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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:
From:
Tucker Taft <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Fri, 9 Jan 1998 13:06:39 -0500
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Reply-To:
Tucker Taft <[log in to unmask]>
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> To this completely unbiased group of professionals:

Yeah, right ;-).

> I'm working on a trade study comparing ada 95 to c++. One big issue is
> availability of trained Ada programmmers... ready to go OO!
> Are Ada programmers really that hard to find?

I would include Turbo Pascal, Delphi, and Eiffel programmers in the
pool of programmers for whom a transition to Ada 95 is straightforward.
For that matter, knowing Java or C++ is a reasonable background
for Ada 95 as well.  In general, if you are looking for talented
OO programmers, the particular language they used in the past
is not as relevant as their experience building systems
which make significant use of encapsulation and abstraction.

> The second big issue seems to be, will there be support for Ada later
> on?  Sure there's stuff now, but will the pool of 3rd party support dry
> up?

The Ada market is still relatively large, despite any impression to the
contrary, particularly in the embedded, long-lived, high-integrity application
area.  It is certainly bigger than languages like Eiffel, Modula-3, etc.
Furthermore, the trend is toward mechanisms that allow the Ada tools
to leverage investments made in other languages.  For example, GNAT
benefits from the investment made in GCC technology, and the
Ada95-to-Java-byte-code compilers allow users to make direct use
of Java components and GUI builders.  The Ada95/CORBA connection
allows Ada to play in the CORBA world as a full partner.

> What's your thoughts?

Choosing Ada will reduce the unit test, debug, and integration time
significantly, because Ada provides dramatically more consistency
checks at both compile-time and run-time (including significantly more
than Java).  C++ provides very little checking at compile time
and run-time, while having significantly more complexity and ways
to shoot yourself in the foot (or blow away the whole leg) than Ada.

A significant advantage of C++ is the availability of third-party
components, but the interfacing capabilities of Ada 95 are significantly
improved over Ada 83, allowing relatively easy use of libraries
written in C or C++.  For building GUIs, the very smooth
Ada/Java connection makes Ada perhaps even a better choice than
C++ these days for portable GUI-intensive applications, however.

> Marsha S. Roepe
> DCMC Lockheed Martin Orlando
> Industrial / Software Engineer
> (407) 306 - 5448

-Tucker Taft  [log in to unmask]
Intermetrics, Inc.
Burlington, MA  01803-3303

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