At least Rational advertises! And they don't just advertise Rose and ClearCase -- I've seen actual Ada ads, which is what is needed. I clipped out the full-page "steel vault" Apex Ada ad and put it up on my cubicle wall. The ad was placed in Government Computer News, which is probably not the most helpful place, but at least it's something. Advertising is the difference between life and death for products. Where would Coca Cola be without advertising? The funny thing about ads is that people respond to them even if the ad says nothing in particular about your product. You don't even need to trumpet the virtues of the product most of the time -- what you are looking for is penetration of the consumer's awareness. Mindshare is a terrible thing to waste! Think about Nike. Think about Miller Lite beer. Advertising is an odd enterprise that points up goofy aspects of human motivation and thinking patterns. For example, you'll find that supply creates demand, a counterintuitive but useful piece of knowledge. Another odd result -- people trust you if they see ads from you more than a couple of times. I appreciate Green Hills Software for at least mentioning Ada in their ads -- even if it's only one word. At least people can see that there is an Ada product that can be purchased. Plus it shows up in Embedded Systems Programming magazine, a place where programming tools are sold and something that programmers actually read. But it's not enough. The only thing that can help Ada is good advertisements that focus on the products that are being sold. This means that vendors have to do it. AJPO can't do it because they aren't selling a product. That's the flaw behind the AJPO ads, slick as they were. Of course we all know, Ada vendors know, everyone knows that (1) DoD is still the biggest market for Ada, (2) the pricing structures for the DoD market and the commercial market are as incompatible as Windows and Unix (which means, for those who aren't aware of the $100 hammer facts of life, that Ada vendors can make more money per unit selling to DoD), and (3) most of the big Ada vendors have other products to sell besides Ada (so split the marketing budget into two pieces, and focus the Ada budget on DoD trade shows). These factors all drive Ada vendors to have a a disincentive to market Ada outside the DoD world. But all of these reasons strike me as cringing, slinking, tail-between-the-legs reasons. That's no way to grow a business. Vendors need more guts, more chutzpah, to get their Ada products to play a bigger game. Rational is showing that kind of chutzpah now in a different direction in their attempt to single- handedly inaugurate the UML era; they seem to be succeeding, too. Like I said in my last letter about marketing: there's a growing, soon to be booming commercial market for real-time embedded software out there, and it's waiting like virgin territory for good technologies with good marketing programs. In the words of the gospel: "The fields are white unto harvest". Mindshare abhors a vacuum, and those other languages are rushing in to get a share of the pie, including the obviously inappropriate ones. Ada people, think big! Remember our USP (I haven't heard anyone object so far, so I assume you all agreed the USP in my previous notes ;) >> see http://www.acm.org/archives/wa.cgi?A2=ind9802&L=team-ada&O=T&P=5469 "Ada is the most powerful language for real-time object oriented software." [repeat sotto voce] Wouldn't it be nice of the world knew this, especially at this critical juncture? Microsoft is on the verge of "legitimatizing" (read: "annihilating the other vendors in") the field of real-time operating systems. Assume Visual C++ is to become the language of choice. How does your stomach feel? Now: how do we let the world know? We can do our little TeamAda-type promotions (and I have), but the vendors must jump on the bandwagon and claim their rightful share of the upcoming $100s of millions to be spent in this arena. Ada compilers and tools are the result of intense intellectual effort and heavy monetary investment. You've spent the money and energy to make the products, why don't you try to sell them? -- Stanley Allen mailto:[log in to unmask] P.S. When people want to know about real-time programming, point them to the Burns & Wellings book "Real-Time Systems and Programming Languages" (second edition, Addison-Wesley, 1997). It's a damn fine book, and Ada features prominently and positively throughout it. It is a good tool for Ada mindshare growth, and couldn't have been published at a better time for our purposes. BTW, I saw six copies of this book at a local bookstore recently!