Here's what I wrote back to ada-first.
> From [log in to unmask] Sat Mar 25 13:24:27 2000
> From: Michael Feldman <[log in to unmask]>
> Message-Id: <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: A defense move in the language wars
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2000 13:24:26 -0500 (EST)
> Cc: [log in to unmask] (Michael Feldman)
> In-Reply-To: <[log in to unmask]> from "Murray Kirch" at Mar 25, 2000 08:13:38 AM
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> Murray et al,
> > This has, at least for a short time, brought about a lull in our local
> > language wars. However, our side could use some reinforcements. If any
> > Ada enthusiasts out there would like to move to the sunny seashore of
> > southern New Jersey contact me. We are hiring now.
> > --Murray Kirch
> > [log in to unmask]
> This is a very useful set of correspondence. I'd like to add a few
> bits to the discussion.
> (1) At GW we have started to do a systematic survey of our seniors,
> who have the perspective of the whole curriculum to look back on.
> The survey has about 15 questions, most to be answered along the
> well-known "strongly agree" to "strongly disagree" scale.
> The questions range from general ("This program prepared me well
> for industry or grad school") to the more specific.
> One of the questions in this survey is "Of the programming languages
> I have learned, Ada is a good choice of first language."
> We developed the question very carefully to be as neutral as we
> could. Since the students learn Ada, C, C++, and Java at various
> points in the curriculum, the point was to assess their view of
> Ada as the _first_ (not the only!) language.
> We're still tabulating the results, but it looks like the majority
> will be more toward the positive than toward the negative. Last year
> there was no formal survey, just an in-class discussion, and the
> results favored Ada even more strongly. Even 3 years later, the
> students remembered the help they got from the language and from
> GNAT in their first programming experience. With the perspective
> they got from learning multiple languages, they appreciate Ada.
> (2) In my intro course, I've started requiring, in one of the lab
> assignments, each student to cruise the Ada project web site at
> and write a 25-word summary for each of 4 nonmilitary and 1 military
> projects they find there. Any student (or faculty) who thinks Ada is
> just for DoD obviously has not looked at that list.
> I've spent a LOT of time assembling the info in that list, relying
> on a lot of sources in the community (including many confidential
> sources who pointed me to websites); I hope it will get wide use,
> as I intended it to serve as just the ammo we all need.
> (3) In April we will have a very cool demo of the Air Traffic Management
> (ATM) system, given by a team from Lockheed-Martin which is doing a lot
> of the FAA and international ATM systems these days. (This is the
> former IBM devision that was sold to Loral and thence to L-M.)
> This will be a guest lecture in my intro course, which meets in
> a room large enough that the ACM and IEEE student chapters are
> co-sponsoring the event.
> The publicity will not mention Ada, but the talk certainly will!
> This group at Lockheed-Martin has hired several of our students
> already, either after graduation or as co-ops.
> Not all "Ada schools" are in locations where Ada work is being
> done, but many are. I think the best ammo is to get people from
> those companies to come in and talk to the students.
> I used to be less "evangelical" within GW, mostly because I did
> not want to be seen as grinding an ax. But I think the evangelism
> (4) In preparation for the SIGAda booth at the recent SIGCSE conference,
> I made up a prototype set of posters showing very crisply that Ada
> is used in very interesting places. You are welcome to use these
> if you wish, but keep in mind that some of the photos are under
> copyright and we haven't finished getting permission. So don't
> spread a lot of copies around and don't re-post them on the web.
> The URL below is not yet linked to anything; I want to keep it
> quiet until we have all the go-aheads, so please do NOT link it
> from any other pages yet. Treat these as a draft.
> I have copies hanging on the wall outside my office.
> Suggestions welcome!
> Mike Feldman