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Team Ada: Ada Programming Language Advocacy


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Sender: "Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
From: Gilbert Prine <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 1998 21:24:51 -0400
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Reply-To: Gilbert Prine <[log in to unmask]>
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I reread my earlier email and would like to start a flame war with myself
before someone else does.

>many DoD contracting officers
>did not understand what Ada could do for them and/or exactly what the mandate
>meant.  Computer contractors found out they could avoid the whole issue by
>bypassing the mandate and using whatever language they wanted.

To be fair, some DoD contracting officers and computer contractors started
Ada projects/pilot projects in the 84-86 timeframe and were burned by poor
technology - incomplete compilers and the lack of good object-oriented
methodologies and programmers.  Some were also successful!  However, the
popular terms AdaTran and AdaBol reflect the fact that many Fortran and
Cobol designers/programmers merely implemented good 70s level Fortran and
Cobol system designs using Ada syntax.  This remained a problem into the 90s.

>This impression
>is still held and expressed by old timers who were on the "wrong" side of the
>food fight.

The list that RonS warned about was essentially these old timers "old wives
tales" and they were factual in the early days of Ada.

>Ada 95 may well remain a niche language for mission
>critical systems such as transportation and medical applications that *must*
>work right - the first time.

I did not mean to relegate Ada to purgatory, this is merely a not terrible
worst case.  Ada 95 could turn into the most robust Java applet development
environment, especially if people learn how easy it is to implement custom
databases with uniquely Ada constructs.  Ada's inherent reliability is also
making some converts.