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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 17 Dec 1998 13:11:42 +0100
Gerd Arlitt <[log in to unmask]>
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Gerd Arlitt <[log in to unmask]>
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> > >Really, I don't mind the safety-critical, high-integrity angle.  But it
> > >would be nice to develop grass-roots support for Ada among those who
> > >aren't necessarily in that domain.
> >
> > Safety-critical may be optional, but I have no interest in attracting
> > Ada advocates who are not interested in high-integrity.  It is quite
> > possible to write lousy software in Ada, and the reputation of Ada is
> > best preserved by not attracting those who want to go in that direction.
> Are you _really_ saying that people like me should resign from this list
> and stop using Ada and leave you high and mighty people who do the
> really important work alone ?
> Jerry

I also thought I might be wrong here in the future ! I am not a very active
member of this list but a regular reader of it.

I just got the feeling that I might have supported the wrong language since
1983. I do not hope that Larry Kilgallen's view will become the position of
the Ada community. I work in the field of production control - (buisness
processes, planning, simulation etc.) and I love sound engineering work.

The area I am concerned with is not an easy field for Ada promotion but I
think that it is worthwile to work on it.

If I was a manager of a manufacturing company I would be concerned with
problems like ...

- how can I avoid that I have to replace my Business/Production Control
System every 5 to 10 years, pay hundreds of thousands of <whatever currency>
and thereby risking the survival of my company ?

- how can I adjust flexibly and "safely" my companies software to the future
needs ?

- how can I close the gap between my business oriented systems and the
technical systems I am using.

- how can I raise cost-effectively the quality of the software I am using ?
(my customers ask me for a zero fault production process for the items they
buy from me)

- how can I make my business systems more event driven ?

So instead of telling those managers that our technology is superior to what
they need and that they are only a disturbing factor we should help them to
improve in fulfilling their needs in a better way then they are used to.

If we think we cannot/should not help them then indeed I missed the point
since 1983 and I am wrong here.

Now reading through my own questions I can think of many buzzwords which
IMHO would fit Ada such as: large systems, longlife systems, evolutionary
systems, safe systems, cost-effective, high-quality, event-driven (realtime,
concurrent). This is all required for "non-safety-critical"
(business-)software in the future. Maybe the difference lies in the words
safety-critical (may not fail) and safe (might not fail).

So to conclude the story ... my overall slogan would be:

               Evolving into a Safer Future with

which should comprise both views and you can add more items from the
buzzword-list as needed.

Now the company manager couldn't say anymore "I don't need it" or "I will
come back to you when we need it" he could only ask for more explanation or
justification and that is what is excellently expressed in Tucker Taft's
flyer which I appreciated very much.

Gerd Arlitt