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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Dan Baysinger <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 4 Jun 2000 11:25:23 -0700
AdaWorks <[log in to unmask]>
AdaWorks <[log in to unmask]>
TEXT/PLAIN (47 lines)
On Thu, 1 Jun 2000, Dan Baysinger wrote:

> Richard,
> I've been a software developer with Boeing for over 20 years, more than
> half of that as an embedded systems developer primarily using Ada.
> Where did you get the idea that Boeing was "committed" to Ada?  Like
> most other companies, Boeing only talks about being "committed" to Ada.
> I'm sure that you know the project that I am now on (you taught class at
> Tinker AFB for it).  I spent more than six months hammering away at
> senior programming staff members in Seattle to keep them from writing
> our executive in C, "because you cannot write and exec in Ada" (direct
> quote).  Some of us at Boeing are committed to Ada, but I have a hard
> time believing that the company is.
> Dan Baysinger


I plead guilty to hyperbole.  At present, Boeing gives the impression
of being more committed to Ada than the other big defense company.  That
might not be saying much, but it is, as that saying goes in your part
of the country, "... better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick."

I had the sense of a very positive reception to the Ada I presented to
your site. Whenever I have been there, your colleagues, even those not
officially enrolled in my class, have come to me with good questions
and lots of encouraging attitudes toward the work they are doing in Ada.
Of course, I am not so blind to have noticed that quite a few are tolerating
Ada rather than frolicking in irrepressible joy with her.

I do appreciate your frustration.  As one of those with a deeper
understanding of Ada than most at your site, you can continue to
contribute at both the industry level (in this forum, for example)
and within your organization.  This is the purpose of my original
post:  to reinvigorate the evangelism neeeded to persuade those
making decisions that those decision need to be made on the basis
of more rational criteria.  When it comes to national defense, it
is irresponsible to choose a software product, software tool, or
software development language on the basis of its popularity. Going
to war on C++ is like telling an star athelete that the best diet
before competing in an Olympic event is McDonald's french fries,
a diet coke, and a Big Mac.  Choosing C++ over Ada for weapon systems
development is just that absurd.

Richard Riehle