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It's actually cheap for a production ready(if it is) commercial cl implementation, but I agree, a trial version is essential.

However, note that most commercial lisp implementations, such as LispWorks, Allegro CL each have a free (gratis, not libre), albeit limited, personal/noncommercial edition as well as evaluation and trial licenses for their other versions.

The same applies to a lot of software. If you just speed up a few hours then the ROI is very high.

BUT from the commercial perspective you must follow some "commercial software standards". You can even lose customers because the commercial proposal is far from the standard and "against" the customer.

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