This is the genealogy of the programming language Ada:

Ada is a child of Pascal.
Ada was first known as Ada in year 1979.
It became Ada 83 ANSI in year 1983.
It became Ada ISO in year 1987.
It became Ada 95 in year 1995, and has not changed much since that time.

This genealogy is brought to you by the Programming Languages Genealogy Project. Please send comments to thbz.

ADA is not only a name but a common acronym as well.

Some uses include:
American Dental Association
American Diabetes Association
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Audio Design Associates
Automatic Data Acquisition
Average Daily Attendance
Another Damn Acronym

The latter, and my favorite, actually appeared in a 10 page list of computer acronyms (including FUBAR, SNAFU, and NFG) handed out by my College Professor in the Computer Systems Technician program I took at University College of the Cariboo.

These and many more acronyms can be found at
Programming language named after ealy computing pioneer Ada Lovelace. The language was designed by the American Department of Defense. It was created with a set of specifications which were gradually refined. These specifications were named Strawman, Woodenman, Tinman, Ironman, and finally Steelman. A contest was held between the seventeen potential candidates, all based on Pascal. These were narrowed down to four, then two 'finals', and finally, in 1979, one of them became Ada.

Ada programs, rather than being one large program with several subprograms as in Pascal, consist of several large software components known as packages. Ada has many basic data types, including boolean and character strings. While it gained much support due to its backing by the Department of Defense, it is virtually unused today.

Depending upon how one traverses, with rising panic, the first vowel of this word, this can mean - since we are here to talk of universal fact, not your sweetheart or my secretary - either 1 a programming language or 2 the best novel yet written, by Vladimir Nabokov.

Others are better qualified to talk of 1, though those keen on any extractable piece of human interest might wish to know that Ada was named after, though not invented by, Lady Ada Lovelace, a clumsy and glum little grub and the daughter of Lord Byron. The larval Ada was taught mathematics only because she was thought too hideous to marry; she went on to invent programming, in connection with Babbage, and, while she was at it, metamorphosed into a famous beauty. Something similar happens in the brain of the user introduced to the language. At first he blinks at its ugliness and verbosity, remembering that it was produced by an American government department, no doubt during a Democrat administration. If forced to continue, he comes to find that what he has written in Ada actually works. The language comes to seem not prolix and niggling but stately and correct. The user tosses aside his volumes of Nozick and K&R and blesses the government machine.

On to 2. This is trickier, so I will not say too much about Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle. "Arda" in Tolkien means the world. The word is expansive, symmetrical, capable of throaty emotion or airy solemnity: it encompasses everything. It is marvellous that Nabokov came to the Russian name Ada, identically pronounced, to signify the same. He noted, in his own copy, that his book was "the pearl of American literature", and the judgement is unfair only in that it fails to acknowledge Ada's supremacy over all the triumphs in English since Paradise Lost. It treats a superimperial pair in a prose of fierce perfection and harlequin variety. It includes a world of fatidic interest equal to that of Pale Fire, though its breadth is far greater. Pattern and shade in the happy hum of dwindling memory is coupled with the verve of original bliss to produce a hugy and tessellated reading experience. One is left feeling yokellish awe at this most successful of books, though Nabokov's personality is too intrinsic to Ada for it to be his greatest. For that, one returns to Pale Fire, in which Nabokov somehow achieved John Shade.

ad-hockery = A = address harvester

Ada n.

A Pascal-descended language that was at one time made mandatory for Department of Defense software projects by the Pentagon. Hackers are nearly unanimous in observing that, technically, it is precisely what one might expect given that kind of endorsement by fiat; designed by committee, crockish, difficult to use, and overall a disastrous, multi-billion-dollar boondoggle (one common description was "The PL/I of the 1980s"). Hackers find Ada's exception-handling and inter-process communication features particularly hilarious. Ada Lovelace (the daughter of Lord Byron who became the world's first programmer while cooperating with Charles Babbage on the design of his mechanical computing engines in the mid-1800s) would almost certainly blanch at the use to which her name has latterly been put; the kindest thing that has been said about it is that there is probably a good small language screaming to get out from inside its vast, elephantine bulk.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, this entry manually entered by rootbeer277.

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