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[Mike back to Chris now]
>
> Hello Michael,
>
> > [miniflame alert]
>
> [major flame retort]
>
> > I find it quite amazing that someone as devoted to Ada as you are
> > apparently isn't ready to pay $25. a year to join SIGAda. (It is
> > NOT necessary to be an ACM member to join the SIG!)
>
> Hold on for one second.  I am a member and it has taken ACM nearly
> 7 months to tell me what my member number was.  As a matter of fact
> I just sent in my renewal.

OK, sorry for the misunderstanding - since the article in question
was mentioned as Dec 99 AdaLetters, I figured if you were a member,
you know where to get it.
>
> > If you were a member, you'd have a copy already! AdaLetters lands
> > in your mailbox every couple of months. Martin Carlisle is the
> > current editor.
>
> If that is true then why haven't I received a copy of this illustrious
> document?  I joined back in November of last year and have not
> received even a "welcome to the group" or "thanks for the money now
> go away" letter.

That's an excellent question. If you got your cancelled check, it
seems pretty obvious to me that the ACM office dropped the ball.
They do that more often than any of us would like, but the way to
fix those problems in to keep them in ACM's face, and also keep
the heat on the SIGAda officers to keep the heat on ACM.
>
> > Yesterday I opined that we have enough organizations; several others
> > said they didn't think SIGAda and ARA were enough.
>
> With regards to getting Ada more visible and having real projects and
> products that will appeal to the masses, then they aren't enough.

But IMHO, starting up yet another organization, which would require
a whole lot of mechanics and people time, not to mention money, I
think it's better for people with project ideas to spend their
time on the projects (as the Ada for Linux group has, for example),
and try to use existing mechanisms, especially the SIGAda working
groups and the Net, to raise their visibility. Too many organizations
is just as bad as too few.
>
> > I'd be more inclined to credit those objections if they came from
> > people who
> >
> > - were members of SIGAda
>
> This is where you made your first erroneous assumption.

Yes, I did - I apologize.
>
> > - tried to get involved with the SIGAda activities, especially
> >   the various working groups
>
> I can only do what I am either financially capable of doing or
> logistically
> able to do.  So is a lot of other people on this list.

Well, true, but I'm suggesting only that you work within the
existing working group framework. It doesn't have to cost you
more time than you'd otherwise spend; a lot of work is done
over the net, for example. If there's not an appropriate WG yet,
get some people together and form a new one.
>
> > - were genuinely unsatisfied and tried without success to make
> >   changes
> >
> > I've been a SIGAda member since sometimes in the 80s. No organization
> > is perfect, but I find SIGAda to be a reasonable approximation to
> > a good forum for Ada activities.
>
> Just because you have been a member for such a long time doesn't entitle
> you the rank of Ada Pope.

No, of course not! I was trying to say that I can speak from experience
that SIGAda seems to work reasonably well, better than any alternative
I can think of, and certainly better than trying to form a new group
from scratch.

> Sarcasm and deferential treatment is neither
> wanted or appreciated.

I wasn't being sarcastic, Chris - I meant, literally, that SIGAda
is not perfect but is a reasonable approximation to a good forum.
If the approximation is not good enough, let's get together to make
it better.

I sound like a *&^%$ "organization man" here - I'm not at all.
I'm just trying to respond to two things:

(1) Starting organizations is expensive, especially in time, which
    none of us have an excess of;

(2) As I've said here many times before, I'd much rather see people
    saying "Here, look what I've done!", than saying "We ought to
    do X" and meaning "Somebody else - not I - ought to do X."
>
> > The last few years' of SIGada conference proceedings are on the web.
>
> I made my first attempt today to access this resource, thanks to Martin
> Carlisle.

As far as I know, everything on the SIGAda website is completely
public; nothing is passworded. Teamers should keep this in mind
and use the SIGAda site as one of their regular Ada resources.
>
> > [flame off]
>
> [major flame off]
>
> Can we please stick to important matters.

I don't think this is off-topic - it goes directly to the question
of the various organizations, sites, and other resources that are
there to support and promote Ada. I think there enough of them now;
let's just all use them as effectively as possible.

And please everyone - when you suggest contributions others should make,
please add a brief statement of the contributions you are making.

For my part, I am supervising the education part of the SIGAda website,
serving as the chair of the SIGAda education working group, teaching
Ada to roughly 100 freshmen and sophomores a semester, and writing
textbooks, encyclopedia articles, handbook articles, etc., to
promote Ada. I'm not boasting, just following my own advice.:-)
> --
> Chris Sparks, Boeing
> (714) 372 - 9791
>
Mike Feldman