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Sender: "Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
X-To: "Wisniewski, Joseph (N-COMSYS)" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2000 08:16:18 -0700
Reply-To: AdaWorks <[log in to unmask]>
From: AdaWorks <[log in to unmask]>
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On Wed, 14 Jun 2000, Wisniewski, Joseph (N-COMSYS) wrote:

> I would hope that the compiler vendor for this project is taking an active
> role
> in addressing this issue also.

The compiler publisher is Aonix. It is not clear that the current management
of Aonix has any idea about how to sell, service, or promote Ada.  I hope
they do.  However, they have been strangely silent within the Ada
community since the recent internal massacre of anyone associated with Ada.

Keep in mind that the people asking this question are Ada advocates.
They want to use Ada.  It is their management that is asking the very
reasonable question about the future of Ada.

How would any of us make the decision if we looked at the current scene.
Ada is a language that seems to be declining in usage throughout the
DoD,  there is very little commercial usage,  the local colleges have
stopped teaching it,  we have difficulty hiring programmers to do it,  we
have a large complement of C++ programmers who seem to be doing the job
they need to do,  and one of our key Ada programmers is retiring soon.
Do we replace the programmer with another person who knows Ada, or do we
fold the entire project into our mainstream and  leverage the available
existing talent?  That is the question.

The question has nothing to do with Ada's superiority.    C++, as we all
know, is simply a pile of dry rot held up by a flying buttress.  It
probably take more people to maintain a C++ program, but that is not the
question.   The C++ programs are probably more defect-ridden, but that is
not the question.

Even given Ada's better model for software development and maintenance,
is its superiority of sufficient margin over C++ that it is still a good
choice.   Given the apparent decline in  Ada usage within the DoD, and
the many systems being converted from Ada to C++, does
Ada have a future?   The WP management is asking an important question.
Do we really have a credibiel answer.

Oh, and yes, COBOL and Fortran are still being taught at some
universities.  In particular, Object COBOL has given the language a new
lease on life.

Richard Riehle

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