Despite Ada's disappearance from an "official" place
at STC, the general sense of the people I saw was that
Ada was at least spiritually "back" (if it ever left),
and perceived as being one of various useful technologies.
There was no apparent religious backlash against Ada.
It was seen as a good tool for building reliable systems.
I can believe that the DoD officialdom is still smarting
from the general Ada history, but the rest of the world
seems to be getting on with life. Ada vendors continue
to sell a healthy number of Ada compilers, now more than
a year after the mandate was dropped. Compilers and
environments continue to improve in ease of use and
overall quality. Important platforms are being supported,
and a wider range of users are finding Ada useful.
If anything, I think we should be upbeat that Ada continues
to be there as a solid performer, even as other languages are
hyped up and then fall out of favor.
I would begin to ignore DoD officialdom as it relates to Ada.
Certainly many people are switching from Ada to C++ or Java. But
also many others are not, and new people are discovering Ada.
I am not trying to be a "Pollyanna" here, but we keep hearing
that the bottom is going to drop out of the Ada market "any day now,"
and it hasn't happened. If anything, the "doom and gloom" serves to
demoralize users of Ada. Certainly there is more we can be doing
in terms of promoting Ada, but clearly the best thing to do is to
"just use it" (as Nike would say ;-) and succeed in so doing.
The Ada compiler vendors have done their primary jobs in my view,
namely producing quality compilers, and at least some of them
have figured out how to create a sales force that knows how to sell
them and make money in the process.
In my view, they are not under any obligation to "grow" the overall Ada
market, presuming they are successfully growing their own revenues and
profits. Nevertheless, they have chosen to band together and
form ARA, and at least part of the ARA's mission is to spread
the word on Ada and grow the overall market, while another part
is to support the existing users in various ways (e.g. validation,
standardization, website resources, etc.).
As users, our primary job is to use Ada where it is the right technology,
and make noise when we succeed. And hopefully enjoy the process.
We don't have to convince the entire world to use Ada, even if
it would do them good (I feel like a broccoli grower ;-).
-Tucker Taft [log in to unmask]