Ada: yes or no?

Matthias Benkmann matthias at
Fri May 17 07:06:19 PDT 2002

On Thu, 16 May 2002 19:23:39 -0400 Gerard Beekmans
<gerard at> wrote:

> But, the drawbacks of adding Ada are big and I'm pretty sure they
> outweigh the usefulness (seeing that the vast majority of people
> probably don't know what Ada is and/or need/use it).
> But I also feel morally obliged to at least _somehow_ provide means to
> get your Ada if you need it. I'm thinking about an Ada-hint written and
> simply add a line in the book:
> 	If you need Ada, get this hint, build GCC in chapter 5 and 6
> 	according to those instructions and ignore the ones here.
> How does that sound for a compromise?

As I've said already I believe that telling people about this option and
leaving the choice up to them is doing more harm than good.  So far we
haven't seen "I can't compile Ada, what's up?" or "This package says it
needs Ada, how do I get it?" questions on the list. This tells me that
there is no need for a pointer to the Ada hint in the book. We're seeing a
lot of questions answered by other hints we don't refer to in the book.
Why add a pointer to a hint that people don't ask for? By doing this we
only confuse people. They will attach more importance to this issue than
there is. If you don't want to add Ada for philosophy's sake, then don't
add anything.

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