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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Andrew Logue <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 31 Jul 2000 21:00:03 -0600
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I've been silently following these recent threads and am going to provide
my opinions ONCE before departing from this list.  (I have made several
unsuccessful attempts to unsubscribe and am hoping that I will be kicked
out for publicly flaming Mr. Spanning)

Richard Conn is correct in his view that Ada needs more public backing
to survive.  The problem is that the general public follows software
TRENDS, and the Ada community tends to frown on trends because they
lack quality software engineering practices.  i.e. Legions of mostly
clueless VB "programmers" and PERL scripters.

It's been proven countless times that Microsoft is a software "groupie",
and does very little to promote sound software engineering practices.
I'm not going to argue this point any further.

However, software trends exist outside of the M$ domain.  I'm talking
about Linux.  In order to survive I think that Ada needs to piggyback
on Linux trends.  There has always been a strong synergy between Ada
and Linux and the Ada community needs to capitalize on this in a big
way.  Recently Linux has made major headway as an alternative OS to
M$ crap.  It is very stable, has a large and generous pool of talent
contributing to it, and is making inroads into the embedded domain
(a domain that Ada excels in).

These pocket PCs and other portable computing devices are going to
become very pervasive in the years to come.  However, the lines
between old-school embedded systems and modern computers are becoming
very blurred.  Sure there will always be a small market for ultra
simple embedded systems in aerospace, defense, etc, but small TRENDY
CONSUMER devices will humble the most advanced desktop system today
in terms of raw computing power.  And to provide the consumer with
all that flashy whiz-bang functionality a full fledged graphical
OS will be required.  This is where a Linux/Ada solution can be
a big hit!

Ada needs corporate backing from some of the "embedded" Linux
companies.  Why not rewrite the Linux kernel in Ada?  There is an
initiative afoot to write a complete OS in Ada.  Why not steer it
towards Linux compatibility so it can run the VAST amount of GPL'd
Linux applications out there?  Hell, why not approach Transmeta with
a Linux/Ada based OS for pocket PCs?  An area where Linux is extremely
lacking is a decent graphics subsystem.  Xwindows is dead.  Hey if
somebody wrote an alternative in Ada I would gladly use and support it,
and I'm sure many other talented software engineers would too.  This is
another idea for a "killer Ada application".

Anyways, I'm starting to ramble, so that's my $0.02.

Embrace change, embrace it with Ada, go forth and conquer.

Andrew Logue
Computing Devices Canada
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