Fri, 17 Jan 2003 09:36:14 -0500
I am the software task lead for a new project. I (of course) selected Ada
as the language, to decrease the cost and schedule risk for this part of
the project. Unfortunately, as soon as the top three people (Program
Manager, Technical Director, and a systems engineer) at my company found
out about it, they immediately thought I had increased the risk, and asked
for justification for using what was thought to be unproven technology.
I got by the Technical Director without much problem by pointing him to
some other similar programs that used Ada. He also checked with one of our
consultants, who had no problem with our using Ada.
However, it turns out the Program Manager and the systems engineer had both
had problems with Ada in the one program each of them were on (early 90s)
that used it. It further turns out that both programs (different
companies) used the same compiler vendor, and their real problem was with
the compiler, not the language. As soon as I heard their complaint, I was
able to tell them which vendor they were complaining about.
After pointing out that A) that compiler vendor was one out of many; and B)
Ada 95 implementation caused some major changes to the way vendors made
compilers; and then after getting some information from the compiler vendor
I must use (different story), I think I have relieved their concerns to
I don't know what to do about this in general. Somehow, people need to be
educated that there have always been, and always will be, bad tools out
there, but that does not mean that the technology is bad.
It did help to show that the front end was used by many compiler vendors
(and all targets for the required vendor's Ada compilers) and the back end
is used by the vendor's C compiler (which is well trusted).
I guess I would ask as many people as possible to write up success stories
like the one at http://www.ghs.com/wp/vis2.html.