AdaIC News Fall 1996
Ada study at National Academy of Science
First, Mr. Emmett Paige, Assistant Secretary of Defense (C3I), asked
the National Academy of Science to conduct a study of the current Ada policy within the Department of Defense (DoD). This task was given to
the Academy's National Research Council (NRC). The NRC then selected
the chair of the study group, Dr. Barry Boehm, and the 12 additional
The charter for this study group is to examine the current policy to
determine whether it is still viable and relevant in today's world,
and, if not, to suggest an alternative policy. Recall that the last
time such a study was conducted was over 20 years ago!
The study group has had two meetings in which invited people presented
their facts and suggestions. They have at least one more scheduled
meeting and will then render their report to Mr. Paige not later than
31 October 1996. It is still too early to tell what the outcome of
the study group will be, but all indications are that this is a fair
and well balanced group of people, and that the result will be in the
best interests of the DoD.Ø
Second, many of you have heard that the AJPO may close. Let me put
this rumor to rest. Yes, we will be closing, but that is exactly what
we should be doing.
A program office is established to create a product. It identifies
requirements, and designs, implements, tests, and refines the product
until it is ready for full-scale production. At that point, the
program office has done its job and is closed; maintenance of the
product is accomplished by other people. The "PO" in AJPO stands for
Program Office. The AJPO and its predecessor, the High Order Language
Working Group (HOLWG), were established to create the Ada programming
language. This was done. We then matured it through its first
international restandardization. It is now time to be disestablished.
This does not mean that the functions of the AJPO will go away; nor
does it have any link whatsoever to the policy of the DoD with regard
to the use of Ada. The F-16 Program Office was established to create
the F-16. When it went from R&D to Maintenance, the program office
was scheduled to be closed, but the F-16 will still be with us and is
very much an essential part of the nation's arsenal. So will it be
Over a year ago, we selected a target of June 1997 as the time to
close the AJPO. We have been progressing along a glide slope to that
date. If we can accomplish what we need to sooner, we will close
sooner. If it takes a little longer, then we will stay open a little
longer. But we will close.
We started the transition of the AJPO by first enumerating our
functions. We moved the obvious things first. The validation of
compilers for all languages but Ada is done by the National Institute
of Standards and Technology (NIST). Why should Ada be different?
Accordingly, we have entered into an agreement with NIST, which calls
for them to assume responsibility for validation effective 1 October
1996. They have effectively taken over as of 1 July 1996.
This was not done without extensive coordination between NIST, the Ada
Validation Office, the Distinguished Reviewers, the Ada Rapporteur
Group, and other interested parties. The agreement we signed
satisfied all parties, and the movement of the validation
responsibility will be transparent to the Ada community.
Another function of the AJPO is the maintenance of the Memoranda of
Understanding and Agreement with various official parties, among them
the American National Standards Institute, the International
Standardization Organization, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization,
etc. This function will be moved to the Center for Standards in the
Defense Information Systems Agency. Again, this move will be
transparent to all Ada community members.
The Ada Information Clearinghouse will be expanded into a consolidated
Information Clearinghouse, run by the same contractor, IIT Research
Institute (IITRI). In addition to information about Ada and reuse,
the Clearinghouse will provide information about the Defense
Information Infrastructure (DII) and the Common Operating Environment
(COE). This way, the AdaIC will stay open and perform the same
functions, sponsored by DISA instead of the AJPO.
Other functions of the AJPO will become fee-for-service activities
conducted either by IITRI or the Ada Resource Association (ARA).
These organizations have entered into extensive discussions about the
future of these services and how they can provide them to the
For example, the AJPO was able to provide free Language Reference
Manuals and Rationales to DoD personnel. Access to these resources
will still be free, on-line at the AdaIC. However, a free hardcopy
can be obtained only by downloading the files and printing themhoney
yourself. With binding (or a notebook in which to keep the pages
together), this can get expensive. However, IITRI can sell bound
copies of the printed LRM and Rationale for approximately $40 a set.
Similarly, the ARA can sell them for the same price; cheaper than
downloading and printing!
So I hope that this discussion has cleared up some rumors. Yes, the
AJPO is going away. However, its functions will still be in the
sustaining base of the government. The Program Office accomplished
its mission and will now fold its tent.Ø
As mentioned earlier, this should not be taken as a lessening of the
DoD commitment to Ada. Indeed, the newly release DoD Regulation
5000.2 specifically states that Ada is still the required language for
software development when the government is responsible for
maintenance of the software. This is not an old policy; it was signed
in March of 1996! It is clear that the policy is unchanged, even
though the AJPO is finishing its mission. Like the F-16, the Program
Office may close, but the product will be maintained as an effective
part of the DoD's arsenal.Ø
Software Reuse Initiative
Now that I have cleared up rumors regarding Ada, I would like to
discuss some very positive facts regarding Software reuse.
The SRI is a success. The SRI, under the leadership of the SRI
Program Management Office in DISA, has effectively defined and
implemented the Software Reuse Infrastructure. This infrastructure
includes a reuse repository mechanism, educational and marketing
initiatives, an on-line Reuse Information Clearinghouse, SRI Vision
and Strategy, planning documents, and identified Service and Agency
The key emphasis of the established DoD Software Reuse Infrastructure
is to use an architecture-centric, product-line approach. This
approach is reflected in present efforts described within this
newsletter. The SMART Initiative has as an objective the
definition and implementation of a business model that describes how a
software architecture-centric approach can be effectively implemented
within the DoD. Product-line reuse is described from an Automotive
Perspective in an article by Dr. Fred Maymir-Ducharme.
CelsiusTech Systems AB of Sweden has demonstrated successful reuse on
the level of architectures on the STRIC project.
In the next issue of the newsletter, I will discuss in more detail the
elements of the DoD Software Reuse Infrastructure. Also, there will
be articles on the tools being developed by DISA to help the Program
Manager do software development within this infrastructure.Ø
Charles B. Engle, Jr.
Chief, Ada Joint Program Office
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