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April 29, 1997
COMMAND, CONTROL, COMMUNICATIONS AND INTELLIGENCE
MEMORANDUM FOR SECRETARIES OF THE MILITARY DEPARTMENTS CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF UNDER SECRETARIES OF DEFENSE DIRECTOR, DEFENSE RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING ASSISTANT SECRETARIES OF DEFENSE INSPECTOR GENERAL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE ASSISTANTS TO THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE DIRECTOR, ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT DIRECTOR, OPERATIONAL TEST AND EVALUATION DIRECTORS OF THE DEFENSE AGENCIES DIRECTORS OF THE DOD FIELD ACTIVITIES
Last year, I asked the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council Computer Science and Telecommunications Board to study the Department of Defense (DoD) software policies. After carefully reviewing and considering the Board's final report, I have directed my staff to undertake the necessary actions to revise the policy contained in DoD Directive 3405.1, "Computer Programming Language Policy," to eliminate the mandatory requirement for use of the Ada programming language in favor of an engineering approach to selection of the language to be used. Additionally, DoD 5000.2-R, "Mandatory Procedures for Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs) and Major Automated Information System (MAIS) Acquisition Programs," will be revised consistent with those changes.
In the interim, pending formal coordination of the necessary revisions, programming language selections should be made in the context of the system and software engineering factors that influence overall life-cycle costs, risks, and potential for interoperability. As appropriate, these selections may be reviewed during milestone/system approval processes. Among the factors that should be considered and appropriately documented in the decision process are:
Ada should be one of the languages considered in this decision process; however, Ada waiver requests are no longer required when another language is selected.
My point of contact for this action is Ms. Linda Brown, who is assigned to my Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control and Communications, (703) 604-1590, e-mail: Linda.Brown@osd.pentagon.mil, or Mr. Samuel Worthington, (703) 604-1584.
Emmett Paige, Jr.