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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
"Marceau, David" <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 1 Dec 1999 13:41:59 -0800
Dave Wood <[log in to unmask]>
Dave Wood <[log in to unmask]>
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Deja Vous Productions
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When I was product manager for ObjectAda for Windows
at Aonix, I went down this path.  It must have been
about four or five years ago that I tried to get MS
to consider plugging OA into the Visual Studio (Dev
Studio at the time.)  Among other things, I suggested
that Sun was starting to push this upstart Java
language and MS could kick their legs out from under
them by having a better language solution that
produced the same byte codes, plus they would have
an immediate entre into the real-time and DoD market.
In turn, those markets would give more attention to
Ada if it had MS backing, and so you could have a
self-propelling market phenomenon.  I was really hoping
that this would happen, because I figured the members
of TEAM-Ada would just about wet their pants over this
kind of news.  :)

This turned into an exercise in futility.  For one
thing, the product management at MS is a revolving door.
For another, it's nearly impossible to get the
attention of the strategically savvy people at MS
unless you are throwing money at them, and I mean in
the millions.

Rational has done a good job at getting MS' attention
with shareholder-provided dollars, so in theory they'd
have a better shot at this.  However, Rational's management
seems unlikely to spend any of their MS bandwidth pushing
Ada because they have what they think are better fish to
fry.  Anyway, ObjectAda is generally the better product
and better fit, if that counts for anything.

By the way, IMHO Stanley Allen's post on the subject of
the state of Ada is absolutely dead-on accurate and
correct.  Hope for improving the lot of Ada depends on
its proponents understanding the truth of what he said,
and building strategies accordingly.

A last suggestion: don't look to the "major" Ada vendors
for leadership on this.  They're full of good people, but
hindered by management with different strategic motivations.

-- Dave Wood
(No longer in the Ada business, but sympathetic to the cause.)

> "Marceau, David" wrote:
> Not to disrespect any efforts made by any ada compilor vendors,
> I think it would be a good contribution to society if MS actually I
> did a MS Visual Ada as part of their MS Visual Studio.  In the MS wish
> list email somewhere on their site I asked for MS Visual Ada.  They
> never got back.  I guess they lost my email:)  It would be quite easy
> for them.  MS could buy out all the ada compiler vendors and then
> integrate them into Visual Studio.  One big problem...they're not into
> open source.  If this were not for real and it were just for fun, then
> we could think up a diversion for MS Lawyers & Mr. Bill, get them
> drunk or something and then have them sign a GNU copyleft for all
> Microsoft intellectual property :)
> (MS analogy to the papacy)
> (halloween papers)
> --
> Santé bonheur!
> David Marceau
> Analyst/Programmer - Firepower Systems
> Land Software Engineering Centre - DND Canada
> [log in to unmask]
> 613.995.1126
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [log in to unmask]
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 1999 2:45 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: What the competition looks like
> Rick,
> You mentioned that you had some contact with Microsoft.  Do you know
> any "Ada
> aware" people who work for Microsoft and might be in a position to
> consider
> including Ada as one of the languages in Visual Studio?
> This is probably a silly, hypothetical question but I think Microsoft
> has
> finally been forced to notice that they have a poor reputation with
> regard to
> software reliability.  If someone of influence within Microsoft could
> be
> convinced that using Ada would help them produce less defective
> software then
> maybe some of Microsoft's own money would be spent promoting Ada.
> They would surely get some good press in the Wall Street Journal if
> they
> announced they were developing the next version of Windows using the
> same
> "safety-critical" language as the Boeing 777 commercial aircraft.
> OK, back to reality now...
> F. Britt Snodgrass