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TEAM-ADA  March 1998

TEAM-ADA March 1998

Subject:

Answering the Traditional Usage Questions

From:

Richard Conn <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Tue, 17 Mar 1998 09:26:37 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (78 lines)

You raise some good points, Michael, and they have been
raised before.  Attempts have been made to determine such
information ... in particular, Mike Feldman at GWU keeps a
list (currently something over 200) of colleges and universities
that teach Ada to incoming Freshmen.

Unfortunately, a lot of what you propose requires a time-consuming,
manpower-intensive effort, and funding for such an effort is not
readily available.  Also, it is not realistic to expect volunteers
to commit the resources to do a job like this well.  Finally, the
results of such an effort, even if it is made, are often questionable
since people at the receiving end of the surveys often don't want
to take the time to fill out the survey, much less really research
into their organizations to determine accurate answers to survey
questions.  So, it's remarkably difficult, if not impossible, to
obtain the answers to many of your questions even if funding to
do such a study was available.

Some of what you propose, however, is doable in an automated fashion,
and you will find that current information will be available soon.
For example, my annual report to DISA includes not only the names
of the organizations involved in accessing the PAL, but counts of
the number of files transferred from the PAL by these organizations.
This report will be out by mid-April.  Previous versions of this
report are available in the PAL itself under the ada/userdocs/activity
directory.  Also in this directory is the raw data from which
the reports are derived and interim, monthly reports.

Also note that the information I present is extremely conservative.
For example, the PAL is a distributed system that currently has two
duplicate sites on wuarchive.wustl.edu and www.cdrom.com (around
2.5G of material) and several partial sites at sw-eng.falls-church.va.us
and in France, Germany, and Belgium.  The reports I created over the
last year documented the activity on the main site, wuarchive, only.
The cdrom site in the past has a level of activity that usually
exceeded that of the main site (the wuarchive site supports about
168 archives, of which the PAL is only two - see reports from
previous years to compare wuarchive with cdrom activity).

So, you raise some good issues that others may be thinking of as
well.  Hope this has placed the reasons why things are the way they
are into more perspective.  So, if you can spring a few $M for a
partial, probably incomplete survey, we may be able to find someone
to do the work (or not, since the number of available jobs exceeds
the available people by such a large amount) ... interesting, eh ;-)

Rick

Michael Book wrote:
>
>     Mr.Conn,your recent message is very interesting and enlighting . However,
>  I do have a  question or two  and/or some comments. Out of all these schools,
>  i.e. colleges and universities and other orgaanizations that have accessed
>  the PAL, I think and indeed believe a more accurate, realistic, meaningful
>  and indeed scientific metric or measure  of  the acceptance of the Ada95
>  programming language     e  would be to determine how many of these
>  educational institutions and other none-profit organizations were and are
>  actively/aggressuvekym persuing, incorporating,evaluating , integrating the
>  Ada95 language into their curriculum and/or their every day work space
>  environment? I know that I, and I am sure everyone else on this list would be
>  interested and curious to know these results. Also how many times and in what
>  capity did these institutions and orgazizations, (especially, the top and
>  most prominent ones) access the PAL?, i.e. in what manner or way , and
>  exactly  what were the cause(s), reason(s) and useage and need for such
>  access to the PAL.? In particular,  exactly what applications were these
>  institutions/organizations involved with at the time which caused or
>  necessitated them to access the PAL? I know that I , and I am sure others
>  would also be interested in these details.
>
>       Thank you.
>
>       Michael Book

--
Richard Conn
mailto:[log in to unmask]                     http://monmouth.com/~conn/
Opinions expressed are my own and not necessarily those of anyone else.

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