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thoughts on Cecil/Vortex packages

[Background: Cecil is a pure object-oriented language with
multimethods and other nice features; Vortex is a compiled
implementation thereof.]

I am strongly considering dropping this ITP.  I realize that I could
also change it to an RFP, but am uncertain that it is of sufficient
user interest.  Why?

* Stagnation: although upstream still exists, they haven't pushed out
  a release since early 1999; this does not bode particularly well.

* Few users: Although Cecil is a very nice language, it seems to be
  primarily of academic interest; AFAIK, the only major Cecil
  application is the compiler.  As such, I suspect it will mostly be
  dead weight on the servers.

* Resources: on i386, the compiler alone (without any supporting files) is
  a 27M executable.  A full build is also rather time-consuming; my
  estimate is ~10 hours on my 256M Celeron-500.  Granted, I am
  arranging things to spare the autobuilders from most of this work,
  but I'm still not convinced it's justified.

* Fit: The upstream source doesn't have anything resembling "make
  install"; I'd basically have to stick everything into a big
  directory under /usr/lib, add some wrappers in /usr/bin, and hope
  that nothing still tried to write into the tree.  (Upstream seems to
  assume a shared playground, which is fair enough for research
  environments but not really appropriate for Debian.)

Aaron M. Ucko, KB1CJC <amu@mit.edu> (finger amu@monk.mit.edu)

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