History of the Ada Programming Language
- In a cost study done in 1973-1974 it was determined that the
US Department of Defense was
spending $3 billion annually on software, over half on embedded computer systems.
- The Higher Order Language Working Group (HOLWG) was formed
in January 1975 with William Whitaker as chair.
- In April 1975 the initial language requirements were compiled in a document
known as Strawman.
- Based on the response, revised requirements, Woodenman, August 1975, and
Tinman, January 1976 were created.
- The HOLWG evaluated 23 existing languages against the Tinman requirements:
FORTRAN, COBOL, PL/I, HAL/S, TACPOL, CMS-2, CS-4, SPL/I, JOVIAL J3,
JOVIAL J73, ALGOL 60, ALGOL 68, CORAL 66, Pascal, SIMULA 67, LIS,
LTR, TRL/2, EUCLID, PDL2, PEARL, MORAL, EL/I
concluding in January 1977 that none were suitable, though Pascal,
ALGOL 68 or PL/I would be a good starting point.
- The ideal language specification, Ironman, appeared in January 1977.
- Request for proposals were issued April 1977; 17 proposals received.
Four contractors were picked to produce prototype languages:
Cii Honeywell Bull led by Jean Ichbiah (green)
Intermetrics led by Benjamin M. Brosgol (red)
SofTech led by John Goodenough (blue)
SRI International led by Jay Spitzen (yellow)
- The revised Ironman requirements were published in SIGPLAN, December 1977.
- The Red and Green languages were chosen finalists in April 1978 after an extensive, public review.
- The final language requirements, Steelman,
appeared in June 1978.
- Cii Honeywell Bull (green) chosen the winner in May 1979.
The Ada design team was led by Jean D. Ichbiah and has included Berned Krieg-Bruechner,
Brain A. Wichmann, Henry F. Ledgard, Jean-Cluade Heliard, Jean-Loup Gailly, Jean-Ryanmond
Abrial, John G. P. Barnes, Mike Woodger, Olivier Roubine, Paul N. Hilfinger, and Robert Firth.
This language definition was devloped by Cii Honeywell Bull and later Alsys, and by Honeywell
Systems and Research Center, under contract to the United States Department of Defense.
- The language, known only as DoD-1 up to that point, was given the name Ada in May 1979
in honor of Augusta Ada Byron (1815-1852).
- Reference manual, Military Standard 1815, first published July 1980,
approved 10 December 1980. [Augusta Ada Bryon was born 10 December 1815.]
- HOLWG dissolved and replaced by Ada Joint Program Office (AJPO) charted 12 December 1980
- Proposed as an ANSI standard and submitted for public review between April and October 1981.
The reference manual was revised as a result of the ANSI review.
- Reference manual, Military Standard 1815A, January 1983,
and ANSI standard February 1983. (ISO standard 8652 in 1987)
- The Ada/Ed implementation of the language was validated in April 1983.
- AJPO established the Ada 9X Project in July 1988
to revise the Ada programming language.
- The revision requirements document produced by the "requirements team,"
- Intermetrics, Inc. was the prime contractor for the "mapping/revision team"
for the new Ada 9X standard.
S. Tucker Taft served as Technical Director.
- Ada95, a joint ISO and ANSI standard, accepted in February 1995.
- The Ada Joint Program Office (AJPO) closed 1 October 1998.
[Same day as ISO/IEC 14882:1998 (C++) published!]
- The current version of the language is known as Ada 2005 and
is defined by a "technical corrigendum" and an "admendment" to Ada 95.
Some Sources of Historical Information
Robert daCosta, "History of Ada",
from an article in Defense Science, March 1984.
David A. Fisher,
"DoD's common programming language effort,"
IEEE Computer, volume 11, number 3,
pages 24-33, March 1978.
Reprinted in Wasserman.
William A. Whitaker,
"Ada - The Project, The DoD High Order Language Working Group",
ACM SIGPLAN Notices,
volume 28, number 3, March 1993.
"1.1 Revision process"
in Rationale For Ada 2001.
Ryan Stansifer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Last modified: Thu Mar 19 15:01:22 EDT 2009