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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Tucker Taft <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 6 Nov 1996 10:57:51 -0500
Tucker Taft <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (66 lines)
> Ken Garlington wrote:
>         [snip]
> > By the way, I was stunned to see that the November 4 issue of Aviation Week
> > and Space Technology already has an article on the Ada study. The punchline of
> > the article: "The report said that the Defense Dept. should either provide
> > that support [$15M/yr] or drop the Ada requirement entirely."  Given the
> > current budget situation, I'd say that decision has already been made...
> Teamers, this really, really pisses me off.  The front page of the
> report has a sticker that prohibits public release of the report
> prior to 1NOV96.  There is no way that restriction was complied with
> if it made it into the 4NOV96 issue of Aviation Week.

It is normal NRC procedure to release documents to the press
in advance of their public release, but with the caveat that
the press not publish the results until the date of the public release.

> ... I don't think
> I'm being paranoid in feeling that there is a very well coordinated
> effort to make this whole endeavor as damaging as possible to the use
> of Ada in the DoD.

I can't imagine who could be coordinating this effort.  The NRC has
no stake in Ada, and most of the committee members, including its chair,
Barry Boehm, are strong believers in the advantages of Ada.

As far as the "negative" comments on Ada, I believe the one cited a few
times by Mike was this one:

   "Virtually no chance for Ada to achieve a commercial lead."
     (from a box on page 18 of the prepublication copy).

In the original DoD plan for Ada, there was a hope that Ada would become
a leading commercial language, if the DoD could just "kick start" the
market.  The committee's belief was that the DoD could no longer rely
on that happening.  Ada is crusing along at about 2-5% of the overall
market now, and the committee felt it unlikely that that would change
substantially.  On the other hand, in the market for high-assurance,
real-time systems, Ada has a bigger market share.  However, that is
a substantially smaller market overall, and DoD is itself a major
player there.  Hence, the DoD needs to continue to invest in Ada
technology, because the market in which Ada has done well is not
sufficiently large to ensure that DoD's Ada needs will get sufficient
support as fortuitous side-effects of commercial investments.

One of the conclusions of the committee was that some of the original
criteria for "success" of the Ada policy were no longer realistic.
The committee felt that Ada provided a number of advantages to the
DoD even if Ada did *not* become a leading commercial language,
provided it continued to be a significant player and technical leader
in the high-assurance, real-time arena.  If Ada becomes a big success
in the wider commercial marketplace, so much the better.  But the DoD
Ada investment policy should not be based on that happening.

> ...
>      Ralph E. Crafts, Vice President            Voice:  703-359-9709
>      Sales & Marketing                          FAX:    703-359-8161
>      OC Systems, Inc.                           E-mail:  [log in to unmask]
>      9990 Lee Highway                                   [log in to unmask]
>      Suite 270                          
>      Fairfax, VA  22030

-Tucker Taft  [log in to unmask]