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Team Ada: Ada Programming Language Advocacy


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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
"Kester, Rush W." <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 20 Apr 2000 12:55:01 -0400
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"Kester, Rush W." <[log in to unmask]>
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The following is Bill Poucher's response to my query about Ada's status in
ACM's International Programming Contest.

IMO, This is a "Catch 22" problem.  Ada will be included only if there are
teams that state preferences for Ada.  There will be few Ada teams as long
as the published rules prevent them from going on the finals.  If there are
no Ada teams
at the ACM World Finals where decision for next years languages is made, it
is unlikely to change.

The one possible means to break-into the cycle is to correspond with the
volunteer leaders, see Contact on   However,
would only be credible if there are, in fact, teams that would prefer to use
Any takers?

Rush Kester

-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Poucher [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2000 7:31 AM
To: 'Kester, Rush W.'
Subject: RE: Ada in ACM's 2000 ACM National Programming Contest

The contest is international.  There are 69 countries that compete.  Over
1/2 of the participation is from outside of North America.

The problem focuses on problem solving.  Introducing additional languages
adds additional complication to systems configuration, testing, and the
problem testing process.  This is only done if there are a significant
number of teams disenfranchised by the choice of language.  That is not the
case with Ada.

The ACM Programming Contest Steering Committee determines policy each year
at the ACM World Finals.  If you are interested in making a proposal please
send it to [log in to unmask] for inclusion in next year's steering

Go the web site at and click on Contacts if
you would like to share your concerns with a larger group of ACM-ICPC
volunteer leaders.

Thanks for your interest in the ACM Programming Contest.

Bill Poucher

-----Original Message-----
From: Kester, Rush W. [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2000 8:44 AM
To: 'Bill Poucher'
Subject: RE: Ada in ACM's 2000 ACM National Programming Contest


Thanks for getting back to me.  By whom, and on what criteria, is the
decision on the programming languages allowed at the national level made?

Do the the reasons you cite below apply to your regional or the national

You indicated your reasons for not including Ada were:
  1) most students don't know Ada or if they do they know other languages,
  2) the volunteer judges don't know Ada.

While as you say below "students know other languages," why exclude Ada
which some students may prefer based on their experience, and its problem
solving power.  Some universities, e.g., those on "Ada-First" use Ada as
the first language in their computer science curriculum because it gives
the students a better "software engineering" foundation.  Many, especially
the European's place value on the fact that Ada is an ISO standard
object-oriented language.

If you are looking for volunteer judges who know Ada and the other languages
you presently allow, please contact Team Ada ([log in to unmask]) or Ada
First([log in to unmask]).

Rush Kester
Johns Hopkins Univ/Applied Physics Lab
-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Poucher [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, April 19, 2000 2:51 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: ADA

The languages supported are C, C++, Pascal, and Java. It is very rare that
there are students who know Ada that do not also know of these languages.
Since every problem must be solved in every language by the judges, adding
another language increases the load on or volunteer judges.

Most contestants use C/C++.  Some European and Asian contestants use Pascal.
Java is not used a lot, but is increasing in use.  Pascal is decreasing in