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Subject:
From:
"Robert C. Leif" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Robert C. Leif
Date:
Tue, 19 Aug 2003 08:06:37 -0700
Content-Type:
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From a simple business marketing point of view, Jim Smith is correct.
Unfortunately, if US DoD continues to use this type of reasoning, it will
purchase the cheapest parts made in China or better yet in the third world
for equipment including the weapons systems. Unfortunately this article has
not significant mention of software engineering. Unfortunately, the SEI in
this case has behaved as do many Government contractors and produced
propaganda instead of an engineering study. A study would have compared Ada
versus other languages in terms: of the cost of development and maintenance,
the defect levels in the products, and the reliability of the products.

I like your suggestion about trained attack-lawyers. I believe we should
give a free seminar for these lawyers and provide expert witnesses. A few
billion dollars in malpractice judgments will greatly increase the
popularity of Ada. I might note that there have been two major problems with
promoting the use of Ada. 1) The Ada community includes few if any
entrepreneurs that are interested in commercial products. 2) The US DoD
goofed when it did not tell NSF to do its job and promote software
engineering including Ada and then did not tell Congress of the dire
consequences that would result if NSF did not do its mandated job.

Bob Leif
Robert C. Leif, Ph.D.
Email [log in to unmask]

-----Original Message-----
From: Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Alan and Carmel Brain
Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2003 5:40 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: FW: What about Ada?

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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