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August 6, 1990

JAPAN ACTS TO PICK BONES OF “FAILED” SIGMA PROJECT

By CBR Staff Writer

Japan’s Sigma Project, which reached the end of its five-year term earlier this year and was duly wound up, is widely regarded as having been a failure because it did not live up to its promise to come up with software solutions to the problem of programmer productivity, but a substantial amount of technology for creating an integrated, networked development environments was produced, and a company, Sigma Systems, has been formed to take over the remnants of the project. Its first move has been to inspire the formation of a Sigma Society, which will tackle the problems left unresolved by the project through a committee system. The remaining issues will be considered via a system of three committees looking respectively at environments interoperability and portability of workstation hardware and applications; computer-aided software engineering – use of heterogeneous tools form the various manufacturers; and a Business Committee to examine issues of software distribution. The Committees will be made up of special memb ers from among the 50 supp orting organisations on the original project; some 50 ordinary members whose role will be to put up propos als; and supporting memb ers, who will have priority access to data in return for financial backing. Sigma did get some firms such as Omron Corp into the Unix workstation market.

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