This is my last day for commenting for a couple of weeks, and
since I started this, I guess I should respond while I can.
On Wed, 17 Nov 1999, W. Wesley Groleau x4923 wrote:
> Rational's products are not all "chewing gum and baling wire." True,
> they do have a very good debugger, but some of them do a lot to help
> programs be less poorly designed.
Rational has some excellent tools. I like a lot of their products.
A couple of our clients find the real-time features of their Ada
compiler to be better than that in some competing products, at
least, better for what they are doing. I have no reason to disparage
the quality of Rational's products.
Although they got off to a slow start with their Ada 95 offering, the
resulting Apex development environment is looking pretty good.
> There are people who think that Ada is "doomed." Let's just try
> to look through their eyes for a moment.
I don't think Ada is doomed, in the usual sense of that word. We do have
large clients who were formerly users of Ada that have abandoned it in
favor of C++. The reasons for abandoning it are rarely related to the
technology. Instead, we hear complaints about support, debbugers, tools
for development, availability of programmers -- complaints about every
conceivable thing except Ada itself. Sometimes a client will admit that
they really like Ada but see it as not viable in their market. One VP
even admitted that Ada is probably better than C++, "but we really have
not choice since it is fading away."
His perception, wrong or right, was his perception.
> Some possibilities:
> 1. Promote Java. Hey, we know Ada is a lot better, but if Ada can't win,
> Java is certainly the lesser of two evils, right? And while you're
> teaching Java, you can subtly raise the awareness of Better Ways...
I got negative reviews in a C++ class I was teaching for too often
comparing C++ to Ada. Lots of people just don't want to hear it.
> I've not given up on Ada myself (yet), but if supporting Ada is a war,
> let's try not to shoot parties who seem to be neutral or less dedicated
> than we are.
Frankly, the war that worries me most is the one where one of my nephews,
engaged in real combat, is relying on a weapon system developed in C++
running on some Microsoft operating system. I find that really scary.
We are not building toys. People can get killed by this stuff. I want
us to be building the most reliable tools we can where national security
and personnel safety is involved. C++ is really the wrong choice, but
it is a choice we must accept as a reality.
If we must build warfighting software in C++, we still have the
responsibility for doing what we can to ensure it is as reliable
as possible. Many of Rational's tools are designed to enhance the
reliability of C++ software. They do this well.