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Jerry van Dijk <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Sat, 25 Oct 1997 13:02:10 MET
text/plain (66 lines)
In message  <[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask] writes:

> Well, certainly Ada is _on the right track_ for the answer, but
> unfortunately the Ada community - in my observation - does not have
> the cohesiveness or the will or the resources to get us far enough
> along the track to where we are viable competition to (say) Java.

For example, Mike mentioned the lack of a money type, but what
makes him think this is relevant for the financial sector ? Far
more important would be standard bindings to CICS, DB2, Oracle,
LU2 type communication libraries, etc.

This brings us back to the old problem: no market for such
products, companies therefor do not support Ada, therefor Ada
is not used, therefor there is no market.

As you may know the company I work for, Ordina, has used Ada in
the past, and our embedded systems company (HighTech Automation)
still does.

A few weeks ago I got a team of several of our companies (Ordina
Finance (sector knowledge), Software Refinery Automation (scanning
and updating COBOL and PL/I for Y2K and Euro) and Utopics
(application generation technology) together to see if we could
offer a service to automatically generate Ada Bindings to large
(ie 5 million SLOC or more) bodies of COBOL legacy code. Possibly
translating COBOL to Ada too (focussing on both transactional,
OLAP and infrastructural code)

The answer: yes, we could do this. Yes, our experience with these
kinds of technologies leads us to believe we could do it

Will we offer this service ? No, not until I can find enough real
customers with real money to convince by boss to approve the
nessecary investments.

Will this happen ? I do not think so. Three examples:

a) the Ada community is not interested in this market.
   I wrote a short presentation about Ada's advantages
   for the financial world. Not a single Ada conference
   or seminar has been interested in it. 'The people
   who go to our meetings are not really interested in it'.

b) One hot item in Europe is the introduction of the Euro. IBM
   already announced -privately- how they propose to integrate the
   euro money symbol. I asked several Ada related vendors if they
   would be able to follow this. Result: zero replies.

c) A few month back I reviewed an Ada course explicitly targeted at
   the financial world, however it was clearly written without much
   idea of what problems we engineers face here, and how Ada might
   help, instead trying to convince people that Ada is somehow
   better then some 3.5 GL (VB, PowerBuilder, Centura, Delphi,
   etc.) which is totally beside the point.

As far as I am concerned I am now resigning to the fact that the Ada
community in reality is satisfied with sticking to its well-known
niche in the DoD related embedded systems market until it gets
swept away by the C-like languages.

-- Jerry van Dijk | Leiden, Holland
-- Consultant     | Team Ada
-- Ordina Finance | [log in to unmask]