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Mike Brenner <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mike Brenner <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 8 Oct 1998 14:15:54 -0400
text/plain (44 lines)
Neil Evans <[log in to unmask]> stated that he found the advantages
of Ada: the best object oriented language, the most bugs found at
compile time, the most secure coding style possible (with minimal
or no aliasing when the programmer chooses), great packaging,
minimal life-cycle cost of large projects, etc., but he needs to be
aware of its weaknesses.

These include:
  - lack of built-in unlimited precision arithmetic (you
      must program it yourself),
  - lack of recursive set type (you must program it yourself or use
      an existing interface to one of the publicly or commercially
      available data structure packages),
  - lack of a built-in means of browsing the Internet with a
      mouse (you must code a line of Ada that links to
      a commercial product),
  - contributes to some errors by giving the programmer the ability
      to stop checking for errors,
  - does not automatically permit built-in access to call functions
      in the AUTOCOMM language (although it permits C, assembler,
      etc., and most compilers permit access to FORTRAN, C++, etc.,
      and some Ada compilers even permit direct access to interpretive
      languages like Java),
  - does not automatically take backups of source code or identify
      the lines of code that have insufficient test coverage (one of
      the several commercial tools for doing this must be used),
  - does not automatically make your outputs fit the screen nicely
      when directing output to the web (you must design your
      applications manually),
  - does not automatically accept inputs from voice microphones
      (you must code a call to a commercial product for this).

The high rate of bugs fixed at compile time because of the strong
type checking in Ada, the de-aliasing capabilities
of limited private types, and other features of the language
balance out these bad points and help reduce the cost of lifecycle
of large systems coded in Ada that use this locality of reference
and dealiasing style, maximizing the number of pure and
preelaborable packages.

Good luck in your talk.

maintenance costs.