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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Peter Amey <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 31 Jul 2002 08:40:37 +0100
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Peter Amey <[log in to unmask]>
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Maybe this is just a European perspective, but I don't think things are
nearly as black for Ada as the majority of posts have implied.  I can think
of a dozen or so new-start Ada projects without straining too hard.  We were
even involved in a new-start Ada 83 project very recently (please don't ask
why this strange choice was made!).

Furthermore, I detect a real swing back from the "language doesn't matter,
use COTs, hack it together (in a CMM Level 5 hacking shop, of course)"
mentality.  Some of this is being driven by the security world, especially
post 9/11, who under the auspices of the "common criteria" are obliged to
take a more rigorous approach to software integrity.  It is also revealing
the way my Crosstalk article "Correctness by Construction - Better Can Also
Be Cheaper*" was picked up and quoted in the opening keynote address at this
year's STC conference by Lloyd K Moseman of SAIC: he made a particular point
about the need to restore engineering discipline to the software world.  I
have also had a terrific response to that article, from people who have had
enough of the process dominated approaches of recent years.

In this environment, it is essential that Ada advocates keep fighting and
don't let the weaker solutions get chosen by default.

- Stress the risk of choosing poorer technologies.
- Point out that current ways of working don't exactly have a glowing
reputation for effectiveness.
- Tell the pointy-haired managers they might go to jail if they knowingly
ignore a proven better technology and then get something wrong.
- If there is a staff shortage, train people.
- If people don't think Ada is worth learning then pay good Ada engineers
more until it _is_ attractive to learn (this makes sound business sense
given the proven quality and productivity increases Ada brings).

regards Peter

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