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Richard Conn <[log in to unmask]>
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Richard Conn <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 11 Jul 2000 23:42:50 -0400
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Interesting, Hal ... I did not know it went on so long before.
I was in for just the last 1 1/2 years ... I remember the disappointment
when it was finally released.  Now that your brought it up, I checked
(I note your name on the balloting committee), and you are quite right.
In the foreword, the standard says that the project to produce it was
approved in March 1983, and the final approval date was 11 Dec 1986.
There are over 240 names in the standard under the heading of members of
the Ada as a PDL Working Group and over 250 names on the balloting
committee (at a glance, I don't see much overlap between the two lists).

And there are 4 pages of meat to it!

Richard Conn, Principal Investigator
Reuse Tapestry

-----Original Message-----
From: Hal Hart [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2000 8:40 PM
To: Richard Conn
Subject: Re: Leveraging MicroSoft's Marketing

Richard Conn wrote:

> As a rule, standards (IEEE, ISO, etc) are extreme compromises,
> and, as such, don't necessarily reflect the state of the art or
> push any envelope at all.  Many years ago, I participated in the
> IEEE standards effort on the use of Ada as a Design Language.
> When the effort was started (and the number of participants was small),
> the draft of the standard was large (over 100 pages at one time),
> but, as the effort went on and on and people came and went to the meetings
> (on many meetings, there were sometimes as many as 40% new faces) and
> the flow of thought had to be recaptured, more and more compromises were
> made.  After 1 1/2 years, the work was done.  ...

Wow, Rick, you must have missed the first 5 years or so.  That IEEE activity
started in early 1982 (then NOT called a "standard," but they violated their
rules and jumped over Guideline & Recommended Practice to do a standard).
of us (Jean Sammet at IBM, Judy Kerner at Norden Systems, me at TRW, etc.)
had been doing "Ada PDL's" or "PDL Ada's" prior  were effectively chased out
the IEEE WG mgmt because they didn't want anyone biased by their own
(i.e., they wanted it all based on no experience :-).  I stuck with it maybe
or 3 years before I got frustrated with the inept, dictatorial WG mgmt.  It
a useful "debating society" but was running its course and clearly not going
result in something useful.  However, because of the activity's potential
important impact (IEEE "standards" are cited in Gov't RFPs, and indeed this
was, even before it was approved), we did send someone else (Frank Belz &
others) during later stages as the real writing got underway.  I think even
it was a lot more than 1.5 years from first draft to final approval.  Look
the date on the approved document and see how far it was after that first
meeting in 3/82.   -Hal