Well, I suppose it is time for me to add my two-cents.
I like most of what I see in the ideas for the ARA flyer. The emphasis
on safety-critical is a good place to start. I also agree that we need
some way to reach the rest of the software development community.
Most important is that someone is doing something. Several team members
lamented that this should have been done when Ada 95 first appeared. Better
late than never.
Some, thankfully not all, of our clients are abandoning Ada for non-technical
reasons. I sit in a meeting with some software development managers and hear
them say, "Ada probably is a better language than xxxx, but it does not
seem to have any future. We cannot easily find programmers, we are concerned
about long-term support, and we don't see good tools for development and
debugging." One client representative assured me that they would be using
Ada for a long time just as they still have projects coded in Jovial. But
they would start all new development, safety-critical software development,
in C++ because they had a greater guarantee of long-term support and
Why am I saying this? Everyone has heard it before.
The "Choose Ada" flyer is an important first step. It will require a lot of
follow-up. This means that we cannot simply issue a flyer and be done
with it. We need a concerted effort, a well-planned publicity campaign,
that includes press releases, short articles in key publications, continued
support of Ads such as those that Aonix has been placing, a speaker's
bureau with slide shows that anyone in the speaker's bureau can use,
more representation at non-Ada software developer shows and conferences,
support for the excellent work of Richard Conn and his colleagues in
providing downloadable Ada resources, and on and on.
When David started Team-Ada, he had such a vision. This ListServ was
intended as a seedbed from which we could transplant ideas into the
software community at large. I am happy to see so much interest in
the "Choose Ada" flyer. Let's see whether, once we plant that within
the software community, we can cultivate it, provide continued
nourishment for it, find ways to help it grow.
To carry the analogy to an extreme, there is a lot of fertile soil for
good ideas about software development. Much of that soil is made more
fertile by the rotting compost of C and C++ code. It is that fertile
soil that helped Java to sprout. Let's make sure that "Choose Ada" is
not like a bag of seed that never gets planted.
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