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Sender: "Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
From: Sy Wong <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 10:19:47 PST
Reply-To: Sy Wong <[log in to unmask]>
Parts/Attachments: text/plain (125 lines)
To: Bob Mathis <[log in to unmask]>
    Paige, Emmett Jr. <[log in to unmask]>,
    Hal Hart <[log in to unmask]>
    Team Ada <[log in to unmask]>

>Jim Moore has already formally replied to Sy's suggestion as requested in
>his message. I'm still the Convener of WG9, but the message was addressed
>to Jim.


>-- Bob Mathis, (still) Convener ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22 WG9 Ada

therefore Jim cannot possibly formerly give me a reply.

>Proposals to WG9 come from subgroups and national delegations.

  Who pays for U.S.WG9 representation and "national delegations" and
    how selected?  Are there any taxpayer's money involved?

>Sy's suggestion is more appropriate for SIGAda.

This sounds like Washington bureaucracy or dog biting its tail.
There is none in the entire Ada community (except one other person)
supports the idea of a simpler version as a market invasion tool.  Not
even in clarifying Annex-H wordings and validating compilers that is
devoid of the restrictable constructs.  It was only after failure to gain
SigAda action that I took up the suggestion to bypass SigAda and go to
WG9 directly.

>                            Some of SIGAda's working
>groups have made valuable contributions to standards.

There never was any SigAda working group that had worked to simplify the
language, only add to it.  There were only papers agrandiosing how good
is Ada versus C/C++ and calls for educating the (stupid) C/C++ users.  I
have never seen a positive plan to meet or understand their needs.

My objective is to introduce Ada to the following markets:

(1) Hard real-time control systems area, often safety critical.
(2) As HDL in lieu of VHDL (=1980 Ada plus unnecessary extensions).
(3) Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools.

Riding on an existing ISO standard will be a one up on VHDL, which the
members are arguing each other for a new version and with Verilog.  None
has ISO status.

You, Dr. Mathis, concluded by saying the right principles.

>To make Ada into a commercially accepted language, we have to start
>thinking in business terms (investment, products, selling, profits) not
>government funding and bureaucracies.

I hope you will also carry out what you preach in practice by endorsing
the following volunteer activities in some working group.  Why would
anybody invest in implementing unnecessary and undesirable constructs in
a compiler just to get validated and then be discarded by the user?  Who
pays for the extra cost?

I want to point out that the LRM is ANSI/ISO/IEC-8652:1995 (Ada-95 for
short) but the Rationale is not.  According to LRM:

Ada-95 = essential Ada core + Annex-H restrictables
         ------------------   ---------------------
         |                           |
         |----> part A               |----> part H

>Some of SIGAda's working
>groups have made valuable contributions to standards.

None seeks to clearly delineate Ada-95 into the above two parts.

The author of Annex H made excuse that he was not subsetting in the
Rationale: "Ada compiler has to be validated for the entire language in
any case."  This deeply entrenched idea of the community that users can
discard any constructs they do not want is not based on economic
realities.  This attitude certainly discourages the entry of new tools
vendor that only caters to users for Part A, as I have listed.  Would you
attempt to build a cheap runabout for in-town use that can be validated
to carry 20 tons?

To be specific, the working group can (I may be repeating):

(1) Edit the syntax summary, keywords and LRM pages to purge all that
  is not in part A.
(2) Separate ACVC into must-have and must-not-have for Part A.
(3) Separating out GNAT parts that are not necessary for Part A and
      replacing any C dependencies so that a self-standing product
      can be implemented by tools vendors.
(4) Edit CAMP to remove boiler plates, especially the NO-Foreign label
    which is no longer in force and markup Part H constructs used, if
    any, in CAMP.  The statistics may be useful.

Hal Hart had distributed a report called C41 by some panel.  I have only
seen passive comments as though God hath spoken but no positive action
plan from the Ada community.  First, I question the qualifications of the
panel, many names are familiar to me as demi-gods to the computer science
sector but unknown to the industrial sector.  By copy of this note to Mr.
Paige, I request the background of actual Ada programming experiences
(not just reading the LRM, if some did) of the panel.  If you want to
comment on the Chinese language in competition with English, you should
speak, read and write Chinese well.  Also to the Ada-team, I ask those
having interest in the three applications areas I mentioned to contact
me.  I specifically want to talk to persons that has designed integrated
circuits, have used VHDL or had read IEEE-1076, and had programmed Ada
for practical applications.  So far I have not found one as yet in the

By copy to Hal Hart:

What are the qualifications used to select the Ada-team list and
who compiled the list?

I welcome specific criticisms of my proposed working group efforts and
reasoned alternatives to foster broader Ada usage in the three listed
industrial areas.  Hopefully the present and future WG9 convener, both
Americans, will help my lone effort to see Ada come to life in new areas.
Please, no ATNA.

SY Wong, Tarzana CA.