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Hal Hart <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Thu, 14 May 1998 19:36:22 -0700
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Michael Feldman wrote:

> No problem here, but I do think that when you introduce the panel,
> you ought (for the benefit of first-time attendees) to explain just
> what the "mandate" was and was not. Let's work at stifling any
> further proliferation of the myths.

Well, "mandate" may be associated with villification, but I still
disagree that there's a significant difference here.  I think the fact
that Ada was "required" by the DoD had the same negative effect, or
would have had it even if the word "mandate" had never been mentioned in
our context.  The Myth of must-be-bad-because-... was because Ada was
forced on people, not because of the spelling of the verb or noun.
"Forced" and "DoD" both were and are bad associations to many.   Lotsa
people felt Ada was being pushed down their throats and therefore that
it had to be because of politics, not technical merit.  They would have
felt the same whether they were told it was "required" or it was
"mandated"  --  and, the fundamental guilt-by-association would have
happened no matter which word.   It's the natural "hacker" reaction to
being disciplined and constrained  --  "I don't like to be forced to do
anything; let me totally figure out how to do it."  A lot of the same
people who resist(ed) Ada in industry also equally resist doing formal
design, doing documentation, doing testing right, coming honest with QA,
and other 2167-culture practices, and I don't think "mandate" was never
used for those practices.   But, I'll agree to disagree and let this
thread die.  --hh