• Commercial viability of Ada

  • - C/C++ will continue to occupy a large market share
    - Numerous and increasing non-DOD use suggests Ada longevity
    - Ada 95 GNAT freeware compiler likely to increase Ada use
    - Java impact unknown but may enhance Ada 95 use

  • Standardization and portability

  • - Ada 83, Ada 95 and C are standards; C++ is not

  • Programmer training

  • - C/C++ programmers widely available but without real-time training
    - Ada not difficult to learn, may be easier to learn for real-time apps.
    - Increasing number of universities teaching Ada, esp. as foundation

  • Development cost

  • - Some Ada initial development costs may be higher than C

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From the Script: SLIDE 65 - Findings

These are the findings as they relate to each of the cost factors we identified at the beginning of the presentation.

Ada is commercially viable. Having the largest market share is not the only definition of "viable". Certainly languages such as SmallTalk are quite viable even though their marketshare is much smaller than that of C/C++. There is anecdotal evidence that Ada 95 and the availability of a free Ada compiler (GNAT) are causing increased commercial interest in and use of Ada 95. Certainly the existence of over 50 MSLOC of Ada code in the US DOD alone indicates that Ada vendors, programmers, and tools will be around for quite a while.

Slides 19-21 included a list of Ada projects. For more specifics on this, check out:

Ada is standardized. Both Ada 83 and Ada 95 are standards; C++ is not. The C++ committee does not expect a C++ standard before September of 1998. One major advantage this brings to Ada is the fact that tool vendors don't have to keep up with a moving target as they do in the C++ world.

Ada training is available. When it comes to the issue of training, C++ programmers are widely available, but not with real-time training. There is debate within the software community as to whether the large number of C++ programmers who apply for jobs are really qualified or if many of them are really only C programmers with updated resumes. Ada is not difficult to learn, and an increasing number of universities are teaching Ada, especially as a foundation language. (See reports from the AdaIC newsletter for additional specifics. From 1986 to 1997, the number of institutions offering Ada courses went from 74 to 442. From 1986 to 1997, the number of Ada courses offered went from 163 to 789).

Some initial development costs may be higher using Ada. For Ada development efforts, the proportion of time spent is usually larger in requirements analysis and design and lower in test. Often, this change reflects a software engineering shift that Ada brings to an organization. However, Ada need not cost more at development time than C provided an equivalent Software Engineering Process is in place.