Jean Ichbiah passes away

I am sad to note that Jean Ichbiah, the lead designer of Ada, passed away on January 26, 2007.

Ada83, the reference manual for which appeared in 1983, is commonly known as the first version of Ada. Prior to that, in 1977, four contractors were picked to produce prototype languages, matching the requirements of the Ironman document (which led the way to the final Ada requirements specification, the Steelman). The prototypes were named green, red, blue and yellow. The green language, proposed by a team at Cii Honeywell Bull led by Jean D. Ichbiah, was chosen and led the way to Ada83. See here for more detailed timeline of the history of Ada.

While the design of Ada83 and Ada95 were both team efforts, in both cases the design was guided by a team leader whose vision and aesthetics regarding programming languages shaped the language. All versions of Ada owe much to Jean Ichbiah who shaped the core of the language used today.

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Beaujolais effect

The Beaujolais effect tells much about Ichbiah's language design philosophy, and leadership style...

The term "Beaujolais Effect" comes from a prize (a bottle of Beaujolais) offered by Jean Ichbiah during the original Ada design process to anyone who could find a situation where adding or removing a single "use" clause could change a program from one legal interpretation to a different legal interpretation. (Or equivalently, adding or removing a single declaration from a "use"d package.)