Chapter 1 describes the past and present contexts for Ada and DOD software development and programming language policy and points out problems with the current approach. Chapter 2 relates issues in decisions about programming language to other software engineering decision issues and evaluates Ada's support for software engineering processes. It also summarizes the results of comparing the relative cost-effectiveness of Ada and other programming languages, based on analyses of language features and empirical data from software projects.
Chapter 3 presents a business-case analysis for the use of Ada within DOD, gives the committee's findings and recommendations, and analyzes them along with alternatives.
The software policy recommended by the committee for DOD is elaborated in Chapter 4, which also provides additional details on programming language selection criteria and explains the basic elements of the Software Engineering Plan Review process recommended by the committee. Chapter 5 discusses the committee's recommended strategy for investment in infrastructure for Ada.
Appendix A reproduces a draft revision of DOD Directive 3405.1 on programming language policy (DOD, 1987a), a document to which the committee has added further suggested modifications that reflect its recommendations in this report. Appendix B presents detailed descriptions of Ada and other programming languages; a glossary of terms used in the report is contained in Appendix C; Appendix D compares Ada's features with those of other third-generation programming languages; and Appendix E lists briefings and position papers received by the committee during the course of its study.