Speaking of PC Week, I just received the December 14, 1998 copy and lo and
behold Peter Coffee's cover article is about poor software quality. In the
main article (pg. 18) even Microsoft's president Steve Ballmer admits they
have a quality problem. As is typical of the quick fix culture, they are
going to "improve its [Microsoft's] quality assurance processes." I read it
as adding more testers and tools (Bounds checkers are mentioned in the
article). Several other similar statements are made from other anonymous
Two other follow-on articles (pg. 20) say generally the same thing but also
lean towards the post-production testing for quality. When are they going
to learn, you can't test in quality, you have to design and build it in. At
least they have recognized that they have a problem...
This is a GREAT opportunity to promote Ada! The industry is finally
awakening to the software quality issue and not just focusing on features
and time-to-market. I'm sure the Y2K issue is helping in this regard.
As Richard Riehle continually suggests, the Ada industry should jump on this
with a full scale promotion of Ada's strengths in developing quality
software. Not bug free, or safety critical, just quality and stability. We
may want to also push speed of development and reusability as side notes.
Example advertisement of Ada readability:
It's no wonder your programmers have a
hard time finding bugs with code like this:
[C++ example with obscure bug]
(Hungarian notation and pre-processor
directives would be useful to obscure
the bug here)
With Ada the bugs almost jump out of
the code by themselves.
[Clean Ada example with easily
recognized bug highlighted]
Ada - Quality is built in.
Ada, the _only_ internationally
standardized Object-Oriented language.
Well everyone, what are we going to do? Are we going to sit around waiting
to see what happens or are we going to make something happen?
-- Statements made are my opinion and are
-- not necessarily those of the U.S. Air Force.