In the May 2005 issue of Dr Dobbs magazine, the "embedded space"
column by Ed Nisley has a brutal dismissal of Ada:
the entire cadre of Ada programmers is reaching retirement age
with no replacements on tap.
You can access the article at
http://www.ddj.com/documents/s=9698/ddj0505p/0505p.html - you'll have
to pay and/or register if you are not a subscriber.
I sent this letter to the editor:
In "Reliability: The Hard and the Soft", in the May 2005 issue, Ed
Nisley dismisses Ada for DO-178B applications, saying "the entire
cadre of Ada programmers is reaching retirement age with no
replacements on tap". I'm surprised that Ed is propagating this
For one example, I'm not "nearing retirement age", and I've got
two young engineers on my team, happily learning Ada and hard
real-time programming. The AdaCore Academic Initiative
(http://www.adacore.com/academic_members.php) has over 70 member
universities, all training new Ada programmers. The Ada 2006
standard will be released next year, adding Java-style interfaces
to the language, along with other significant improvements. Many
Ada vendors are making money and growing; see
http://www.adaic.com/index.html for current information on the
state of the Ada industry.
The SPARK (http://www.praxis-his.com/sparkada/) subset of Ada is
directly targeted to high-integrity systems, and is growing in
popularity; several tool vendors are incorporating it (for
example, ILogix - see
Dr Dobbs has always been good at helping programmers learn which
tools are appropriate for their job. Ada is clearly a good tool
for DO-178B applications, as well as many other applications. To
dismiss Ada in this way is a disservice to your readers, and
ultimately to the people who will be using the systems built by
It would help if other Dr Dobbs subscribers wrote in as well.