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OK.  My provocative subject line has stimulated some positive
discussion.  I have even had messages from people not part of
the immediate Ada community suggesting I am a "crybaby" and
ought to be satisfied that Ada has any kind of following at all.
Amazing how these Team-Ada discussions propagate beyond the
sanctum sanctorum of this Listserve.

Meanwhile, we have had some interesting suggestions from
Michael Feldman and Rush Kester, among others.   We have
also had some edifying comments from Tucker in his role of
ARA spokesperson.

I agree with Dr. Feldman that we do not need yet another formal
organization.   Also, just as he submitted his five dollars for some
kind of associate membership in the early incarnation of the ARA,
so did I;  so did a lot of other people.   At some point it was determined
that only those with deep pockets would be allowed to join.   This
effectively stilled the voices of those who might have had worthwhile
contributions to the ARA decision-making process.   Perhaps with
gadflies such as me swooping in from time to time they decided it
was easier to put in a screen door than to wield a fly-swatter.

The only forum we have for those of us who are Ada enthusiasts
with an interest in promoting Ada is Team-Ada.   Michael is correct
in his conclusion that we do not want to form yet another organization.
Nevertheless, we can make a difference from this forum, I believe.

I am not one of those who thinks print ads make that much of a difference.
However, public relations efforts can pay off.    Good PR will be in the
form of literature, events, and notifications that are of interest to the
targeted audience.   This is already being done, to some extent, through
the cooperative efforts between ARA, SigAda, and volunteers noted in
Michael's attached message.

We need more.   We need products written in Ada.  We need some of
the Team-Ada members submitting articles to IEEE Computer and other
IEEE publications.  We need papers published in the ACM publications.
We need stories of problems solved using Ada in Dr. Dobb's.   And we
need to have the ARA or its members placing public relations notices
in major publications.   At present, the PR activity related to Ada is
nil.   The PR for C++, Java is substantial.

I called for a "grass roots" effort since we have no money to make this
happen.   ARA apparently has no money for public relations.    But
whatever we do in the form of PR must be grounded in substance.  If
we do have an article to write, be sure it is solving a real problem that
is of interest to real people, errrrrrrrr, to software developers anyway.

Enough for now.   Sorry to be such a bother on this.   I believe we need
some kind of effort from among our own subscriber list.   I believe we
can make a difference.

Richard




Richard Riehle
[log in to unmask]
AdaWorks Software Engineering
6 Sepulveda Circle
Salinas, CA 93906
(831) 443-5536
http://www.adaworks.com

On Tue, 6 Jun 2000, Michael Feldman wrote:

> [said Rush]
> >
> > I agree with Tucker that Ada seems to have weathered the "post mandate"
> > slump and be well on the way to recovery and growth.  I am disturbed
> > that Ada doesn't have an association like a Milk Marketer's, Florida
> > Citrus Grower's, Potatoe Grower's, (and yes even the Broccoli Grower's)
> > et. to promote Ada.
> >
> [motherhood statement snipped]
> >
> > Yet it seems to me that increasing the use of Ada through promotion and
> > publicity doesn't seem to be the mission of any organization. If such an
> > association were formed what membership fees would be appropriate, how
> > would it be staffed, and how would the staff be compensated?
> >
> > Rush Kester
>
> The last thing this smallish community needs, IMHO, is yet another
> organization. We have three main organizations now:
>
> - SIGAda, a technical society run by volunteers (as are all the
>   ACM SIGs);
>
> - ARA, the nearest thing we have to a trade association like those
>   you mentioned above;
>
> - AdaEurope, which seems to have aspects of both SIGAda and ARA,
>   and further serves as a common meeting point for the various
>   European national-level Ada groups.
>
> When ARA was formed a few years ago (five?) out of the ashes of
> the old Ada Strategic Alliance, it originally accepted memberships
> from anyone, including individuals. I recall paying $5.00 dues.
>
> At some point ARA decided to eliminate the individual memberships,
> perhaps because some of us were being too noisy in proportion to
> our financial contributions. (A bit like the proverbial little
> old lady who buys 5 shares of AT&T stock and stirs up a fuss at
> every stockholder meeting:-).)
>
> I agree that ARA ought to make itself a more visible trade association,
> but we've gotta admit that it's doing a fair amount of good work behind
> the scenes, including providing funds to SIGAda for a lot of SIGAda's
> outreach activities, including exhibiting under SIGAda's name at a
> reasonable number of trade shows and conferences. The ARA/SIGAda
> cooperation is far smoother than it ever has been (in my view, anyway).
>
> I think we just must realize that there are no really deep-pocket
> companies backing Ada, and we have to make the best of the thin
> resources available for outreach. Some of us seem to think that more
> ads in paper publications would make a big difference; our vendors
> dispute that and I have no way to know who is really right. Those
> ads cost lots of money.
>
> In my opinion, we all need to work to provide the strongest possible
> Internet presence. That takes a lot of volunteer effort - in the
> absence of lots of money, we'll have to make do with lots of time.
>
> And unfortunately, we all know that in this business, decisions are
> often made by the wrong people for the wrong reasons. We're all
> idealists and would love to see this change, but we've also got to
> get used to licking our wounds and getting back to work.
>
> Mike Feldman
>