Posted 03 July 2006 - 07:57 AM
Ada was my first programming language and I feel it was ideal for teaching me the fundamental tenets of cleanly structured, robust software design. It was my favorite for a long time, and I used it on quite a few different systems. Where it has the appropriate facilities on your particular platform, there's no reason not to use it for things like command-line programs.
But I would not turn to it for developing a GUI-based Windows or MAC program today. It never did evolve into a mainstream, well-supported GUI-development language toolset, on the level of C++, C# or Java. I personally felt that it's evolution into an OOP language with Ada95 was.. well, it didn't seem very intuitive to me after coming back to it from C++ at that time. And it suffered from what I would call "rigidity": I had to make up my own dynamically-changeable string and collection classes, and that was a pain to keep maintaining.
I would consider Ada's primary contribution was to advance the concepts of structured programming. Java and C# did inherit a rich legacy from Ada, and Microsoft's Transact-SQL (the language used for stored procedures within their database SQL Server) is loosely based on it. It's a useful language, but unless you're preparing for a DOD contract job it would not be the primary programming language that I would want to be versant in.