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Sender: "Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
From: "Brashear, Phil" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 16:36:58 -0400
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-To: Roger Racine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To: "Brashear, Phil" <[log in to unmask]>
Parts/Attachments: text/plain (78 lines)

Ada validation/conformance testing does indeed continue, and is no less
rigorous than when it was sponsored by DoD.
We continue to upgrade the test suite (now at version 2.2) and continue to
issue certificates.  Of course, I'm an insider,
so you might view my assurances with some skepticism, but I can assure you
that I would not put my part of the
organization behind this process if it were becoming sloppy.

To say that the commercial sector has less need for rigor than DoD is a
mistake.  Ada compilers are used in a wide
variety of safety-critical applications (e.g., Air Traffic Control systems)
where rigor is essential.

We are working to bring Ada conformity assessment under the ISO umbrella in
the sense that there is a developing ISO
standard for the conformity assessment process.  For information on this
process, contact Jim Moore, Convener of the ISO/IEC/SC22/WG9 Working Group
for Ada ([log in to unmask]).

For information on the current conformity assessment process, see or contact
the Ada Conformity Assessment Authority's Technical Representative, Randy
Brukardt ([log in to unmask]).

For general information about the EDS Ada Conformity Assessment Laboratory
operated by EDS, see
or contact me directly.

Phil Brashear
EDS Conformance Testing Center
4646 Needmore Road, Bin 46
P.O. Box 24593
Dayton, OH  45424-0593
(937) 237-4510
[log in to unmask]

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Roger Racine [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 1999 4:06 PM
> To:   [log in to unmask]
> Subject:      Conformance Testing
> Our company is involved in an Army project planning to use Ada.  An Army
> officer wrote a memo describing his concerns over the loss of DoD
> involvement in what used to be validation of compilers.  A very rough
> synopsis of his concerns is:
> *  Since the testing is now being done by a commercial group (the ARA),
> the
> testing might be less rigorous than when it was done by the AJPO, so as to
> satisfy the commercial sector, which has less need for rigor than the DoD.
> This might lead to less assurance that the compiler is defect-free, which
> then leads to the conclusion that the end system will be less reliable.
> We are being asked to comment on this memo, and would like any information
> regarding the Conformance Testing that might alleviate this concern.  For
> example, is ISO, or any independent organization, involved in the
> definition of the tests?
> Since the government dropped testing, has testing continued?
> Basically, I could use any ammunition on why conformance testing is either
> A) just as good as it used to be; or B) why conformance testing is not a
> major factor in end-system reliability.
> Pointers to web sites or technical articles would also be welcome.
> Roger Racine
> Roger Racine
> Draper Laboratory, MS 31
> 555 Technology Sq.
> Cambridge, MA 02139
> 617-258-2489