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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
"W. Wesley Groleau x4923" <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 17 Dec 1998 13:25:46 -0800
Mark Lundquist <[log in to unmask]>
Mark Lundquist <[log in to unmask]>
Message from "W. Wesley Groleau x4923" <[log in to unmask]> of "Thu, 17 Dec 1998 15:39:09 EST." <[log in to unmask]>
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From:  "W. Wesley Groleau x4923" <[log in to unmask]>

> I can't vouch for the accuracy of the information, but Capers Jones and
> Software Productivity Research believe that Eiffel and perl will have
> higher productivity than Ada.
> They put Ada at 10-20 function points per staff-month
> and perl or Eiffel at 16-23.

That's true... but are you sure that supports the conclusion that Eiffel
and perl provide greater productivity?  I'm not the expert on the
Capers-Jones metrics but as I recall, "function points" aren't to be
interpreted as a measure of potential productivity   They're an
abstract characterization of the "power" of a language, but I would
think that true productivity involves more than just "how high-level" is
the programming language.

Some factors that come to mind:

    * When life-cycle issues dominate

    * When team development issues dominate

    * Project size/scope -- how well does development tend to scale up
      when using language X?

    * Suitability to the task.  As I recall, Visual Basic rates pretty
      high on "function points", but I wouldn't write a compiler or a
      protocol stack using it...

    * To really evaluate productivity I think you would have to evaluate
      languages plus collateral resources such as component libraries,
      e.g. C++/STL, Java/JDK, Ada/whatever (that's just one example, of

I realize you were responding to the "function points" language in the
flyer (but you did say, "higher productivity"! :-)

Actually, I think Tucker should (a) bag the "function points" language,
and (b) bite the bullet and say that productivity is way higher with
Ada, not "at least as high" (what if, say, car dealers said "come on
down and trade that car in for a new Belchfire -- it's _at_least_as_good_
as what you're driving now!").

Mark Lundquist
the usual disclaimer -- I don't speak for Rational, etc., etc.