Welcome to the 2004 Annual International Conference of ACM's Special Interest Group on Ada (SIGAda), being held in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The Buckhead area of Atlanta is also a marvelous place to hold a conference as it has pleasant weather in November facilitating technical discussions in a congenial environment.
We offer you a conference featuring a top-quality technical program focused on important strengths of Ada: distributed, real-time, and embedded systems. The visions of these systems reflected in Ada's original requirements in the 1970s have expanded in almost unimaginable ways with Ada 95 implementations, and continue to be objects of envy by those in the programming language community who understand what the strengths of a language brings to implementers in terms of efficiency, reliability, and effectiveness. Software challenges remain dominant in these domains with rapid hardware advances. Most other languages fail to meet the needs identified as far back as the 1976 Steelman, being able at best to do only 3/4 of the needed function while Ada performs over 95%. Ada's track record of reliability, efficiency, robustness and all-around success is unparalleled at solving real-time and/or distributed system challenges. Ada is used in space/satellite systems, most modern jetliner avionics, high-speed ground transportation systems, and battle automation systems. As such, it is an important part of the world's economies and defenses.
Three days of technical papers, keynotes, and invited presentations will report how these successes are achieved and where remaining issues are leading. We are fortunate to have leaders in the software engineering community to provide keynote addresses to set the tone for our conference.
We are also fortunate to have special presentations which will give you an opportunity to find out how Ada continues to evolve to meet our future requirements, to result in Ada 2005.
Beyond the formal conference of selected papers and presentations, SIGAda 2004 offers workshops and tutorials with the same duality of on-theme and complementary topics. SIGAda's tutorials provide full-day or half-days on selected topics to enhance one's professional development. SIGAda's workshops allow those working the same issues to share with each other and leverage everyone's accomplishments; workshop products are "delivered" to the community.
The broad offerings of career-enhancing tutorials include basic Ada 95 introductions for software engineers new to Ada, intermediate and advanced Ada topics for practitioners striving to expand their Ada expertise, and several language-independent technology topics. These topics are often coupled with Ada technology because only Ada's full and complete definition allows one to indicate what is expected, and to show that it can be achieved. Join us in understanding how these topics mutually support the disciplined development and evolution of serious, high quality software systems.
Finally, we hope SIGAda 2004 provides you an outstanding opportunity for rewarding affiliation with colleagues in industry, academia, and government - discussions "in the hall," informal meal-time meetings, and even during the more relaxed moments we make for socializing in this wonderful southern city. If you don't realize it already, you will learn that these associations can be as valuable as the technical program at professional conferences, and often extend the experience after you return home.
We take this opportunity to thank our Corporate Sponsors as they participate in this year's SIGAda Conference. Our Platinum sponsors are Microsoft, AdaCore, Green Hills Software, and Aonix. Our Silver sponsors are TNI-Europe, I-Logix, and ARTiSAN Software Tools. Also exhibiting are Praxis High Integrity Systems, PolySpace Technologies, and LDRA Software Technology.
ACM SIGAda Chair
The MITRE Corporation
Colket at MITRE.Org
John W. McCormick
University of Northern Iowa
McCormick at CS.UNI.Edu
Lt Col Ricky E. Sward
US Air Force Academy
ricky.sward at usafa.af.mil