[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: What design is: 911 vs. Fleetwood

All three of the reasons you give for why Ada was more 
expensive (no one used it by choice, no one wrote
libraries for it, and no one wrote compilers for it) are 
just the symptoms of real hackers not liking it.  It 
may have shown up in the DoD's books as "language too
expensive" but the root cause was "language sucked."

BTW, here are some pictures of a Cadillac and 911 from 
the same year:


Although the images are hilarious I think the point is
an important one for language designers.  The Cadillac
was presumably very carefully designed to appeal to its
target users, whereas the 911 was just designed to be

The "average programmer" is a fuzzy target, and vague
aims always lead to bad work.


--- Christopher Barber <cbarber@curl.com> wrote:
> > Remember Ada and C?  As I heard it, the DoD required all
> > their software to be written in Ada, and you had to get
> > an exemption to use anything else.  But the best hackers
> > insisted on using C, and the DoD had to grant so many
> > exemptions that Ada soon became a dead letter.
> I think that overstates the case a bit.  It basically was a cost
> issue.  The
> DoD became interested in saving money and recognized that it was not
> reasonable to force everyone to use a technology that would cost
> more.  Ada
> was more expensive to use than other languages because: (1) there
> weren't
> that many Ada developers out there and many programmers were
> reluctant to
> sign on to an Ada project knowing that Ada was not used much outside
> of the
> defense industry (2) there was a lack of good software libraries for
> use
> with Ada, so you often had to roll your own (3) Ada compilers and
> tools were
> more expensive than commercial tools.  So it became pretty easy to
> get a
> COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) exemption to use some other language
> if you
> could show that you would make use of some prewritten non-Ada
> software
> libraries.
> - Christopher

Do You Yahoo!?
Check out Yahoo! Shopping and Yahoo! Auctions for all of
your unique holiday gifts! Buy at http://shopping.yahoo.com
or bid at http://auctions.yahoo.com