Can Ada Stand Up to the Challenges of C/C++ and JAVA?

Pam M. Thompson

Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems

My presentation will consist of a discussion on results from several Lockheed Martin Ada company studies that investigated the best ways to address concerns about the future of Ada as a defense aerospace supportable programming language. I will also be referencing material from published external sources.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has several large software systems implemented using Ada which will require maintenance conceivably for the next 10 years. Concerns include compiler viability and availability, tool vendor interest in writing Ada applications, an aging Ada programming community and software development environment upgrades that omit Ada compatibility requirements.

Emerging technologies like model-driven architecture and object oriented design replacing structured applications have the ability to change significantly the role of programming languages like Ada in the future. Several key factors related to programming language selection will be identified as well as comparisons between Ada, Java and C/C++.