Mmmmm....Ada has a very long history that goes back much further than 2003. Ada 83 was standardized as an ANSI
standard in 1983. It then became an ISO standard in 1987. In 1990, the revision and up-dating of the ISO Ada
standard was started. In 1995, the new standard was approved as an ISO/ANSI standard. Work continues on
improving and updating the technical content of the Ada programming language. A Technical Corrigendum to Ada 95
was published in October 2001. Presently, more work is being done to produce an Addendum to Ada 95 expected in
Drop me an email if you would like a bit more about the use of Ada today.
And for the rest of the story ...
History of the Ada Programming Language
In a cost study done in 1973-1974 it was determined that the US Department of Defense was spending $3 billion
annually on software, over half on embedded computer systems.
The Higher Order Language Working Group (HOLWG) was formed in January 1975 with William Whitaker as chair.
In April 1975 the initial language requirements were compiled in a document known as Strawman.
Based on the response, revised requirements, Woodenman, August 1975, and Tinman, January 1976 were created.
The HOLWG evaluated 23 existing languages against the Tinman requirements:
FORTRAN, COBOL, PL/I, HAL/S, TACPOL, CMS-2, CS-4, SPL/I, JOVIAL J3, JOVIAL J73, ALGOL 60, ALGOL 68,
CORAL 66, Pascal, SUMULA 67, LIS, LTR, TRL/2, EUCLID, PDL2, PEARL, MORAL, EL/I
concluding in January 1977 that none were suitable, though Pascal, ALGOL 68 or PL/I would be a good starting point.
The ideal language specification, Ironman, appeared in January 1977.
Request for proposals were issued April 1977; 17 proposals received. Four contractors were picked to produce
Cii Honeywell Bull led by Jean Ichbiah (green)
Intermetrics led by Benjamin M. Brosgol (red)
SofTech led by John Goodenough (blue)
SRI International led by Jay Spitzen (yellow)
The revised Ironman requirements were published in SIGPLAN, December 1977.
The Red and Green languages were chosen finalists in April 1978 after an extensive, public review.
The final language requirements, Steelman, appeared in June 1978.
Cii Honeywell Bull (green) chosen the winner in May 1979.
The Ada design team was led by Jean D. Ichbiah and has included Berned Krieg-Bruechner, Brain A. Wichmann, Henry
F. Ledgard, Jean-Cluade Heliard, Jean-Loup Gailly, Jean-Ryanmond Abrial, John G. P. Barnes, Mike Woodger, Olivier
Roubine, Paul N. Hilfinger, and Robert Firth.
This language definition was devloped by Cii Honeywell Bull and later Alsys, and by Honeywell Systems and Research
Center, under contract to the United States Department of Defense.
The language, known only as DoD-1 up to that point, was given the name Ada in May 1979.
Reference manual, Military Standard 1815, first published July 1980, approved 10 December 1980. [August Ada Bryon
was born 10 December 1815.]
HOLWG dissolved and replaced by Ada Joint Program Office (AJPO) charted 12 December 1980
Proposed as an ANSI standard and submitted for public review between April and October 1981. The reference manual
was revised as a result of the ANSI review.
Reference manual, Military Standard 1815A, January 1983, and ANSI standard February 1983. (ISO standard 8652 in
The Ada/Ed implementation of the language was validated in April 1983.
AJPO established the Ada 9X Project in July 1988 to revise the Ada programming language.
The revision requirements document produced by the "requirements team," December 1990
Intermetrics, Inc. was the prime contractor for the "mapping/revision team" for the new Ada 9X standard. S. Tucker Taft
served as Technical Director.
Ada95, a joint ISO and ANSI standard, accepted in February 1995.
Technical Corrigendum to Ada 95 published in October 2001.
Addendum to Ada 95 expected in 2005.
Joyce L Tokar
PO Box 1352
Phoenix, AZ 85001-1352
On Thu, 10 Jun 2004 14:39:57 -0400, John Gilchrist wrote:
>I've visited several Ada FAQ web sites, but so far have not seen an answer
>to my question below:
>Years ago I took a course at the Defense Systems Management College, which
>included a presentation on Ada. I vaguely recall a slide that indicated
>"In 1995? when Ada was initiated DoD was the customer for 60%? of the
>software [Information Technology] market at that time." [ACM - please
>This is in stark contrast to a statement I heard ~2002 that "DoD, while
>Microsoft's largest single customer, represented less than 1% of Microsoft's
>sales." [I can verify this through the DoD CIO's office.]
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