Bull sent Planning people such as Michel JALABERT , Raymond CHAUVEAU , Bruno LECLERC etc....Engineers were selected from departments not presently involved in NPL such as Claude BOUVIER the chief architect of GE51 and obviously some of the architects working on "NPL" such as Georges LEPICARD in hardware, Jean BELLEC and Claude CARRE in software. GEISI had notoriously Marisa BELLISARIO and also Paolo CESA BIANCHI, Mario ROSSI and other engineers.
The "main team" of around 50 people stayed assembled from July 1 to the end of October, while numerous people were called to feed in information, such as Marc BOURIN for technology and the Bull hardware and software designers involved in the previous steps of the project.P> Managers from GE and subsidiaries --J.P. BRULE who joined Bull GE around this time, Tom VANDERSLICE who was then Peripheral division manager - also attended the meeting for a few days. John HAANSTRA died in his private airplane crash when coming back to Phoenix from Florida.
The fall-outs of this meetings were many: but, above all, there was a cross-culture confrontation that was extended to market analysis and planning.
The objectives were to increase significantly the GE market share and to provide an homogeneous offering on almost all market segments. Marketing studies mapped very closely computers' size and customer's size and the major bases for market analysis were "migration tables" based on existing systems and customer loyalty estimation. Vertical segmentation was essentially ignored and software inertia was underestimated. Professional market analysts as J.Diebold or IDC had not yet appeared at that time and the computer manufacturers had to rely on in-house analysis.
The disappearance of punched cards for data entry was now expected, but key-to-tape off-line systems were expected to compete successfully against on-line data entry.
Disc based operating system was expected for all members of the line.
Some of the main technical detailed decisions that have been taken during that period, were to use a Semaphore mechanism for process synchronization and to give priority to the segmentation of the address space instead of paging a single address space if the hardware was not able to get both economically.
As software products, the experience in the, then emerging, Codasyl Data Base organization based on GE IDS was brought by Charlie BACHMAN into the technical culture; the importance of database journalization and roll-back was brought in by Russ McGHEE from the WEYCOS project --an early transactional system based on GCOS-II on GE-600 for the Weyerhauser Company.
An important output of the Shangri-La meeting was the importance given to the problems of park conversion, both internal and external.
The Emulators that were taken in consideration by the meeting had been:
On the contrary, it was envisioned that Plug Compatible Manufacturers (PCM) could target APL for peripherals or memory units and measures were considered to counteract their entrance on the APL products both in hardware, in software and in maintenance. Channel compatibility and device interface compatibility were excluded that reason. Later, Honeywell experience made the engineers changing -- somewhat- their mind at this subject.
The Shangri-La meeting was not very fruitful in the domains of technology: GE had expressed that they would buy it instead of making it and participants had extremely erroneous forecasts when they did not predict the advent of semi-conductor memories. Shop costs computed at that time showed to be accurate a few years later, but memory sizes were widely underestimated and led to some errors in software future design. The meeting also underestimated the importance of transaction processing and completely failed to predict the advent of personal computers.
The evolution toward distribution in departmental systems, and multi-vendors' systems was not identified at that time as part of the market requirements. The identified sources of business were the replacement of existing systems and new applications. The important revolution what was emerging i.e., the evolution from batch processing to on-line processing was not given enough attention specially in the low-end.