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Michael Feldman <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Michael Feldman <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 6 Jun 2000 12:29:55 -0400
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[said Rush]
> I agree with Tucker that Ada seems to have weathered the "post mandate"
> slump and be well on the way to recovery and growth.  I am disturbed
> that Ada doesn't have an association like a Milk Marketer's, Florida
> Citrus Grower's, Potatoe Grower's, (and yes even the Broccoli Grower's)
> et. to promote Ada.
[motherhood statement snipped]
> Yet it seems to me that increasing the use of Ada through promotion and
> publicity doesn't seem to be the mission of any organization. If such an
> association were formed what membership fees would be appropriate, how
> would it be staffed, and how would the staff be compensated?
> Rush Kester

The last thing this smallish community needs, IMHO, is yet another
organization. We have three main organizations now:

- SIGAda, a technical society run by volunteers (as are all the
  ACM SIGs);

- ARA, the nearest thing we have to a trade association like those
  you mentioned above;

- AdaEurope, which seems to have aspects of both SIGAda and ARA,
  and further serves as a common meeting point for the various
  European national-level Ada groups.

When ARA was formed a few years ago (five?) out of the ashes of
the old Ada Strategic Alliance, it originally accepted memberships
from anyone, including individuals. I recall paying $5.00 dues.

At some point ARA decided to eliminate the individual memberships,
perhaps because some of us were being too noisy in proportion to
our financial contributions. (A bit like the proverbial little
old lady who buys 5 shares of AT&T stock and stirs up a fuss at
every stockholder meeting:-).)

I agree that ARA ought to make itself a more visible trade association,
but we've gotta admit that it's doing a fair amount of good work behind
the scenes, including providing funds to SIGAda for a lot of SIGAda's
outreach activities, including exhibiting under SIGAda's name at a
reasonable number of trade shows and conferences. The ARA/SIGAda
cooperation is far smoother than it ever has been (in my view, anyway).

I think we just must realize that there are no really deep-pocket
companies backing Ada, and we have to make the best of the thin
resources available for outreach. Some of us seem to think that more
ads in paper publications would make a big difference; our vendors
dispute that and I have no way to know who is really right. Those
ads cost lots of money.

In my opinion, we all need to work to provide the strongest possible
Internet presence. That takes a lot of volunteer effort - in the
absence of lots of money, we'll have to make do with lots of time.

And unfortunately, we all know that in this business, decisions are
often made by the wrong people for the wrong reasons. We're all
idealists and would love to see this change, but we've also got to
get used to licking our wounds and getting back to work.

Mike Feldman