Best Lisp for Windows NT? 
Author Message
 Best Lisp for Windows NT?

What is the best brand of Lisp for Windows NT?  How
much does Allegro CL cost for NT?


Thu, 18 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Best Lisp for Windows NT?


Quote:
>http://www.franz.com

They don't seem to say anywhere in their site
how much they actually charge for CL 5 for
Windows.  Is it one of those deals where if you
have to ask how much it is you can't afford it?


Thu, 18 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Best Lisp for Windows NT?

| They don't seem to say anywhere in their site how much they actually
| charge for CL 5 for Windows.  Is it one of those deals where if you have
| to ask how much it is you can't afford it?

  it is amusing to watch how people react when their assumptions fail.

  call them up and ask, or send mail to _them_, to find out.

#:Erik



Fri, 19 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Best Lisp for Windows NT?


Quote:

>| They don't seem to say anywhere in their site how much they actually
>| charge for CL 5 for Windows.  Is it one of those deals where if you have
>| to ask how much it is you can't afford it?

>  it is amusing to watch how people react when their assumptions fail.

>  call them up and ask, or send mail to _them_, to find out.

>#:Erik

It's a reasonable assumption that when a company fails
to publish its prices, the prices must be very high, to
justify getting marketing personnel involved in every sale.
Contrast that to Dolphin Smalltalk, from Object Arts.  You
can order it online and download it immediately.  All
products from Object Arts are sold that way.  Their price
structure reflects the lower marketing cost of doing it
that way.  Dolphin Smalltalk is $29 for personal use and
$129 with unlimited commercial application deployment.


Sat, 20 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Best Lisp for Windows NT?

Quote:

> It's a reasonable assumption that when a company fails
> to publish its prices, the prices must be very high, to
> justify getting marketing personnel involved in every sale.

I recently investigated the price of dedicated telephone lines from my
house to the net and found that many higher priced agents advertise
their price and a number of more competitively priced ones do not,
perhaps either because they are better able to dynamically offer
discounts of various forms and also because by establishing contact,
they improve the possibility of future relationships which might net
them more even if they have a low-cost option.  The place I found with
the very lowest price on the phone service had not advertised its
prices.  The vendor I'm switching from, which costs easily 2-4 times
as much had its prices prominently posted at its web site since they
didn't vary much and it was not a big maintenance cost for them to say
"this is it, love it or leave it".

I think the m{*filter*}is that few $29 products of any kind have a phone
call involved because the price of the phone call quickly exceeds $29
for equipment and personnel costs.  But that's a fixed threshold that
isn't really predictive of what happens above that very, very low-end.
Anything that's $100 or more can generally build in the cost of a
phone call or two without losing all its value, and is still
potentially cheap for quality software.  Consequently, I wouldn't read
anything into the lack of published prices unless you think anything
over $29 is "expensive"... I'm surprised anyone with a computer to
type such a statement on can really say such a thing with a straight
face.  I'm reminded of something someone said once about the US--that
it was the only company in the world where even the poorest people
often drive to the protest rallies where they carry the signs about
how underpaid they are... whoever said it probably should have
mentioned they heard about the rally on their tv...



Sat, 20 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Best Lisp for Windows NT?

| It's a reasonable assumption ...

  you should instead be justifying your _response_ when this assumption
  failed.  I don't care what your assumptions are, and there's no need to
  defend it, unless you want to make the picture of how you react when your
  assumptions fail even more complete, but why bother?

  you could have found the prices by now, too.

#:Erik



Sat, 20 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Best Lisp for Windows NT?

Quote:


> | It's a reasonable assumption that when a company fails
> | to publish its prices, the prices must be very high, to
> | justify getting marketing personnel involved in every sale.

>   you could have found the prices by now, too.

Yes, but he would have discovered exactly what he'd expect, that the
prices are too high to be reasonable for an individual who wants to do
serious programming (i.e. getting the professional or enterprise
version) without paying serious prices.

I myself was in that boat and also found it quite frusterating that the
prices weren't listed.  If they were I probably would have just surfed
somewhere else in search of a LISP environment, but instead I ended up
taking the time to ask them, which was probably of a waste of their time
and mine, because I was looking for something in the MSVC 5 pricing
range (or less; MSVC is a more complete product) and found something
along the lines of a year's tuition to get the version I needed
(Enterprise, for threads and sockets).

So, when you take the actual facts into acount, his initial assumption
is TRUE, and you, Erik Naggum, are wasting all of our times with your
vacuous commentary.  I find it disgusting that you find it "amusing to
watch how people react when their assumptions fail" in a public forum.


CU
Dobes



Sun, 21 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Best Lisp for Windows NT?

| Yes, but he would have discovered exactly what he'd expect, that the
| prices are too high to be reasonable for an individual who wants to do
| serious programming (i.e. getting the professional or enterprise version)
| without paying serious prices.

  you seem to assume that he's _initially_ after a means of doing serious
  programming.  I'm not sure this assumption holds at all.  in any case,
  what kind of _serious_ programming is it if you can't afford Franz'
  licenses?  the problem is how to get to know Allegro CL in the first
  place, not how to make money once you can defend the cost.

  incidentally, I know for a fact that Franz Inc has a liberal evaluation
  period if you are in position to purchase at some later time.  again, if
  you can't scrounge up the funds during that period, what _are_ you doing?

  in the interest of less hits on misinformation by the search bots, I have
  not commented on your faulty assumptions on what you would need to buy.

  incidentally, "discovering exactly what you expect" before actually
  knowing anything for a fact means you're either excessively brilliant or
  blinded by prejudice.  if you're excessively brilliant, it seems unlikely
  that you can't find someone else to fund your license fee for you.  this
  leaves one option.

  when it comes to the actual pricing, I also know for a fact that Franz
  Inc has been burnt by the free Linux offering.  it seems fair to conclude
  that those who want dirt cheap or free stuff are less honest about it
  than those who find ways to pay the regular price.  I'm not sure it's a
  good idea to try to pacify them any more than it makes sense to pacify
  screaming kids by giving them what they want, either.

  in the projects where I have introduced Allegro CL to the client, the
  cost of the entire project has dwarfed the cost of the licenses by a
  factor of at _least_ 10.  I think this is entirely reasonable, and don't
  see a problem with it at all.  as long as it is possible to evaluate the
  product realistically before coughing up the dough, it should be easy to
  show that the other development costs dwarf the licensing costs.

  I must therefore assume that those who complain are either working for
  free, do not plan on making any money, or are not doing serious work.
  for the latter category, there's the Linux offering or the personal
  edition.  for the former categories, I'm not quite certain what the
  expectations are.  should Franz Inc fund you instead of you getting
  someone to fund you to pay Franz Inc?  I don't think that is reasonable.
  however, I'd be willing to help fund a Lisp Programmer's Charity so poor
  folks could get scholarships and free licenses to the extent that they
  don't get it on their own -- Franz Inc _has_ given away licenses before,
  but it seems to require a little different approach than to whine on
  comp.lang.lisp since you guys haven't gotten what you want.  how about a
  change of tactics?

| So, when you take the actual facts into acount, his initial assumption
| is TRUE, and you, Erik Naggum, are wasting all of our times with your
| vacuous commentary.  I find it disgusting that you find it "amusing to
| watch how people react when their assumptions fail" in a public forum.

  on the contrary, your own assumptions are equally, if not more, amusing.


  what the hell good would that do?  I mail compliments, post criticism.

#:Erik



Sun, 21 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Best Lisp for Windows NT?


Quote:
>  licenses?  the problem is how to get to know Allegro CL in the first
>  place, not how to make money once you can defend the cost.

Generating end-user application executable files and/or
components, DLL's, etc., is a big part of getting to know
the product.  I'm not talking about getting to know the
language, but getting to know the product.  Most software
development environments have serious problems, and
most of those problems come to light when actually using
them for real work, not just evaluating them.

Quote:
>  incidentally, I know for a fact that Franz Inc has a liberal evaluation

Do they mention it anywhere on their web site?  They seem
to be pretty tight with information in general, even when
contacted directly.  Before they will even give any hints of
prices, they want all kinds of information about who wants
to know.  The price of CL5 for Windows seems to be about
$3000, but they won't say that until they ask a lot of
questions.

In any case, my questions were not just about Franz, but
about Lisp vendors in general.  I wanted to know the best
Lisp for Windows NT.  Price is a factor, but so are quality
and features.  Being able to generate executables, DLL's,
components, etc.  I want to compare them with what's
available for other languages.  That's a big factor in the
selection of a language for a new project.



Sun, 21 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Best Lisp for Windows NT?

    Dobes> Yes, but he would have discovered exactly what he'd expect, that the
    Dobes> prices are too high to be reasonable for an individual who wants to do
    Dobes> serious programming (i.e. getting the professional or enterprise
    Dobes> version) without paying serious prices.

    Dobes> I myself was in that boat and also found it quite frusterating that the
    Dobes> prices weren't listed.  If they were I probably would have just surfed
    Dobes> somewhere else in search of a LISP environment, but instead I ended up
    Dobes> taking the time to ask them, which was probably of a waste of their time
    Dobes> and mine, because I was looking for something in the MSVC 5 pricing
    Dobes> range (or less; MSVC is a more complete product) and found something
    Dobes> along the lines of a year's tuition to get the version I needed
    Dobes> (Enterprise, for threads and sockets).

I can't imagine why any vendor wouldn't tell a potential customer how
much their product costs.  By not telling, they've certainly lost a
sale, so they lose nothing by telling.

In any case, I vaguely recall that, when Harlequin used to advertise
prices on their web site, the full Lispworks system cost about $500
for Windows and Unix(!).  If this is still true, then it's about 1/2
the price for a new full copy of professional MS Visual C++.  It's in
the same ballpark, at least

Ray



Sun, 21 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Best Lisp for Windows NT?

| Generating end-user application executable files and/or components,
| DLL's, etc., is a big part of getting to know the product.  I'm not
| talking about getting to know the language, but getting to know the
| product.  Most software development environments have serious problems,
| and most of those problems come to light when actually using them for
| real work, not just evaluating them.

  I completely agree.  it seems, however, that you don't know what Franz
  Inc means by "evaluation", whereas I do, so I'll answer the question you
  failed to ask: the evaluation period gives you access to the maximal set
  of features that you _might_ buy, so you can decide what you need, _and_
  have time to try it out.  my experience is that this period is long
  enough to do serious work and see if it works out for you.

| Do they mention it anywhere on their web site?

  I'm not sure they like that I try to tell you in what _particular_ ways
  they are really nice guys.  in general, Franz Inc is excessively helpful
  to real peple -- those who make contact with them.  by excessively I mean
  that they have obviously been burned by being too helpful to some people
  and you should not be surprised that those are the people who don't show
  their faces or make themselves fully known.  Franz Inc is not an
  over-the-counter software vendor.  they actually want to know you, like a
  partner in the development process, not just a {*filter*} who hopes you
  don't call again with followup questions and "bug" reports.

| They seem to be pretty tight with information in general, even when
| contacted directly.

  I regard them as somewhat protective, but with every right to be so, and
  once you get to know these guys, you feel "inside" the same protective
  shield that keeps other bad things out.  I can't speak for others, but it
  is one of the reasons I decided to work closer with them.

| Before they will even give any hints of prices, they want all kinds of
| information about who wants to know.  The price of CL5 for Windows seems
| to be about $3000, but they won't say that until they ask a lot of
| questions.

  they do this to give you the lowest price for your customer category.

| In any case, my questions were not just about Franz, but about Lisp
| vendors in general.  I wanted to know the best Lisp for Windows NT.
| Price is a factor, but so are quality and features.  Being able to
| generate executables, DLL's, components, etc.  I want to compare them
| with what's available for other languages.  That's a big factor in the
| selection of a language for a new project.

  I agree.  I also tend to bring up Lisp when a project has failed and is
  no longer "new", i.e., when the complexity of the project is better known.

#:Erik



Sun, 21 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Best Lisp for Windows NT?

| I can't imagine why any vendor wouldn't tell a potential customer how
| much their product costs.  By not telling, they've certainly lost a sale,
| so they lose nothing by telling.

  why do you think your way of telling and your time of telling is the only
  one?  of course every vendor tells potential customers how much they want
  for the product!  the issue is when and how, not whether to tell.

#:Erik



Sun, 21 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Best Lisp for Windows NT?


    Erik> | I can't imagine why any vendor wouldn't tell a potential customer how
    Erik> | much their product costs.  By not telling, they've certainly lost a sale,
    Erik> | so they lose nothing by telling.

    Erik>   why do you think your way of telling and your time of telling is the only
    Erik>   one?  of course every vendor tells potential customers how much they want
    Erik>   for the product!  the issue is when and how, not whether to tell.

You've obviously read far more into my reply than I meant.  My
response to Dobes was, in essence, go ask the vendor for a price, just
as you did in another message to someone else.  I was emphasizing that
a vendor would surely tell you, eventually.

A while ago, I did ask Franz for a price quote.  They very promptly
sent a quote for me.

Ray



Sun, 21 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Best Lisp for Windows NT?


Quote:
>  I completely agree.  it seems, however, that you don't know what Franz
>  Inc means by "evaluation", whereas I do, so I'll answer the question you

Ok, once they get to know you, to be sure you're
a genuine prospect, they let you do an extensive
evaluation.  Good.  But, before they get to know
me, I want some kind of evidence that their product
is even worth considering at all.  I want to see a
bunch of sample programs and the resulting
executables.  I have a hunch the executables will
be too big.  I'm not seriously interested in ACL5
yet, and won't be until that hunch is proven wrong.
They obviously only want to give evaluation copies
to serious prospects, and I'm not one yet.

I evaluated Dolpin Smalltalk, ISE Eiffel, and Harlquin
Dylan, without spending much time learning any of
those languages, and without becoming a serious
prospect for any of them.  I still am evaluating all three
of them in my spare time.  Franz would be welcome to
add their product to that group, if I didn't have to jump
through hoops and try to convince them I was a
serious prospect.  Their free version would not do,
because my evaluations have included building
executables and comparing their sizes, but the free
version of ACL5 does not build executables.

Right now, what I would recommend Franz do to
make their product more popular, would be to put
a bunch of sample programs on their website, with
the Lisp source code and with executables, DLL's,
components, etc., built from that source code with
their product.  People need to see the results, even
more than they need to see the development
environment.  If a programmer can show his boss a
program, run it and show that it looks like any other
program, and how how big it is, and that it will run
on different computers, and then say to his boss,
that program was built with ACL5; that alone could
go a long way towards getting Lisp more accepted.



Sun, 21 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 Best Lisp for Windows NT?

| Ok, once they get to know you, to be sure you're a genuine prospect, they
| let you do an extensive evaluation.  Good.  But, before they get to know
| me, I want some kind of evidence that their product is even worth
| considering at all.  I want to see a bunch of sample programs and the
| resulting executables.  I have a hunch the executables will be too big.
| I'm not seriously interested in ACL5 yet, and won't be until that hunch
| is proven wrong.  They obviously only want to give evaluation copies to
| serious prospects, and I'm not one yet.

  as I have already said, the problem is getting to know Allegro CL (or any
  Common Lisp environment, actually) to begin with.  I recognize your
  issue.  I just don't think you're approaching it in a constructive way.

  incidentally, I don't think hunches can be proven either right or wrong.
  I think hunches are good because they allow me not to waste a lot of time
  thinking about something that my gut feeling rejects, so I expect your
  hunches to be on my side if I'm selling Common Lisp and you approach me.
  if you approach me with a bad hunch and want proof your hunch is wrong, I
  don't think I have the time (or inclination) to counsel you out of it.

  personally, I don't think executable size matters at all, so I'm
  obviously not being helpful to your particular quest, but let me show you
  just how little executable (actually, image) size matters to me: I
  discovered that by precomputing the decimal representation of five-digit
  numbers and inlining their printing, my whole application sped up by a
  factor of 8.  that's a 500,000-character string just wasting space.  I
  had already precomputed the break-out of 400 years of calendar data and
  86400 seconds of time data, which added another megabyte to my image, but
  those, too, were very serious space/time tradeoffs.  it is helpful if you
  consider that any proper function returns the same value every time it's
  called, and so can be precomputed, at potentially huge space costs.  I
  have been willing to dispense with 1.5 megabytes of memory in exchange
  for very close to zero cost in some bottle-neck operations.

| Right now, what I would recommend Franz do to make their product more
| popular, would be to put a bunch of sample programs on their website,
| with the Lisp source code and with executables, DLL's, components, etc.,
| built from that source code with their product.  People need to see the
| results, even more than they need to see the development environment.

  _which_ people would that be?

| If a programmer can show his boss a program, run it and show that it
| looks like any other program, and how how big it is, and that it will run
| on different computers, and then say to his boss, that program was built
| with ACL5; that alone could go a long way towards getting Lisp more
| accepted.

  I honestly don't think so.

  I do think there's a place for Common Lisp in the low end of the market,
  I just don't know how to approach that market, and I'm worried that the
  Lisp vendors will squander their efforts at trying to attact people who
  think Bill Gates is a hero and his products are safe investments, or,
  even worse: the people who think he's a criminal and his products are
  shit, but _still_ buy them and expect others to take the blame when they
  hit the fan.

#:Erik



Sun, 21 Oct 2001 03:00:00 GMT  
 
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