The DoD-1 competition
« One (language) to replace them all »
(more extensive, ACM copyright CC-BY-SA-NC
The Department of Defense (DoD) High Order Language Commonality program began in 1975 with the goal of establishing a single high order computer programming language appropriate for DoD real-time embedded computer systems.
A High Order Language Working Group
(HOLWG) was chartered to formulate the DoD requirements for High Order Languages, to evaluate existing languages against those requirements, and to implement the minimal set of languages required for DoD use.
Other parts of the effort included administrative initiatives toward the eventual goal. Specifically, DoD Directive 5000.29 which provided that new defense systems should be programmed in a DoD "approved" and centrally controlled high order language and DoD Instruction 5000.31 which gave the interim defining list of approved languages. The HOLWG language requirements were widely distributed for comment throughout the military and civil communities worldwide. Each successive version of the requirements, from STRAWMAN through STEELMAN, produced a more refined definition of the proposed language.
During the requirement development process, it was determined that the set of requirements generated was both necessary and sufficient for all major DoD applications (and the analogous large commercial applications).
Formal evaluations were performed on dozens of existing languages.
It was concluded that no existing language could be adopted as a single common high order language for the DoD, but that a single language meeting essentially all the requirements was both feasible and desirable.
Four contractors were funded to produce competitive prototypes.
A first-phase evaluation reduced the designs to two, which were carried to completion.
In turn, a single language design was subsequently chosen.
Follow-on steps included the test and evaluation of the language, control of the language and validation of compilers.
The production of compilers and a program development and tool environment were to be accomplished separately by the individual Service Components.
The general requirements and expectations for the environment and the control of the language were addressed in another iterative series of documents.
A language validation capability (the test code suite) and associated facilities were established to assure compliance to the language definition of compilers using the name "Ada".
The name Ada was initially protected by a DoD-owned trademark.
Refining the requirements phases:
- Straw Man - 1975
- Wooden Man - 1975
- Tin Man - 1976
- Iron Man - 1976 : 17 proposals, 4 selected : «Green», «Red», «Blue», «Yellow»
- Steel Man - 1978 : «Green» [Cii-Honeywell Bull], «Red» [Intermetrix].
- Pebble Man - 1978/1979
1979-05-02 : «Green» won the competition
1980 July: Definitive version proposed to ANSI
1980 December 12 — MIL-STD-1815. (Cf. Lady Ada birthday 1815-12-12)
1983 April — Awarded ANSI standard — Ada 83
1987 June — ISO Standard 8652
Jean Ichbiah (Designer of the «Green Proposal» = Ada language)Jean Ichbiah
also published on Ada ACM SIG-Ada
Jean David Ichbiah (25 March 1940 – 26 January 2007) was a French computer scientist and the initial chief designer (from 1977–1983) of Ada, a general-purpose,strongly typed programming language with certified validated compilers.
At the time, he was a member of the Programming Research division at CII Honeywell Bull (CII-HB) in Louveciennes, France. He had previously designed an experimental system implementation language called LIS (1972–1974), based on Pascal and Simula (in fact, he had been chairman of the Simula User's Group), and was one of the founding members of IFIP WG 2.4 on Systems Implementation Languages.
Ichbiah's team submitted the language design labelled "Green" to the competition to choose the United States Department of Defense's embedded programming language. When Green was selected in 1978, he continued as chief designer of the language, named "Ada".
In 1980, Ichbiah left CII-HB and founded the Alsys Corporation in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, which continued language definition to standardize Ada 83, and later went into the Ada compiler business, also supplying special validated compiler systems to NASA, the US Army, and others. He later moved to the Waltham, Massachusetts subsidiary of Alsys.
Interview of Jean Ichbiah October 1984
Ada : Past, present, futur — an interview of Jean Ichbiah, the Principal Designer of AdaACM Reports Volume 27 n°10
The Cii-Honeywell Bull « Green » Proposal
The Intermetrics « Red » Proposal
By Mary S. Van Deusen
- (formerly Intermetics)
History of the naming after Lady Ada
Please read http://archive.adaic.com/pol-hist/history/lady-lov.txt