Welcome to SIGAda 2001 from the
SIGAda, Conference, and Program Committee Chairs
Welcome to ACM SIGAda's 2001 Annual International Conference - the yearly "meeting place" of the Ada community! We welcome you back to Minnesota, where much of the original Ada work took place. The GREEN language which became Ada was a product of Honeywell. One of the first Ada compilers was built by an group in Control Data (now part of General Dynamics) and important language design work was done by Sperry-Univac (now part of Lockheed-Martin). The current Crusadar (UDLP) and RAAF (Lockheed-Martin) projects continue to show how Ada can be used effectively and efficiently to build high-quality systems.
As we move into the 21st century, Ada continues unparalleled in the areas of distributed, real-time, and embedded systems. Where correctness, reliability, and robustness are a concern, Ada's track record of an all-around success is unparalleled. At a time when authorities such as Capers Jones indicate that the biggest gain in effectiveness and efficiency comes from the reuse of high-quality deliverables (and biggest loss from the reuse of low-quality deliverables), Ada's concepts of interface and implementation separation, generics, and packaging take increased interest from the software development community. For example, the Java generics proposal echos that of Ada83; we know that Ada has almost a 20-year lead in these areas only now being recognized as issues by other languages. And the Ada95 fully implemented distributed-concurrency on top of concurrent objects clearly tops other solutions, as shown by Per Brinch Hansen's 1999 SIGPlan arcticle on Java's insecure parallelism.
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 unimagineable ways with Ada95 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 implementors 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 ¾ 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. High-speed ground transportation systems all over the world, most modern jetliner avionics, satellite systems, and battle automation use Ada and power important parts of the world's economies and defenses. Two days of technical papers, keynotes, and invited presentations will report how these successes are achieved and where remaining issues are leading.
To complement technical papers and keynote talks focused on these themes, parallel-track sessions on other important Ada software engineering and education topics are also offered at SIGAda 2001. Yet, with few exceptions, these topics directly or indirectly interact with theme topics. Thus, we hope you will find the entire technical program enticing whether or not you are currently working in distributed and/or real-time embedded domains.
Beyond the formal conference of selected papers and presentations, SIGAda 2001 offers workshops and tutorials with the same duality of on-theme and complementary topics. SIGAda's tutorials and workshops provide full- or half-days for 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 such as proving programs correct. These topies 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 2001 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 and at the nearby Mall of America attractions. 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 early Corporate Sponsors, Ada Core Technologies, and TopGraphX, for their generous support for SIGAda 2001.
The MITRE Corporation
University of Northern Iowa.