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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Thu, 15 Jun 2000 10:30:20 -0400
Reply-To:
"David J.A. Koogler" <[log in to unmask]>
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Boolean Solutions, Ltd.
From:
"David J.A. Koogler" <[log in to unmask]>
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Peter's observations prove my point: Why would Ada's designers
incorporate so many features from COBOL when these features do not
appear in more mainstream languages? The designer's studied a wide
variety of languages, some popular some not, and choose the best
features of each. How could they have done this unless they had
exposure to these other languages? Broad experience gives a basis
for innovation.

Ada's incorporation of so many COBOL features means it is one of the
few languages that can replace COBOL for financial applications. It is
very difficult to write an accounting package that requires exact
results on large numbers when all you have is floating-point. Ada's
decimal fixed-point solves the problem nicely, shifting all of the
scaling problems to the compiler. C/C++ programmers either have to
implement their own fixed-point mechanism, or use floating-point. Most
choose floating-point and their calculations suffer round-off errors.
It is always funny watching a C/C++ team defend their implementation
when the auditors discover the discrepencies. Its takes lots of special
code to avoid the round-off errors, something most C/C++ programmers
seldom implement.

> > or give a report writing mechanism?
> please explain (us) in short words.

Ada.Text_IO mimics many of the features of the COBOL report writer,
such as page breaks, header and footer lines, column alignment and
so forth. The idea behind the report writer is that you can layout
a report format and let the compiler handle the details of putting
the data into the report later on in the computation step.

The COBOL report writer has been the inspiration behind many of
today's reporting writing tools such as Crystal Reports, R&R
Report Writer, and Oracle's SQL/R.

Dave Koogler
Boolean Solutions, Ltd.

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