Alex Polack wrote:
> Some thoughts on the Ada issue:
> Ada is not a growing market, especially when one compares it with Java, C++,
> and VisualBasic markets.  Being a publicly traded company, Rational must
> make some hard decisions on where and how to spend its engineering
> resources.

I agree that Ada is not a growing market overall right now.  It
is generally stable, with growth in some areas and decline in
others.  Most Ada suppliers are experiencing increased business.

> No matter how good of a language Ada is/was, let's not forget, Ada and Ada
> market were thrust onto the front page by the US DoD.  As soon as the
> mandate to use that language was no longer enforced, the market began to
> disappear very fast.  Just look at the Ada related trade shows and expos.

I disagree with this.  The mandate was pretty ethereal.
Most people who used Ada did it because they wanted to,
not because they had to.  Those who didn't want to use
it generally found a way to opt out.  (By the way, I
have survey data to back up this assessment.)  I think
the loss of the mandate is a net gain, although the timing
could have been better - say five years earlier or two
years later.  It was badly timed from the point of view
of the Ada 95 launch and transition.

Ada-specific trade show decline in the last 3-4 years
is a reflection of the fact of the way the show itself
was marketed.  The slack has been picked up by other
shows, like STC.  Personally, I think an Ada-specific
show ought to be technically focused.

In the early days, Ada fans followed the mantra that
"Ada is not just a programming language, it's a way of
life."  These days the pendulum has swung to "Ada is
dead".  Truth lies in the middle.  It's a great programming
language with good tools support, pretty heavy use in some
sectors and minimal use in others.  That's pretty much it.
Ada in and of itself is not a very interesting topic, in
my view.  It's all a matter of what you do with it.

-- Dave Wood, Aonix
-- Product Manager, Win32 and Java Products