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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 29 Jan 1998 10:45:22 -0600
Samuel Mize <[log in to unmask]>
Samuel Mize <[log in to unmask]>
<[log in to unmask]> from "Marc A. Criley" at Jan 29, 98 11:07:48 am
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I'm assuming that Marc will copy emails to Mr. Smith.

Marc A. Criley wrote:

> Brian Smith wrote:
> > I keep telling them the benefits of Ada over C++ but I keep getting the
> > response "GET WITH THE PROGRAM", C++ is the direction that we should be
> > heading.
> >
> > I have accessed some literature on the discussion of Ada vs C++ and have
> > made some of this available to the management.  I would like to ask for
> > some help from those of you who may know off hand any current
> > comparisons between Ada95 and C++ that I can use to support my case of
> > continuing the development of the simulation in Ada95 instead of
> > spending the money on the conversion to C++.

[excellent advice from Marc snipped]

A couple of other possible avenues:

1. See if there are any factors that would make it more expensive to
move the simulation to C++.  Do you use tasking, exceptions, generics,
subtypes and their attributes, packages and their visibility rules,
representation clauses or other "chapter 13" elements?  If using Ada
95, are you using type extensions, abstract types or subprograms?
Most of these have can be done in C++, one way or another, but it's
not straightforward to translate them.  Make sure they're looking at
the real cost.

Also look at the design, and see if there are factors that would make
it inefficient or hard to change if moved to C++.

2. Look around on the web for some of the information about C++'s
shortcomings for reliable, maintainable software.  You may get some
good ammo looking at items relating to good coding practice in C++, or
how to avoid common pitfalls in C++.

I was recommended a book recently on writing solid code in C.  The
first chapter is about using lint and compiler support, and avoiding
areas where the language lets you make common errors.  None of the
errors he was teaching one to avoid were even POSSIBLE in Ada.  The
chapter could have been titled "Use Ada, You Moron."

3. Look at some of the Java advocacy sites, and see what they're
saying about its superiority to C++.

4. Gather info saying that Java is the wave of the future.  Gather up
some of the info from a few years ago (the 80's?) about AI and expert
systems being the wave of the future.  Point out that there's always a
wave of the future, and a lot of people losing their shirts trying to
"catch the wave" instead of building their own best technologies.

5. From your description, these people appear to be on a bandwagon,
instead of using reason.  It's a debate of emotions.  Make sure you
connect Ada with good emotions and big bandwagons.  DO NOT just count
on technical arguments to win the day.  When was the last time a
technical management decision was made on the basis of facts and

6. Remember, there are just a couple of people who will have the final
say on this -- maybe just one, and that person is probably NOT the
manager who is apparently making the decision.  It's the person that
manager has to avoid ticking off.  Make sure most of your effort and
information are focused where they will matter.

Good luck with it.

Sam Mize

Samuel Mize -- [log in to unmask] -- Team Ada
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