Last week, Jean Ichbiah, the lead designer of the Ada programming language, passed away.

Dr. Ichbiah worked on the language in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when he worked at Cii Honeywell Bull in France. He later left to found Alsys Corp., which continued the development of Ada and built commercial Ada 83 compilers. Here’s a paper he co-authored about the need for the language, which was created for the U.S. Dept. of Defense.

Though I did a small amount of Ada work “back in the day,” I never had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Ichbiah, and so I will refer you to this obituary by Bertrand Meyer, and to the official notice in the Boston Globe.

(I found Dr. Ichbiah’s photo on this neat site, which shows the authors of various programming languages.)

Z Trek Copyright (c) Alan Zeichick