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Re: An open plea to the W3C (was Re: XInclude vs SAX vs

  • From: Vance Christiaanse <cintech@t...>
  • To: "Steven R. Newcomb" <srn@c...>
  • Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2001 21:31:30 -0600

tony hoare ada
It's Tony Hoare you're quoting.

"Steven R. Newcomb" wrote:
> About ten years later, another Turing Award Lecturer (don't have time
> to track down the reference) complained about the complexity of Ada.
> According to what I recall from reading about it in _Computerworld_ 20
> years ago, the complaint was different from Dijkstra's complaint about
> PL/I (below).  The complaint was not so much that programmers couldn't
> handle Ada's complexity, but that reliably implementing Ada itself was
> simply out of reach.  The speaker worried that missile guidance
> systems and other weapon systems running real-time Ada programs would
> misbehave in various unforeseeable ways.  He was horrified that the
> U.S. military was trying to standardize on Ada.
> > From: "Simon St.Laurent" <simonstl@s...>
> > Edgser W. Dijkstra/ Turing Award Lecture/
> > Communications of the ACM, Vol. 15, Number 10,
> > October 1972
> >
> > Finally, although the subject is not a pleasant one, I must
> > mention  PL/I, a programming language for which the
> > defining documentation is of a frightening size and
> > complexity. Using PL/I must be like flying a plane with
> > 7,000 buttons, switches, and handles to manipulate in the
> > cockpit.   I absolutely fail to see how we can keep our
> > growing programs firmly within our intellectual grip when
> > by its sheer baroqueness the programming language - our
> > basic tool, mind you! - already escapes our intellectual
> > control. And, if I have to describe the influence PL/I can
> > have on its users, the closest metaphor that comes to my
> > mind is that of a drug.  I remember from a symposium on
> > higher level programming languages a lecture given in
> > defense of PL/I by a man who described himself as one of
> > its devoted users. But within a one-hour lecture in praise
> > of PL/I, he managed to ask for the addition of about 50 new
> > "features," little supposing that the main source of his
> > problems could very well be that it contained already far
> > too many "features." The speaker displayed all the
> > depressing symptoms of addiction, reduced as he was to the
> > state of mental stagnation in which he could only ask for
> > more, more, more.... When FORTRAN has been called an
> > infantile disorder, PL/I, with its growth characteristics
> > of a dangerous tumor, could turn out to be a fatal disease.
> -Steve
> --
> Steven R. Newcomb, Consultant
> srn@c...
> voice: +1 972 359 8160
> fax:   +1 972 359 0270
> 1527 Northaven Drive
> Allen, Texas 75002-1648 USA
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