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Alan and Carmel Brain <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 19 Aug 2003 22:39:55 +1000
text/plain (41 lines)
From: "Carlisle Martin C Dr USAFA/DFCS" <[log in to unmask]>

> FYI.  I've already corrected his misstatements about the Air Force Academy
> and West Point (we still use Ada), and he indicated he would publish a
> correction.

> From: White Al Maj USAFA/DFCS
>
> One recent article about the "state" of Ada use:
>
> http://www.sei.cmu.edu/publications/documents/03.reports/03tn021.html
> <http://www.sei.cmu.edu/publications/documents/03.reports/03tn021.html>

At the risk of "preaching to the converted"....

I think he's right with his conclusions.

The future belongs to Visual Basic, Microsoft, Java, Worms, Virusses,
Patches, buffer-overflows and the consequent weekly and monthly Software
Chernobyls.

That way lies guaranteed employment for software engineers doing
maintenance - increasingly in India these days.

Unless and until packs of trained attack-lawyers go after the software
industry for its criminal negligence in not using appropriate languages
and techniques for both safety-critical and non-safety-critical work, we're
stuck with a worsening situation. I used to think that the hard empirical
evidence of a language's superiority in productivity would help. But while
that's neccessary, it's not sufficient.

It's not about being the cheapest and best, it's about being the most popular.

The only way out might (I repeat might) be via Executable/Translateable Models,
but the current action languages are neither standardised nor particularly readable.

But until then, we're reaching the point where the language "critical mass" needed
to support efficient Safety-Critical software development will no longer exist.

Suggestions on how to get us out of this hole welcome.

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