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Team Ada: Ada Programming Language Advocacy

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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
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AdaWorks <[log in to unmask]>
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Thu, 8 Jun 2000 14:22:38 -0400
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Currie Colket <[log in to unmask]>
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Ron Oliver <[log in to unmask]>, Hal Hart <[log in to unmask]>, John McCormick <[log in to unmask]>, Ben Brosgol <[log in to unmask]>, Martin Carlisle <[log in to unmask]>
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AdaWorks wrote:
>
> I have included only part of Chris' message below.  It is the
> important part.  I earlier asked for someone who would have the
> interest in providing leadership in the effort to achieve greater
> visibility for Ada.  Chris has offered, if I read his message
> correctly, to provide that leadership.  Now it is up to us to
> decide our own level of commitment in supporting him.
>
> Richard Riehle
>
> On Tue, 6 Jun 2000, Chris Sparks wrote:
>
> > Having this type of discussion is ok, however, going around in circles and
> > barking at the moon is not going to change things.
> >
> > I am once again going to request that people who are interested in forming
> > a virtual consortium/corporation please submit me information as to what
> > you like to do, dislike doing, project ideas.  I can post a summary of the
> > information on my own personal web site.  I can look into getting access
> > passwords, if needed, or some obscure path name, whatever, for those
> > involved.  Aside from coding we need testers, salespeople, integrators,
> > archive specialists, etc.

Michael Feldman has provided some good information on SIGAda which is an
existing worthwhile organization that can achieve your goals. I would
like to add some additional information that might entice you to become
not only a member, but a significant contributor.

The Special Interest Group on Ada Programming Language (SIGAda) is
potentially a powerful resource for the software community's ongoing
understanding of the scientific, technical and organizational aspects of
the use, standardization, environments, and implementations of the Ada
language. SIGAda is sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery
(ACM), a professional software society.

SIGAda currently has between 700 and 800 paid members and has been doing
important things to disseminate Ada and software engineering technology,
evolve Ada technology, and promote Ada. Some of the key things that
SIGAda does include:

1.  SIGAda sponsors the Annual International Ada Conference. This year
it will be hosted at the Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics
Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland from 12-16 November. Called SIGAda 2000,
this Conference has the theme of Ada Technology Update. You are
encouraged to participate. It's URL is
http://www.acm.org/sigs/sigada/conf/sigada2000/. This is an important
activity to tell the world that Ada is alive and a viable alternative
for developing software for systems that must be reliable.

2.  SIGAda publishes Ada Letters. Ada Letters is our quarterly
publication for disseminating Ada information to the international Ada
community. It contains papers addressing a wide range of Ada and
software engineering issues. As just discussed on Team-Ada, it is a
valuable resource for us.

3.  SIGAda evolves Ada Technology. SIGAda has chartered a number of
Working Groups which have been very effective in serving as an
international forum to evolve Ada technologies and address issues. For
example: Its Ada Languages Issues Working Group (ALIWG) was a forum to
address language needs for Ada 95 before it was even Ada9X; Its
Numerical Working Group (NUMWG) addressed a standardized way to support
mathematical functions; Its Ada Semantic Interface Specification Working
Group (ASISWG) developed the technology behind ASIS for Ada 83 and Ada
95, resulting in the ISO standard in 1999; Its Education Working Group
(EDUWG) has been a fantastic resource of Ada artifacts to the academic
community; Its Patterns Working Group is evolving patterns to support
better software engineering in the Ada community. There are a bunch of
other working groups, all addressing other Ada technology needs and
issues. It is likely that a Working Group exists to support your
technology goals. Some are very active, some need energizing. If a group
does not exist, please consider forming one. (Working Groups need to be
officially chartered by the SIGAda officers).

4. Ada Advocacy. SIGAda plays an active role in Ada advocacy by taking
its message to conferences to show we are a viable technology for
developing high-integrity, safety-critical, reliable software. Typically
the booth goes to about 6-8 conferences a year to include places such as
the Software Technology Conference (STC), GOVTECH, SIGCSE, and ICSE.
This is an example of good synergism between the Ada Resource
Association and SIGAda where the ARA provides financial support for
taking our booth to conferences and SIGAda provides volunteers to spread
the message. Additional volunteers could help us become more effective
in this area.

5. Maintain a Home Page and maillists to facilitate the spread of Ada
information. An important tool in getting the word out to the Ada
community is the SIGAda Home Page at http://www.acm.org/sigs/sigada/ and
a variety of maillists. There are maillists associated with each of the
Working Groups. Even the [log in to unmask] is made available through ACM
through SIGAda.

6. SIGAda Local Chapters. SIGAda has about 10 local chapters. These can
be effective ways to address the local needs for disseminating Ada and
software engineering information. As an example, please check out the DC
SIGAda chapter activities at http://www.acm.org/sigs/sigada/locals/dc/.
Other cities have effective chapters acitivies as well. If your city
does not have an active chapter, why not consider forming a chapter. If
your local chapter needs help, how about helping to make it strong and
effective.

7.  Many other areas. This email is just a high level overview of the
many things SIGAda does. Please check out the SIGAda Home Page for other
areas.

I guess the basic point is that we already have an organization set up
to address many of the goals identified in this thread. And the
organization is sanctioned by the Association for Computing Machinry, a
recognized software professional society. It seems silly to create a new
organization when SIGAda exists. SIGAda is completely run by volunteers
and we are all dedicated to supporting the needs of the Ada
international community. And these needs are addressed in many way. If
you are interested in getting involved, go to the SIGAda Home Page and
look for the types of things you are interested in doing. You probably
want to contact the chair of that activity. Some special points:

Ada Advocacy contacts should be made to Hal Hart at [log in to unmask]

Folks wanting to start a new SIGAda local group should contact Ron
Oliver at [log in to unmask]

Folks wanting to help disseminate information on the SIGAda Home Page
should contact John McCormick at [log in to unmask]

Folks wanting to help produce the Ada Letters publication should contact
Martin Carlisle at [log in to unmask]

Folks wanting to start up a new Working Group should contact Ben Brosgol
at [log in to unmask] (with a copy to me at [log in to unmask] |
[log in to unmask] - Also folks wanting to start any other initiative should
contact Ben Brosgol and Currie Colket

SIGAda is not perfect, but it does provide a framework to support the
international Ada community and to a certain extent it does a pretty
good job. We can be more effective if we know what your specific needs
are that are not currently being met; We can be more effective through
more volunteers.

I encourage you to think about how you can make SIGAda more effective
and to work closely with other volunteers to make this happen. SIGAda
actually has a pretty good track record. With your support, it can
become even more effective in the future.

v/r
Currie Colket
SIGAda Vice Chair for Meetings and Conferences
Chair ASISWG

P.S. If you are not a member, it only costs $25 to join - Find out how
on the SIGAda Home Page at http://www.acm.org/sigs/sigada/ - This could
be the best $25 you even spent.

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