To: Mark Lundquist et al.
From: Bob Leif, Ph.D.
In terms of markets and marketing, the only significant problem with Ada
has been the compiler vendors' management for not providing the funds and
their marketing departments for lacking in aggression. The removal of the
DoD mandate has already resulted in some signs of improvement. For
instance, Aonix had a beautiful advertisement in the April Embedded
Systems. Bottom line, to the owner or manager of a business, his/her
business software is Mission Critical!
Java has proven that excellent marketing and, at best, a mediocre product
will get you in the door. It is NOW time to do some advertising and to
employ a press agent. So far, after I asked about Year 2000 Ada problems,
no one has responded. I would suggest that after a significant effort has
been made, a press release be issued which states that 1) there have been
no Year 2000 problems reported in Ada code. And 2) A significant part of
the DoD's very expensive Year 2000 problems would have been avoided, if
DoD's management had actually required that people and companies follow
orders concerning standards.
As far as Rational or the other Ada vendors are concerned, forget that you
ever sold an Ada compiler. Like all pioneers, Rational and the other
vendors have collected their share of arrows in the back. An old very true
adage is that, "Timing is everything." Therefore since the introduction of
Ada was premature for the COTS market, the best solution is to treat Ada as
a new product. Ada 95 is the successor to Java! Ada is an excellent tool
for developing software including web applications developed according to
Rational's object based software development methodology. Virtually all of
the market except for Defense contractors have minimal, if any knowledge of
Ada. Therefore, Ada is a new product for them. I must emphasize that this
is a comment on marketing strategy; it has nothing to do with science,
history, or any other field where chronology is a real consideration.
At 12:14 PM 4/16/98 -0700, you wrote:
>From: Stanley Allen <[log in to unmask]>
>Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 22:08:42 -0500
>Subject: Re: Embedded Systems Programming Magazine
>> That's too bad. In terms of the size of the markets,
>> "Safety critical systems" represent approximately the
>> same percentage of the "real-time and embedded systems"
>> pie chart that "real-time and embedded systems"
>> represent in the general computer systems pie chart.
>> It's a niche within a niche. Now, we all know that
>> Ada is destined to be a niche language. The large
>> market of computer software including word processors,
>> games, web browsers, HTML generators, etc., is
>> probably generally closed, fairly or not, to Ada
>> technology. Within the "real-time and embedded
>> systems" markets, however, it's not a good idea to
>> limit ourselves to "safety critical" only. And this
>> ad from Aonix will have an unfortunate market-
>> limiting effect.
>Another one that I've noticed is the truism that Ada is supposed to be
>good for programming in the large, or the humongous, or whatever. I've
>heard this in several different forms, along the lines of "C++ is good
>for projects up to a million lines of code or so, but beyond that you
>This theme is repeated by Ada apologists and vendors in the same voice
>or with the same motivations as the "reliability" theme, and with the
>same effects. It's also repeated by those who wish to sound
>even-handed, or as a concession -- a charitable way of saying "that
>language must have some reason to exist -- maybe it's 'programming in
>In any case, it makes it sound as though there is some penalty for
>using Ada that dominates in small or medium-sized projects, and that
>the benefits do not emerge until you reach the level of "way huge