Software Crisis

Result Ada

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From the Script: SLIDE 10 - Software Crisis 1976

The technical reasons to use Ada translate into business reasons to use Ada.

In 1976, according to a DOD report, the minimum number of probable languages and dialects in use for DOD programs was 450, but the actual number was not identifiable. DOD was developing unique languages like CMS-2 and Jovial for specific needs. [Hook, p. ES-1]

There were substantial drawbacks to this state of affairs:

The differences between languages and the deviation from language standards to form dialects resulted in low interoperability; it was difficult to port code from one platform to another. There was little ability to reuse code.

The cost of maintaining these programs was very high. Programmers possessed very specialized skills and could not be easily moved to other projects. Different compilers and tool suites had to be maintained for these languages. [Guidelines, p.5-4]

Maintenance and support of these languages was unreliable.

When the drawbacks of language proliferation are viewed together with the seriousness of software defects and the potential for disruption of military preparedness, the development of Ada was an unavoidable business decision.