Wed, 2 Jun 1999 12:12:03 -0500
> ..... give me fuel to educate these
> developers and keep the popularity of the resilient language growing?
> ...., the marketing capability of the Ada community with few exceptions
> is inversely proportional to its technical ability...
Robert Leif may have exaggerated a little, but it is true that the reasons
Ada is better than Java and certainly better than C++ for most purposes
can be divided into two categories. The category most programmers are
interested in are technical details. And unfortunately, many of these
have to be experienced.
Try to tell someone who's never used Ada the value of a true enumerated
type (not the disguised integers that C calls enums). Try to explain the
readability of a lookup table indexed by an enumerated type instead of by
an integer. Try to explain the convenience of a type or subtype that has
range checking with the programmer only having to add three tokens to the
declaration..... Try to convince a man born deaf that a violin is more
pleasant than a jackhammer.
However, there are differences between Java and Ada that the C programmer
can understand. Ask him or her, "How many times have you forgotten to put
"break" in a switch?" Or "Have you ever done something like,
#define MAX = 100
Then ask him/her the results. Then ask them to imagine a language where
competent designers, instead of repeating hundreds of similar language
mistakes, actually learned from them.
Unfortunately, the empirical, quantitative evidence that Ada development
reduces errors and costs is of no interest to the majority of programmers.
(Unfortunately, it's of no interest to many managers.)