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Subject:
From:
Samuel Mize <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Samuel Mize <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Wed, 22 Apr 1998 14:25:45 -0500
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W. Wesley Groleau x4923 wrote:
> > What will guide the purchase decision of the majority?
> >
> > "Look at all the glitz and features."
> >
> > So we have consumers demanding, in effect, ever-fancier Yugos, and a
> > market that has responded by producing pointless-feature-filled crapola.
>
> So what will they buy if you can say, "Check this out: it has nearly the
> same features as that, but it never crashes!"
> ??

My point is NOT that an Ada product would meet resistance -- most
customers would neither know nor care.

My point is that the market is not demanding reliable software or
maintenance of an existing software base.

The "mainstream" software consumer accepts crashes and problems as
"how things are," or even points with secret pride at how often his
system crashes -- proof that he's on the "cutting edge."  So the
people who build systems for those consumers won't spend time or
money to improve the reliability or maintainability of their products.

If they spend time and money on things that the consumer won't pay
for, they'll go out of business.

"Ada lets you build reliable, maintainable sofware -- but who cares?"

I personally find that Ada supports rapid development as well as, or
better than, a lower-level language, now that compilers have matured.
But if even its advocates won't say so, nobody will believe it.

People work fastest in a language they know, and would require a
strong reason to switch to Ada.  If we tell them that their product
will be more reliable and maintainable.  We may as well be telling
them that it will be a prettier shade of mauve.

In the areas where people DO care about reliability -- e.g.,
mission-critical software -- Ada is the language of choice.

If we want to advocate Ada outside that niche, we need to
understand what is important to our proselytizees.  Victims.
Audience.  Whatever.

Best,
Sam Mize

--
Samuel Mize -- [log in to unmask] (home email) -- Team Ada
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