Don't suppress the ODISC4 programming language survey 
Author Message
 Don't suppress the ODISC4 programming language survey

    Someone in the Pentagon recently sent to me the following message about
an ODISC4 study on programming language use inside the DoD.  Yes, after many
of us have spent the last decade complaining about the DoD's apathy to the
reality of programming language use inside the DoD (information without which
responsible and professional management of Ada policies is impossible),
someone is actually doing something.
    Unfortunately, it is doubtful that the study will have any value:

>     BTW, there was a survey which came through here about 6 weeks ago which
>I was required to fill out.  It was conducted by ODISC4, and required me to
>provide code counts for the various languages in use by my project.  The
>problem will be that they asked for me to pigeonhole code into huge ranges,
>far too big in my opinion to have any real analytical value.  In other words,
>my choices on the survey were "0-25%" based on lines of code for each
>language used.  Its going to be difficult to determine much from the
>knowledge that most all of the programs responding submitted between 25 and
>50% Ada application when in fact you have mixed together the 100000 lines of
>code embedded project which has one CSCI which is 49000 lines of Ada and the
>10000 line project that utilizes a Ada binding and therefore claims 0-25%
>Ada when in fact the lines of Ada are nearly zip.
>     I doubt that the results of this survey (which was conducted by someone
>that can't be ignored) will ever be released.  If so, the results will be
>mere propaganda anyway.

      I suspect the survey was rigged with these questions to allow the DoD
to conclude exactly what they want about Ada use inside the DoD.  They did
this with Mosemann's Ada/C++ business study, and suppressed other studies
(like the IDA Ada economics study) where the questions couldn't be rigged.

       It is not that difficult (especially if you have staffs and budgets)
to determine the general distribution of LOC versus language in recent years
for DoD efforts and use those distributions to set statistically valid ranges
for use in the ODISC4 survey.  So easy in fact that the lack of such ranges
means the DoD isn't looking for the truth. I mean, the DoD could have easily
posted a rough draft of the survey to comp.lang.ada to ask for feedback, but
they didn't.

      I assume that by now the raw data has been collected, so in the interests
of the new regime of openness with Ada policy, I assume that the Pentagon is
going to post the raw data to comp.lang.ada and not use the nonsense excuse
used on the AJPO Ada-ad survey data that we mortals are not sophisticated
enough to analyze raw data.  It would help if the DoD also published the
strategy used to select the sample of DoD sites that were choosen to be
surveyed (like did they avoid ARPA/AFOSR/ARO/ONR funded sites?).

Greg Aharonian

Sun, 01 Jun 1997 23:03:12 GMT  
 [ 1 post ] 

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