412 268-5576
Carnegie Mellon University              Latitude:  40:26:46 N
5000 Forbes Avenue                      Longitude: 79:56:55 W
Pittsburgh, PA 15213                    Mood:      :-)
===========================================================================



Sat, 18 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 Ensuring Dylan Success

Quote:

> Apple "management" is a great mystery to me.  I do believe that their
> current silence on Dylan, as damaging as it is to their credibility in
> the developer community, is because they are still trying to figure
> out what to do, and is not the sign of something more sinister.  

Yes, never attribute to malice what can be attributed to simple
incompetence : )

The last I heard, Apple is in the throes of working out their budget
for the next fiscal year. I'm sure with the quarterly earnings problem
things are very confusing and people are shouting from all sides.

-Paul-



Sun, 19 Apr 1998 03:00:00 GMT  
 
 [ 12 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. archives of info-dylan/comp.lang.dylan available

2. Dylan vs DyLan

3. (fwd) harlequin's dylan-corba mailing list switching to MIT's info-dylan

4. lazy.dylan 0.1 -- add ML/Scheme-style lazy evaluation to Dylan

5. Dylan and Java [was: Harlequin Dylan - Update]

6. Dylan Programming Book and Apple Dylan

7. Dylan, guys, Dylan.

8. Dylan is the Name was(Re: Dylan (Bob) eats rotten Apple (Computer))

9. Dylan alternative (was Dylan complexity)

10. Sudden interest in Dylan/Dylan should be open.

11. c.l.dylan overlap with Dylan mailing lists?

12. Dylan, guys, Dylan.

 

 
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