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