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Chris Sparks <[log in to unmask]>
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Chris Sparks <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 17 Apr 1998 08:35:59 -0700
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Martin C. Carlisle wrote:

> Believe it or not, even at the US Air Force Academy, someone
> suggested just this week that we replace Ada with Java in our
> curriculum.  I had a fit (moderate overstatement).  Nonetheless, I
> told the Colonel (department head), "Whatever you think we need that
> Java has, I will deliver it by next fall."  I think they were
> surprised I could make such a bold claim.  In reality, I doubt that
> I'll end up having to do any additional work at all.

I am always amazed at the stereotypical thought processes of those
in charge (Military or not).  It only goes to show that we humans like
to be dazzled by igorance instead of being enlightened by facts!

> Right now, at Mike Feldman's suggestion, I am developing a
> cross-platform Ada Graphical User Interface Design Tool based on the
> TASH binding.  Since I'm working on DoD time, this software is
> completely free.

This interests me since I was going in the same direction.  I have
done/am doing (you know how that goes!) a widget implementation that
is strickly dependent on X windows and no window managers (Motif, etal).
I wanted to avoid any Motif licensing snafus.

> Seems to me a good first step is to identify what functionality we
> are lacking, then see if it can be leveraged from somewhere else (as
> in my case Tcl/Tk), and then go for it!  A posting here might be able

I agree.  Someone(s) need to sit down and figure out what "package"s
(pun intended) need to be available that will meet the needs of any
programmer (Editors, compilers, blah, blah, blah).  In sort of a pot
luck fashion, find volunteers who will sign up to doing new items.

Hopefully all of our efforts can be "generic" (pun intended) such that
minimal/no impacts can be expected when porting to different OSes, etc.

Maybe to start this ball rolling people can send me what components
they would like to see and which ones they liked and where they where.
I think we should stick with items that are freely usable since any
royalties would inhibit the process.  I also don't want to inhibit
those who want to make money off of programs written which use these
"free" components.  I think this "good will" gesture will provide an
avenue of contributions to the "effort".  Or maybe even better, we
can have licensing that allows for technology sharing.  A great way
to fill our base of resuable components.  Just thinking aloud here.

I'll keep a running list (posted on my web site).  Maybe I can do
some scheduling and time-to-complete estimates for those who may want
to sign up for components.  What I think we need is to run this effort
like a project, with someone setting up the tasks and delegating the
work (or volunteer's can select what they want to do).

I will take any suggestions, big or small.  Be as specific as possible
with new suggestions.  I'll try to break down the effort as best as I
can to facilitate its creation.

> to generate some volunteers (esp. if there were $$, but perhaps even
> without).

Money always helps since it forces commitment on the developer.  Of
course money is a commodity that doesn't come easily.  The more "free"
the effort the more control we can have over the product we develop.
I don't want to get tangled in some legal mumbo jumbo.  The government
would probably be a good source of $$ since everything that is done
will be made freely available.

Any comments will be accepted.


Chris Sparks