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Ada: Programming in the 80's Guest Editor's Introduction

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131463D
Original Publication Date: 1981-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 2 page(s) / 17K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Christine L. Braun: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

In 1975 the United States Department of Defense began an effort aimed at reducing the rapidly increasing expense of military software systems. This effort has now evolved into one of software engineering's most exciting and far-reaching developments-the Ada* programming language and associated support environment.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1981 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society http://www.computer.org/ (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

Ada: Programming in the 80's Guest Editor's Introduction

Christine L. Braun

SofTech, Inc.

In 1975 the United States Department of Defense began an effort aimed at reducing the rapidly increasing expense of military software systems. This effort has now evolved into one of software engineering's most exciting and far-reaching developments-the Ada* programming language and associated support environment.

The "Tower of Babel" proliferation of programming languages over the last two decades, while contributing to our understanding of language design principles, has increased software development costs. Software can seldom be reused from one system to the next, and programmers cannot readily move from one project to another. The DoD hoped to reduce these costs by developing a common language that could be used for all military software systems.

Ada is a trademark of the US Department of Defense.

Recognizing that success of the new language (then know as DoDI) depended on acceptance by a large programming community, the DoD sought inputs from academia, language designers, and defense contractors, both in the US and abroad. This emphasis on widespread involvement of industry and academia continued throughout design of the language, and has led to a language that reflects the talents of top language designers and has worldwide support and enthusiasm.

To fully realize the benefits of language commonality, a common programming environment is also required. This permits programmers to move from one host system to another, continuing to employ the same development tools and user interface. Concurrently with the Ada language design, the DoD conducted a program to determine the requirements for an integrated Ada environment, resulting in the Stoneman environment specification.

The DoD is now developing two full production Ada programming systems, as well as funding numerous related research efforts. Several foreign organizations, including the British and German Ministries of Defense, are also developing Ada systems. This international support promises that Ada will truly be the programming language of the X0's.

William E. Carlson, in the first article, describes the first five years of the DoD's Ada program. As manager of the Ada language development from 1975 to 1980, Carlson is extremely well- qualified to present the program and offer his personal views on its implications.

Ronald F. Brender and Isaac R. Nassi of Digital Equipment Corporation then present an introduction to key concepts of the Ada language. Their "layman's...