• Language debate is often highly subjective and inconclusive
    - Different perspectives produce different positions
    - Many have negative reaction to Ada mandate

  • Qualitative arguments do not resolve key issues
    - “Ada is too slow”; “No Ada programmers”; “No Ada tools”
    - “C code is cryptic”; “C is unsafe”; “C maintenance cost high”

  • Quantitative cost and productivity data difficult to obtain
    - Lifecycle cost data requires discipline to collect
    - Productivity data is often company proprietary
    - “Controlled experiment” implementing equivalent large, complex applications in multiple languages is exceedingly expensive

  • Technical language characteristics considered only indirectly
    -Discussed only with respect to impact on lifecycle cost

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SLIDE 4 - Caveats

Many people have a negative reaction to the DOD Ada mandate. They perceive Ada as an (unwanted) programming language that DOD is attempting to impose on them.

Some people are put off by assumptions like "Ada is intelligible and complex" or "C maintenance costs are too high."

Some are influenced by the first language they learn or the language they know best. They attempt to create a feature for feature comparison of languages and ignore new and potentially more appropriate language features.

Others see Ada as a radical departure from what they already know, requiring a steep learning curve.

Still others fear that it is an immature and unsupported language, resulting in a high cost and low availability of tools.

Software development lifecycle cost data requires discipline to collect;

productivity data is often proprietary;

and "experiments" implementing large, complex systems in multiple languages are too expensive.