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Ken Garlington <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 11 Nov 1996 17:32:17 +0000
text/plain (46 lines)
Tucker Taft wrote:
>
> >   ... Nevertheless, I still believe the recommendation to
> >   abandon the Ada policy is just plain wrong.
>
> I'm surprised you equate "narrow the mandate to focus on
> warfighting systems, and fix the waiver process" with "abandon the
> Ada policy."  The bulk of the Ada code in the DoD is in the warfighting
> domain.

I suspect that, if this new policy is put into effect, that this number will
shrink dramatically. To be specific, the people who used to avoid using Ada, and
then complain that the "waiver process is broke" when they were forced to do so
by existing DoD policy, will now not use Ada because their software is suddenly
in both the warfighting and commercial domain. Why not? Most future software
under acquisition reform will be using commercial development processes, after
all. We used to get stupid waiver requests; now we will get stupid definitions of
"commercial" software. The latter, of course, will probably not be subject to the
same standard of proof as the former.

> In fact, the NRC recommendations are an attempt to balance the
> realities of the modern software world with the DoD's special
> requirements in certain domains.  In these domains, DoD should
> be expected to lead; in other domains, where the DoD requirements more
> nearly match those of multinational corporations, the DoD should be prepared
> to learn what they can from the best commercial practices of such
> corporations, without necessarily creating an arbitrary impediment to
> technology sharing.  Ada might still be the best choice for a particular
> project in these other domains, but a mandate to use Ada for all 3GL
> development in these domains is not justified, given the overriding
> requirement that the DoD capitalize on commercial technology in
> these domains of commonality.

This certainly sounds reasonable, if interpreted honestly. What in the very
latest DoD policy directives contradicts this now? In other words, what wording
changes in 3405.1, etc. would be required for this to be one of the standards for
requesting/receiving an Ada waiver? Is this addressed in the final report?

(P.S. Lest I be accused of "flaming," let me point out that I'm just giving my
idea of how the NRC report will be misused. I don't have any bright ideas on how
the report itself could have been improved...)

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