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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Sat, 8 Mar 1997 12:57:07 +1000
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Shayne Flint <[log in to unmask]>
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Ainslie Software Pty Limited
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For a long time (more than a decade) I beleived that a mandate was
stupid (all the normal reasons, but mainly because we never had one in
Australia, yet we used a lot of Ada).

In my previous post to TEAM-ADA, I outlined my view on the state of the
software industry. In summary - the wider industry has gone backwards -
they are still dealing with language issues that we (the Ada
community)solved 15-20 years ago.

The wider industry simply cannot be trusted to pick the best approach
for the job. They will always go with the language of the day first and
will ignore the bigger software engineering issues. They will ignore
facts, metrics, and everything else they don't like, so that they can
use the latest and greatest - that is the nature of our industry.

The Ada community, however, has generaly ignored the language issue (Ada
was accepted - full stop - end of story) and has contirbuted more to
software engineering issues (CM, process etc.) than to Ada during the
past 15 years (Ada didn't need a whole lot more effort). This has
resulted in better software for the Dod, aircraft manufacturers etc.

With a wider industry still dealing with language and not much else, we
NEED a mandate where it makes sense (eg. war fighting software) because
the industry is not mature (smart??) enough to make sound decisions on
its own.

THIS IS VERY VERY SAD AFTER 20 YEARS - BUT IT IS TRUE.

PS. What really worries me is that the probable decline in support for
Ada from vendors will make it difficult for developers of life critical
software (eg. aircraft!!) to continue with Ada. The last thing I want to
do is fly into LAX on an aircraft running on C++ and under the control
of an ATC system written in C++. My brother flys 767's for a living and
often tells me of bugs in the systems (and some of it is in Ada - what
if it was in C++??).

I also don't look forward to rebooting my in-seat entertainment
continuously throughout a 14hr flight (for that matter I would like a
word processor that works too!!!)

bye..
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-- Shayne Flint
-- Ainslie Software Pty Limited               Use Ada.... NOW!
-- [log in to unmask]
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