LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for TEAM-ADA Archives


TEAM-ADA Archives

TEAM-ADA Archives


TEAM-ADA@LISTSERV.ACM.ORG


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

TEAM-ADA Home

TEAM-ADA Home

TEAM-ADA  April 2000

TEAM-ADA April 2000

Subject:

Re: Rapid application development VB vs Ada (was RE: What the competition looks like

From:

"Richard L. Conn" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Richard L. Conn

Date:

Wed, 12 Apr 2000 07:45:00 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (194 lines)

Hello, Rush,

Thank you for your message.  It's nice to keep an open discussion going
about the issues that face us and to see different perspectives.  I often
think of our industry as an elephant that we, acting as blind people,
are trying to describe and deal with.  Each of us sees a different part
of the beast, and none of us has the whole picture.  That said, responses
are interwoven below.

Rick
==============
Richard Conn
Principal Investigator, Reuse Tapestry
http://xenadu.home.mindspring.com/

-----Original Message-----
From: Kester, Rush W. [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2000 2:31 PM
To: 'Richard L. Conn'; [log in to unmask]
Subject: Rapid application development VB vs Ada (was RE: What the
competition looks like


Richard,

I know this is an old thread, but "The times they are a changing."  IMHO,
for the better.
RLC> Absolutely.  Our industry changes with amazing speed in multiple
RLC> directions simultaneously.  Common threads, such as a desire for
RLC> improved software reliability, are emerging.

GtkAda now provides the GUI widgets you are seeking and the available widget
set is growing rapidly.  What's important is that unlike VB, they are
portable to non-Microsoft platforms.  It works with Win32 and any platform
that support Windows X11. This means that the applications developed on
Wintel platforms can run on Linux, Unix, & MS Windows, etc.  For more
information see, http://gtkada.eu.org/
RLC> This is a good thing.  Depending on who you talk to, Microsoft Windows
RLC> accounts for 90-95% of all the computers in the world, so this approach
RLC> extends to cover the remaining 5-10%.  That's probably millions of
RLC> computers.  I saw a statistic the other day that the average American
RLC> is supported by 265 computers in a single day (how they came up with
RLC> THAT number, I have no idea ;-).  However, I am not seeking GUI Widgets
RLC> any more ... I found what I was looking for in Visual Basic and the web
RLC> technologies.  The applications I'm working on that need GUI interfaces
RLC> are satisfied well by these two technologies and I'm not compelled to
RLC> change at this time.  My customers are happy with my choices and the
RLC> results of my work.

I agree with your point on the importance of domain analysis.  I can't argue
whether or not VB is well engineered.  It's advantage is its close tie with
Microsoft and Intel PC's.
But this is also its disadvangage.
RLC> Very seldom is a double-edged sword not present.  There are advantages
RLC> and disadvantages to every such choice we make.

The AdaSage effort developed a similar component set with high-level
abstractions for application development.  Unfortunately, AdaSage was taken
over by those who saw only its profit potential and decided to keep it as
proprietary rather than manage its growth in an  Open Source environment.
From what I can tell, it died as a result.
RLC> In preparing the next Ada and Software Engineering Update, I checked
RLC> into the current status of AdaSAGE, and one of the Ada references on
RLC> the update points to their website.  From my inspection, I concluded
RLC> that it appears to be alive and still growing.  I noted fairly recent
RLC> updates to it.  I can't speak about the politics behind it.

As you well know, there are many Ada component sets out there.  What is
lacking is a group in the Ada community to organize and integrate them into
a powerful component based architecture.  I agree that four of your five
domains: GUI development, data manipulation,
OS-based device control, and communications in general (and web in
particular) have great potential.  I also agree that because of its
widespread use, the MS Windows OS cannot be ignored, but the world of
students and the software industry should be broader than Microsoft.
RLC> We are in complete agreement here.

Why not devote our considerable talents and energy to making Ada's component
set into something well engineered to meet future software needs.
RLC> Our talents are fairly rare and valued by many.  They should be applied
RLC> where there is the greatest potential for Return on Investment (ROI).
RLC> Of course, it would be nice to define what ROI means in a measurable
RLC> sense so that we know if we are improving it ;-)

You cited PITAC as being a perfect match with Visual Basic.  I'm not sure I
agree with this conclusion.  Per,
http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/OSTP/html/presstest/19980810_2.html the
first research goal of the "President's Information Technology Advisory
Committee" (PITAC) is:  "Research on software, with special emphasis on
design and production techniques and enhancing software reliability."  IMO,
this is an area where Ada systems standout as good examples, and Microsoft
systems poor ones.  The executive summary of the PITAC's Interim Report
http://www.ccic.gov/ac/interim/ states, "We have become dangerously
dependent on large software systems whose behavior is not well understood
and which often fail in unpredicted ways."  IMO, This is symptomatic of
proprietary systems like Microsoft's and less so of Open Systems where user
organizations can go to the source to determine how/why the software will
behave.
RLC> First of all, I never said PITAC was a "perfect" match ... just that
RLC> VB was addressing it.  No solutions to these problems exist yet.
RLC> I think your brush strokes are too broad on this one and don't prove
RLC> the point you are trying to prove.  All of us, including Microsoft,
RLC> want to enhance software reliability.  The $160,000,000 Reliability
RLC> Initiative part of the $2B Windows 2000 development effort indicates
RLC> in some ways Microsoft's concern in this area.  Reliability comes
RLC> from effective systems engineering followed by effective software
RLC> engineering backed by a serious commitment by the entire development
team
RLC> to developing a quality product.  Different languages, such as Ada,
RLC> Java, and Visual Basic help in different ways and similar ways, but
RLC> are no replacement for the culture of the development team.  Going
RLC> Open does not solve the problem by itself ... years ago, I installed
RLC> X11R4 on a Sun using the source code, noting the hundreds of known
RLC> defects reported therein.  Going proprietary does not solve the
RLC> problem either ... Brooks spoke of IBM's knowledge of 1,000 documented
RLC> defects in their OS/360 source code and their decision to not try to
RLC> correct those defects for fear they would introduce worse defects in
RLC> the process, and we all have experienced Microsoft Windows crashes.
RLC> Open communities are trying to fix things, as are IBM and Microsoft.
RLC> I think the problems in the PITAC's Interim Report are more symptomatic
RLC> of a lack of emphasis by all development team members on quality
RLC> and our general lack of understanding of how to create complex
RLC> systems.  But we are changing, learning, and growing, and the pace
RLC> is phenomenal.

Rush Kester
Software Systems Engineer
AdaSoft at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.
email:  [log in to unmask]
phone: (240) 228-3030 (live M-F 9:30am-4:30pm, voicemail anytime)
fax:   (240) 228-6779
http://hometown.aol.com/rwkester/myhomepage/index.html

RLC> Rick Conn (see my URL below for access info)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Richard L. Conn [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Thursday, December 02, 1999 1:36 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: What the competition looks like
>
<snip>

> I haven't seen any arguments to convince me that VB
> is not right for this climate or the need to make
> learning fun is not justified.  Both work effectively.
>
> The PITAC report I spoke of the other day speaks of
> Component-based Software Engineering.  That's where I
> see VB fitting in like a glove, and that's were I see
> Ada lacking.  The VB GUI is not just buttons and text
> boxes (THAT was the first day).  It is also dynamic
> list boxes (a form of linked list without the pointers),
> drive list boxes and directory list boxes and file list
> boxes which combine to allow you to navigate a file
> system without programming any system calls, the chart
> control which allows you to configure and draw 16 kinds
> of charts (bar, XY, line, area, pie, both 2D and 3D, etc)
> without worrying about manipulating pixels, the common
> dialog control which allows for 6 common program needs
> (open a file, save/create a file, select a printer,
> select a font, select a color, and invoke online help)
> with almost no effort, and so on.  The standard packages
> in Ada95 are very good, but no where near this level of
> abstraction.  Assuming the components are reliable
> (which they seem to be), you can put together massive
> applications with very few lines of code.  They work the
> first time (in my experience) and you are done and ready
> to move on.  The Web Browser I wrote in 1 hour on a
> Sunday morning was part of what made me trigger my first
> message.
>
> The domain engineering which went into VB really shows.
> We see the five target domains clearly: Windows OS
> interfacing, GUI development, data manipulation,
> OS-based device control, and communications in general
> (and web in particular).  The VB controls operate at such a high
> level of abstraction that you don't have to worry about
> the low-level details and can concentrate on the problem.
> Ada was a significant step in the right direction, but
> VB is a much bigger step.  Ada could be there as well
> (there's no technical reason why these highly abstract
> component features cannot be added), but the cost of
> such an effort would be really significant.
>
> Component-based SE is a PITAC goal for the future.
>
> Well, that's the last 21 message responses in a nutshell.
>
> Another opinion,
> Rick
> ----------------------------------
> Richard Conn, ASE and PAL Manager
> http://xenadu.home.mindspring.com/

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
June 2007
May 2007
March 2007
February 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998
April 1998
March 1998
February 1998
January 1998
December 1997
November 1997
October 1997
September 1997
August 1997
July 1997
June 1997
May 1997
April 1997
March 1997
February 1997
January 1997
December 1996
November 1996
October 1996

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTSERV.ACM.ORG

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager