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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
David Fisher <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 6 Apr 1998 08:15:12 -0700
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"Martin C. Carlisle" <[log in to unmask]>
US Air Force Academy
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> When we looked around our area for educational resources, and I do not mean
> necessarily free ones, we were laughed at by the many local universities (this
> is not hyperbole, either; we actually were laughed at by the head of one CS
> department when we mentioned Ada). The nearest school that uses Ada, a
> division of the State University of New York located about as far from here as
> one can get and still be in New York, never responded to our enquiries.

If you are interested in educational resources, you might look at, which includes Ada tutorials, etc.  Also, there are
several conferences (ASEET and SIGAda among them) where you can go to
tutorials on using Ada.  [log in to unmask] is another resource
for unsupported users of GNAT to provide assistance to one another.
See also, which has several tutorials.

> What's my point? One that both the Linux and Ada 95 communities might benefit
> from considering. MS and Borland achieved success by peddling usable languages
> and OSes at very low prices. These languages and OSes, for all their
> imperfections, are usable. MS IDEs, such as the one that we use in VC v1.5,
> are user-friendly and almost intuitive once one gets a little way up the
> learning curve. Their OSes are almost usable right out of the box. Can you
> imagine buying Windows NT and being told that you now have to recompile the
> kernel in order to get your network card to work? Or being told that you are
> free to use the $99 language compiler, providing that you first agree to a
> $1,000 a month support contract?

The distinction between support and cost of a product mentioned by
others is quite apt.  There are several IDEs available for Ada,
including GRASP (from Auburn University) and AdaGIDE (from yours
truly at the US Air Force Academy).  I think you will find both of
these to be quite simple to use.  I answer all emails I get regarding
AdaGIDE questions (which b/c of its ease of use is quite small!).

> In short, make the product useful to the end-user and usable with little
> difficulty and aggravation, and your language, Ada 95 or whatever, will be
> accepted. Otherwise, you'll be like the Edsel product manager, wringing his
> hands in Detroit, demanding that the public buy his marvellous automobile.

I agree, but I think the Ada community is doing a lot in this regard.
Perhaps it is time to take another look!

Martin C. Carlisle, Asst Prof of Comp Sci,
US Air Force Academy, [log in to unmask]

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