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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 18 Nov 1998 23:28:22 -0600
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I've been a bit slow getting responses out, but I really appreciate
your response to my query.  It provided just the kind of information
I think I need, and lots of great discussion of the issues involved
in assessing Ada market success.

I have a few comments and questions regarding some bits:

On 11/15/98 11:04 PM, Dave Wood wrote

>I made a short presentation at SIGAda on this very
>topic.  Maybe I should turn it into a white paper
>of some sort.

Sounds like a great idea!  How about a web page for someplace like
the new AdaIC web site?

>I'd suggest first looking at the products and the suppliers
>that match your planned architecture.  There are lots of new
>Ada compilers out there for most major architectures.  If
>the products look good and the suppliers seem reliable, I
>don't see the risk for Ada to be much different from
>anything else.

I agree, but there seems to be a perception among many that with the
changed DoD policy, the Ada market is going to shrink to the point
where there will not be adequate resources for Ada vendors to
create and maintain good products.  We need to counter that
impression by pointing out the many uses of Ada that have never had
anything to do with the so-called DoD Ada "mandate", as well as
ongoing and new use in defense and other areas. Your information
helps a great deal.

>Just because a supplier provides C or Java
>doesn't mean they are particulary stable long-term bets.
>Look at the problems Borland had, for one example.

Good point.  One concern I've run into though is that if your C++
compiler vendor disappears, there are lots of others to choose
from, while there are typically few Ada vendors supporting a
particular host/target combination.  (Of course, this view downplays
C++ portability issues.  I suspect it may be much easier to switch
Ada vendors--especially with Ada 95--than C++ vendors, but I have
no experience on the C++ side.)

>As far as hard data is concerned, I am not in any
>position to speak for any other Ada companies, but
>I can tell you some factoids that I reported at
>SIGAda last week.  Revenues of my product line have
>increased 35-40% per year for the past three years
>(note: that's before, during, and after the drop
>of the 'mandate'); the number of people downloading
>ObjectAda is up 225% of the same period last year
>(and it was already a lot last year); we now have
>in excess of 135,000 units in distribution; and, in
>the embedded realm, Ada is identified by Embedded
>Systems Programming as one of only three languages
>exhibiting growth (the other two are obvious
>enough - C++ and Java.  C is on the decline).
>Ada is steady in terms of percentages, but the
>market size is increasing.

This is exactly the kind of data I'm looking for.  Perhaps
you could answer a few questions about some of these items,
to help me present things accurately:

By the "past three years", do you mean 1998 and the previous
two years (as opposed to 1995-1997)?

By your product line, I assume you mean ObjectAda for Windows,

I assume the downloads are for the "free" version of ObjectAda.
About when did this first become available?

Do you have a reference for the Embedded Systems Programming
data?  I did some digging, but haven't yet found the source of

>Hope this helps.

It's excellent!  Thanks much!

>-- Dave Wood, Aonix
>-- Product Manager, ObjectAda for Windows

- Jim Hassett