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Sun, 15 Nov 1998 18:10:44 -0600
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I work for a major defense contractor at a site where we've done
lots of work in Ada, and lots of work in C/C++.  Recently, some
influential colleagues have expressed concern over the viability of
Ada.  One of them has asserted that it would be "looney" for a new
project to choose Ada, because of the limited availability of
compilers and other tools, especially for new processors, and
because of risks related to future availability of tools.  This is
from someone who is quite willing to acknowledge the technical
advantages of Ada.

Frankly, I think the concern is exaggerated, but it is obvious that
the current market for Ada is much smaller than for C++, there are
more compilers and other tools for C++ (or Java) than for Ada, and
there is more vendor investment in C++ and Java than in Ada.  My
position is that there are good compilers and tools available, but
I could use some data (opinions will be of little use) that
supports the claim that the Ada market is not disappearing.  I have
used Dick Reid's data on languages in CS1 courses (posted here a
few weeks ago) to show that Ada use is steady (and nearly matches
C++) in this area, but I could use some hard data for the current
Ada commercial market.  Can anyone point me to such data?  Is there
any interesting news along these lines from last week's SIGAda
conference?  (Statistics from the PAL or Web sites such as Ada Home
are interesting, but I suspect that information about where money
is being spent would be more persuasive.)

- Jim Hassett