1.5 A Brief History of Ada

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Here is an outline history of Ada (the person pictured on the title page) and Ada, the language.

1815-1835 Augusta Ada Byron is born, the daughter of Lord Byron, the poet, and Anne Isabella Millbanke, the mathematician. Ada marries and becomes the Countess of Lovelace.
1833-1852 Ada Lovelace meets and then collaborates with Charles Babbage, the inventor of the Difference Engine and the Analytical Engine. She writes mathematical treatises on how computing machines might be used. (See "Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers" [Toole92].)
1975-1978 The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) confronts the "software crisis" and sponsors a series of  studies leading to a decision to create a standard language for use in military embedded or mission-critical systems. The [Steelman78] document is issued, stating requirements to be satisfied by the new language. A request for proposals is issued.
1978-1979 Four competitors are selected (Blue, Green, Red, Yellow) for the first phase of a design competition. All four select Pascal as the base language upon which to build, and submit initial design proposals. The competition is narrowed to the Green and Red teams, who then refine and expand their design proposals.
1980 The name, Ada, is selected for the new language, honoring the person who is now considered to be the world's first computer programmer.
1979-1983 The Green team (headed by Jean Ichbiah of France) wins and produces document MIL-STD-1815A, the Ada Language Reference Manual. [ARM83] (Note use of the year of Ada's birth.)
1983 Ada achieves ANSI standardization and is referred to as Ada 83.
1983-present Multiple firms produce Ada compilers and related tools, and Ada is used in many military systems, for the USA and NATO countries. Ada is also used in a number of non-military projects, such as the control systems for the TGV trains in France and a hot steel rolling mill in West Virginia. Ada becomes known as an "object based" language. (See Why Learn Ada?, following.)
1987 Ada achieves ISO standardization and is sometimes referred to as Ada 87.
1988-1994 DoD sponsors the Ada 9X project, aimed at defining an improved version of the language. A competition is held and a design team (headed by Tucker Taft of Intermetrics, Inc.) wins and creates the new version.
1995 Ada 9X becomes Ada 95 and achieves both ANSI and ISO standardization based on the new Reference Manual. [ARM95]
1995-present Multiple firms produce Ada compilers and related tools, based on the new version, which is used in military projects and a steadily growing variety of non-military projects. The new version supports fully "object oriented" techniques.

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