In "The Talk of the Pentagon" (News & Trends, January) you quote me as saying, "I think [Ada's] a klutz." Klutz is not a word in my normal vocabulary.

What I do believe is that Ada represents an archaic solution to the problem addressed by its adoption as a Department of Defense standard Computer systems and their capacity to support languages have changed vastly from the days when the quest for a standard language was started. We need only notice that the entire microcomputer industry has emerged since that day.

The result of DoD's adoption of an Ada standard is that the department's own scientists are being unnecessarily burdened in doing their jobs, while the private sector enjoys the benefits of continued innovation in hardware and software. In fact, it's my opinion that the private sector won't use Ada at all.

We've known since the 1950s that no single computer system's "language tool" would fit all our workshop requirements. That's why so many different language facilities exist. At a time when the detrimental effects of using multiple languages are close to elimination, and the possibilities for natural language are improving, it's ironic that DoD doggedly persists in pushing Ada. It makes me wonder who is pushing DoD around. That, not Ada's klutziness, is the issue.

Published on: Apr 1, 1984