Re: Looking for Steelman (Preston Briggs)
Sun, 16 Jan 1994 19:00:14 GMT

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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
From: (Preston Briggs)
Keywords: Ada, history
Organization: Rice University, Houston
References: 94-01-055
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 1994 19:00:14 GMT

Magnus Gustavsson <> writes:
>I'm very interested in getting hold of the so called STEELMAN document
>(the origin of the ADA programming language).

>[I could have sworn it was published in SIGPLAN in about 1977, but I was
>unable to find it there. -John]

I'm not sure I'd call STEELMAN the origin of Ada; there were a whole
series of men, STRAW though STONE, with STEEL occuring near the end.
These documents were requirements, not language specifications. IRONMAN
(Jan 77) was used by 4 contractors as the requirements document for 4
preliminary designs. Experience at this stage led to STEELMAN (June 78).
2 of the designs efforts (Red and Green, by Intermetrics and
Honeywell-Bull, respectively) were continued and on May 2, 1979, Green was
chosen to become Ada. Note that Red and Green were quite different,
though both were concieved in response to the same set of requirements.

The later PEBBLEMAN and STONEMAN were requirements for the Ada programming
support environment (APSE).

This is all based on my reading of an article on the history of Ada in the
HOPL-II preprints.

Ada -- The Project, The DoD High Order Language Working Group
William A. Whitaker
Preprints of the 2nd ACM History of Programming Languages Conference
Sigplan Notices, March 1993

The article should certainly be consulted for further details. The
bibliography gives

Department of Defense Requirements for High Order Computer
Programming Languages
June 1978
AD-A059 444

The preliminary Ada reference manual and the Ada rationale were published
in Sigplan Notices, June 1979.

Preston Briggs

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