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Roger Racine <[log in to unmask]>
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Roger Racine <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 18 Jul 2000 08:14:15 -0400
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At 11:13 PM 7/17/2000 , Richard Conn wrote:
>Seems like the thread has served its purpose.  Everyone is worn down,
>and we have concluded that everyone has the right to declare anything
>a standard at any time.  Everyone else has a right to choose to apply
>that standard or not.

Sorry for continuing, but I have been away, and I have one comment to make
that actually has something to do with Ada.  :-)

Ada is an ISO Standard.  It is a well-defined language that the
organization's members can agree upon.

Ada was the DoD Standard.  It was mandated to be used for all projects.

Ada was never the standard way of writing software for the DoD.  There were
too many exceptions.

De facto standards are much more important practically than
"organizational" standards.  It looks like Richard was saying that
Microsoft has the de facto standard for operating system interface and
programming language.  In other words, if someone were thinking about
making money programming, and that person was in school, what should that
person learn?

This thread was a major deja vu for me.  Change Microsoft to IBM and go
back to the 1960s and 1970s.  Or change it to AT&T and go back to the 1980s.

So while it is true that ISO can create a Standard (by their definition),
if no one uses it, the standard does not mean much.  On the other hand, if
IBM (360 architecture), AT&T (UNIX, C), Sun (Java), or Microsoft (Word,
Excel, . . .) create proprietary products that are used by many, many
people, and if people "must" use those products to succeed, then it means a
whole lot, and should be considered a standard.

Our wish is to get Ada to be a de facto standard, not some meaningless
well-defined interface that no one uses.

Hal Hart has a pet peeve about using the "wrong" definition for
"standard".  It is interesting that I have a similar one, but my "wrong"
definition is his "right" definition.
Roger Racine
Draper Laboratory, MS 31
555 Technology Sq.
Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
617-258-3939 Fax