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Michael Feldman <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 27 Jul 2000 14:01:02 -0400
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Robin et al,
> At 11:18 AM 7/27/00 -0400, you wrote:
> >Rick et al,
> >
> >Since this thread is really not going away, I'm going to shift gears
> I don't see this as a continuation of any previous thread (except maybe
> the promotion of Ada on M$ platforms which, I can't see why any legitimate
> promotion of Ada is unwanted).

I agree, but enough is enough. Singing the same song over and over
is asking people to stick their fingers in their ears.
> >and try to put it in perspective. Rick, it is simply not clear to me
> >just what you're trying to accomplish.
> It seems he is trying to create awareness of emerging areas where he thinks
> that Ada should have an impact?

Yes, but

(1) he said that first many days ago;
(2) it's nowhere near the first time we've had this general discussion
    in this forum.
> >- Raising our consciousness about Microsoft's importance in the world?
> >
> >   I doubt anyone in this group was unaware of it before you wrote.
> >
> >- Trying to get more of us to write Ada applications against
> >   Windows interfaces?
> >
> >   Lots of us are already doing that, and I doubt this discussion
> >   has served to recruit many more.
> At least he is trying... Many of us (myself included) are too busy with
> what we are doing to actively promote Ada. I'd rather see someone try
> and fail then not to try at all.

But Rick is preaching to the choir here. I figure most of us who are
interested in developing for M$ platforms already know what the
possibilities are, and are already doing what they are interested
in doing. I think it's also fairly likely that the ones doing the
_interesting_ stuff are not going to say much about it here.
> >- Convincing us that Microsoft "standards" are standards?
> >
> >   We've beaten it to death - different people define the term
> >   differently?
> Beaten and beaten and ...

Thank heaven that one seems to have died...
> >- Accomplishing any significant shift of priorities in the Ada
> >   community?
> >
> >   I doubt it, because Ithink you're talking to the wrong people
> >   here. See below.
> Even a minor shift in a direction that increases the awareness of Ada
> in a good light, seems to me to be welcome.

I'm trying to figure out exactly how you (and Rick) propose that
this be done. We are all aware of Ada; most of us are aware of
Microsoft. Some of us are already marrying the two.

After nearly 20 years of promoting Ada (inside, but also outside, the
narrow Ada community), I get impatient pretty fast with people coming
to this forum, saying "here's what WE should do". I would much prefer
to see someone say "Here is what _I_ am doing, outside this community,
to promote Ada. Who'd like to join me?" "We" is a meaningless pronoun
when "we" really means "You do it, I'm too busy."
> >[snip]
> > >
> > > This is definitely a platform on which Ada should have a presence.
> > >
> > > Enjoy the report(s),
> > > Rick
> >
> >Well, if you think so,
> You don't? I think the more platforms the better. Even the ones that we
> personally don't care for.

I didn't say I didn't. I agree with Rick, and with you. I meant only
that if Rick _really_ thinks so, he'll use his time better to work
behind the scenes to really make it happen. Rick has been around
the Ada community for a long time and knows who the players are.
> >- as a person who seems to be trying to
> >bridge the gap between the Ada community and Microsoft - seem to be
> >in a good position to establish some contacts on both sides. An
> I thought that's what he's doing?

Did I miss where Rick reported on a successful Ada-Microsoft marriage
he arranged? As I said, Rick knows who the Ada players are, and (I'm
guessing here) probably knows who the Microsoft players are.
What's going to happen in _this_ forum?
> >endless thread on Team-Ada seems to me to be one of the _least_
> >effective ways to get this done. A more effective way by far is
> >to work behind the scenes as a "marriage broker". I have a good
> It seems to me that working "behind the scenes" is only part of the
> work. There has to be some work "In front of the scenes" if the people
> behind the scenes are going to do anything.

Not in my experience. First accomplish something behind the scenes.
THen work quietly to build a bigger group behind the scenes. Then
when you really have something to say, go public. Otherwise it's
just theoretical, yet another "Here's an opportunity for Ada...
you guys go do something with it."
> >bit of experience trying to make "marriages" between Ada vendors
> >and the academic community. Not all my efforts succeeded, but not
> >all my efforts failed either.
> >
> >Rick, have you tried working behind the scenes to make connections
> >between the relevant Microsoft folks and the Ada vendor companies
> >?
> >The decision-makers on both sides are - we can be pretty sure - not
> >likely to be readers of Team-Ada!
> Really? Any Ada vendors out there? Maybe not the decision makers themselves
> but at least some of the engineers and CS personnel that have their ears?

Do you seriously think they don;t know about the various possibilities
in Microsoft-land? I have no inside track to the vendors, but I've seen
enough of what they do to conjecture that they know quite well what
the _possibilities_ are, and are frustrating us mostly because they've
chosen to go after the ones they think will make them money.

Their attitude is sometimes frustrating for sure, but they are on the
inside, not I, and more than 15 years of dealing with them has taught
me the futility of telling them how to make their business decisions.:-)

If Rick or anyone else thinks they are on to a serious opportunity
the vendors have missed, I cannot believe they'll accomplish more
in an open e-mail chat group like this than they would by sending
a few strategic private mails or making a few key phone calls.

We all know who the vendors are who are likely to support new platforms.
If you think you can make the case for doing so profitably, and think
they're missing the boat, let them know. It ain't gonna happen in
this forum.
> Lately it seems this list has become a M$ bashing platform instead of an
> Ada discussion/promotion list. I don't particularly like M$ either (I run
> FreeBSD on my home machine and have sworn-off Outlook at work) but the
> reality is that M$ has a major impact (good or bad) in any market they enter.

No question about it.

The only M$ "bashing" I did was to try to clarify what we all meant
by "standards", and to tell a war story about IBM, nearly 35 years ago,
signing, and following, a consent decree that has been profitable both
for IBM and for their competition. If Microsoft had settled some
very similar antitrust issues as effectively as IBM did, the world
would look a lot different now.

> Lets try to get back to the business of promoting Ada!

I agree - on Team-Ada we are all preaching to the choir. Let's work on
the outside to make our congregation bigger. When someone reports
real progress (here or elsewhere), I'll be delighted to join the
cheering section.
> Robin Reagan
> [log in to unmask]
>            _
Mike Feldman