> I work for a major defense contractor at a site where we've done
> lots of work in Ada, and lots of work in C/C++.  Recently, some
> influential colleagues have expressed concern over the viability of
> Ada.  One of them has asserted that it would be "looney" for a new
> project to choose Ada, because of the limited availability of
> compilers and other tools, especially for new processors, and
> because of risks related to future availability of tools.  This is
> from someone who is quite willing to acknowledge the technical
> advantages of Ada.
> Frankly, I think the concern is exaggerated, but it is obvious that
> the current market for Ada is much smaller than for C++, there are
> more compilers and other tools for C++ (or Java) than for Ada, and
> there is more vendor investment in C++ and Java than in Ada.  My
> position is that there are good compilers and tools available, but
> I could use some data (opinions will be of little use) that
> supports the claim that the Ada market is not disappearing.  I have
> used Dick Reid's data on languages in CS1 courses (posted here a
> few weeks ago) to show that Ada use is steady (and nearly matches
> C++) in this area, but I could use some hard data for the current
> Ada commercial market.  Can anyone point me to such data?  Is there
> any interesting news along these lines from last week's SIGAda
> conference?  (Statistics from the PAL or Web sites such as Ada Home
> are interesting, but I suspect that information about where money
> is being spent would be more persuasive.)

The Ada compiler and tool market is served quite well by a number of
vendors.  The following vendors have multiple Ada compilers:

    Green Hills
    Irvine Compiler Corp
    O. C. Systems
    Rational Software
    RR Software

There are also a few companies who just offer compilers for their own

    Analog Devices (for the SHARC)

(and probably others).

There are also tool companies which provide Ada-supportive tools,

    Vector Software

The Ada compiler and tool market is approximately $100 Million.

The following Hosts, Targets, and operating systems are supported by
the above Ada compiler vendors:

    Hosts:  SPARC/Solaris, HP9000/HP-UX, RS6000/AIX, IBM390/MVS,
       Intelx86/Win-NT/9X, SGI/IRIX, Concurrent/PowerMAX, Intelx86/Linux,
       Intelx86/OS/2, PowerMAC/Tenon, VAX/VMS, Alpha/Open-VMS, Intelx86/DOS,
       Alpha/DEC-Unix, Siemens-Nixdorf RM200/SINIX

    Targets: All the above hosts plus:
       PowerPC/VxWorks, PowerPC/Raven, Intelx86/PharLapETS,
       PowerPC/Integrity, HP7xx/HP-RT, MIPS/VxWorks, RAD6000/VxWorks,
       68K/VxWorks, Pentium/VxWorks, ADI21020/Bare, i960/HAOS, PowerPC/LynxOS,
       ADI-SHARC/Virtuoso, IBM390/CICS, Nighthawk 6800

The Hosts and Targets list is definitely not complete, as some compilers
are used in-house without being officially validated.  In particular, there
are a number of GNAT-derivatives being used for production work for targets
or hosts not listed above.

There are also Ada 95 compilers that generate Java byte codes, as well
as those that generate optimized ANSI C as their intermediate code, allowing
integration with JVM-based environments, as well as with any existing
ANSI-C-supportive environment.

Given the combination of the GCC-based GNAT, plus the JVM-targeted
and ANSI-C targeted Ada 95 compilers, and the large number of commercially
supported targets already, there is no real issue these days or in the
foreseeable future with Ada compiler availability.

> - Jim Hassett