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Shayne Flint <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Fri, 7 Mar 1997 21:50:31 +1000
text/plain (61 lines)
I have a very basic question for your DOD.

Why don't they think they will have the same software problem in the
very near future that started the whole Ada thing more than 20 years

The language issue was technically solved 15 years ago, and many of us
started to look at more important issues such as process, CM,
requirements management, analysis, design etc.

Now where are we - right back where we bloody well started!!

The wider software industry still seems to think that language issues
are the big ones - eg. Java and C++. There has been little change apart
from the language of the day. And then we have UML which seems to be a
backward step - no more analysis, basically a drawing of a C++ program
(they've lost the plot in a big way!).

The Ada community on the other hand has tended to move on from language
issues (Ada addressed that issue), and have been dealing with the bigger
software engineering issues.

Then Mr. Paige says 'lets follow the industry' - lets forget about
nailing down the language issue. Lets do things the same way as the
wider industry. Lets spend all our time from now on arguing about and
changing the language we use. Lets go back to maintaining the tonnes of
code that will be written in hunderds of languages and dialects that no
longer exist. Lets forget about all those softweare engineering issues -
commercial industry doesn't bother with them (it's too hard) so why
should we? What a circus. The defence software industry will end up like
the wider software industry - chaos.

Don't think that a systems engineering process will choose the right
language - it will choose the language of the day - no problem. Those
that understand the reasons for using Ada will be swamped by young guns
that only see Java/C++/?? stars in their eyes.

Ada will be a very very difficult sell from now on no matter what the
metrics say.

What a damn waste of the last 15 years. Paige should mandate Ada, forget
it, and move onto more important issues in software engineering. DOD
should continue to lead like it started to with language issues 20 years

Just my 0.02c worth and a bit of steam. I for one will continue to
promote and use Ada - I hope it will win out in the long term. Decisions
like Mr. Paige's however will give those that don't have a clue
(apparently the majority of decision makers) the excuse they have been
waiting for to use what ever damn language they please. I bet that in
5-10 years time someone will have a bright idea to call for tenders for
a standardised software engineering language (still missing the big
picture of course).

Oh well!! enough ranting!!
-- Shayne Flint
-- Ainslie Software Pty Limited               Use Ada.... NOW!
-- [log in to unmask]