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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Jeff Burns <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 25 Nov 1998 12:56:00 -0500
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Jeff Burns <[log in to unmask]>
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The DOD's stated strategy these days is to focus limited resources to be able
to sustain two major wars at the same time.  Ada positioning should be
focussed likewise.  We don't have the resources to take on C and C++, etc. on
all fronts all the time.  We can make more progress through a single strong
over arching position from which the other fronts can be chipped away at.
On the basis of the tagline and slogan suggestions, I'm not clear what the
intended position is for Ada.  It's just "better" at everything, but that's
gonna be a hard sell to make to people who already believe in the other
languages they're currently using.

If you could have non-Ada software engineers and program managers think of
just one thing when they think of Ada what would that one thing be?  What do
you think that one thing is now?

This is what market positioning is about.  You try to establish or fill a
market position where there ain't nobody yet or where you are clearly so much
better than whatever else is there.  Ada has several unique qualities, but
what position can it take in the market place? Look for the opening.

Ada may be better at real time, but C is the major player there and well
established. It's an uphill battle to establish Ada as better than C for real

In distributed systems isn't CORBA the standard for distributed objects and
C++ the most established language?  Again, I'm not saying Ada isn't better,
I'm just looking at this from a marketing viewpoint.  C++ is strongly
positioned in distributed systems and will be tough to budge.

Ada can take on these markets, but it needs to do so from a position of
strength.  And that's why I think Ada's best shot is to be thought of as the
safety critical language.  IMHO, Ada has the most credible position carved out
and compelling stories to tell through its extensive use in safety-critical
DOD apps, as well as apps for nuclear plants, commercial aircraft, trains,

Note that positioning is not the same as themes or slogans or tag lines.
Those are supportive promotional elements for specific uses that should all
reinforce the position you want to establish.

One merry marketeer's opinion, fwiw.  I opened my mouth because it looked to
me like implementations were being proposed without an underlying strategy.
If this is too nit-picky, let me know and I'll go back to lurking ;-).


Jeff Burns, Director of Marketing
GrammaTech, Inc.
One Hopkins Place
Ithaca, NY  14850
ph: 607-273-7340
fax: 607-273-8752
e-mail:  [log in to unmask]

-----Original Message-----
From: Hal Hart <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tuesday, November 24, 1998 2:41 PM
Subject: Re: Ada market viability

>Jeff Burns (GrammaTech) wrote:
>>As a marketeer, I think that "Safety Critical" is Ada's strongest possible
>>position in the market and this should be stated explicitly in the tag line.
>>Safety critical is a compelling and justifiable position relative to other
>>languages that Ada is uniquely qualified to fill.
>Realize that at least the following 4 attributes are being hailed as
>"unique" qualifications of Ada (and there could be others with strong
>claims to uniqueness, including "large,", "complex," & "software
>engineered," although these are pretty much orthogonal to the list of 4):
> - safety critical
> - reliable
> - real-time
> - distributed
>I think our Ada-promotion strategy should recognize and advocate Ada's
>strengths when any of these are important.
>As Jeff points out, the first two correlate well, but the other attributes
>are relatively independent, standing on their own as Ada advantages even if
>the others don't matter to a particular application.
>As a note, the SIGAda'99 conference theme (Tucker Taft & Franco Gasperoni,
>PC Co-Chairs) is going with "real-time" and "distributed" to sharpen
>(narrow) the focus in the conference to areas perceived to be Ada's unique
>strengths, an intention shift from previous all-comers themes.  (And Ada
>Europe's conference theme  is always about "reliable software
>technologies," naturally bringing in "safety critical.")
>   --hh