At least you know he was listening

This pilot fish's team is working on the replacement for the aging operator's console in a military system -- and it should be a big improvement.

"The original operator's console was based on early 1970s technology and coded in assembler," says fish. "Our contract was to replace it with a modern workstation-based display and control subsystem.

"A primary objective was to present a more easily digested picture of the total tactical situation to the user, and allow him or her to respond with minimal keystrokes or button clicks," fish says.

"The team was working on an advanced prototype graphical interface using an object-oriented design in C++. At the time, our military customer had a strong preference for new software to be written in Ada, and called us to task to justify our selection.

"Along with the benefits of using a more mainstream language, the team leadership responded by presenting a host of favorable qualities -- such as a close mapping of code modules to the object-oriented design components, and enhanced readability and flexibility thanks to language features like operator overloading.

"That last one got the attention of one of the customer's watchdogs. 'Harrumph! What's this operator overloading?' he said. 'You're supposed to be reducing the operator's workload, not overloading him!'"

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