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Sender: "Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
X-To: Stephen Leake <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2002 03:55:18 +0300
Reply-To: "Alexandre E. Kopilovitch" <[log in to unmask]>
From: "Alexandre E. Kopilovitch" <[log in to unmask]>
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In-Reply-To: <[log in to unmask]>; from Stephen Leake at 09 Dec 2002 08:46:15 -0500
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Stephen Leake <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Software engineers, on the other hand, want a solid, long term solution.

Very good desire... in wide range of cases, but surely not always.
  For example, the first solution for a substantially new problem has little
chance to be solid and long-term (as well as several subsequent ones), so
in such a case there is no reason (usually) to spend resources needed for
"solid, long-term solution". I hope you are aware of that sad phenomenon,
as well as of other similar ones.

>> C++ explicitly provides *leading* paradigm, you are free
>> of burden of choice - note, that this is not a routinely choice -
>> you have to choose a paradigm, and that will lead to many
>> consequences.
>Software engineers prefer choice.

Software engineers as humans have limited capabilites for conscious choice.
If demand for those capabilities exceeds available resources because of huge
uncertainity associated with the problem domain then, regardless of the habits
and preferences, substantial cut is unavoidable.

> The C++ paradigm is good for some problem domains;

Don't forget that C++ inherits from Simula-67, which was designed for general
simulation, which, in turn, covers - well, at least approximately - very large
area of applications.

> Ada is good for more problem domains.

I think yes, but at the expense of resources needed for proper choice of
paradigms, and perhaps, mastering the chosen ones.

>> Why take such a challenge - and
>> responsibility, when you may switch to C++ and rely upon popular and
>> respectable single solution?
>Because the "leading" paradigm may not be the best for your domain.

Well, it may not be the best, but if it is sufficiently good - that's enough,
for most cases.

>And because Software Engineers are paid to think for themselves, not
>just follow the herd.

I don't know about those knighted "Software Engineers", but for ordinary
"software engineers" - are you sure?

>I'm getting the impression that you are saying "we are trying to let
>incompetent software engineers write real programs".

Surely - there are much more programs in production than competent software
engineers. Happily enough, big part of those programs aren't "real". But I
doubt that the correspondence between "real" programs and competent software
engineers is very strong.

>do you believe Ada worse than C++, assuming a competent
>software engineer?

If you mean competence in the problem area then I believe that Ada will be
better than C++ in most cases. But if you mean competence in general SE/CS
only then the situation is problematic.

Alexander Kopilovitch                      [log in to unmask]