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    Fascinating article but I disagree with the assertion that clean-room design is in any way underhanded.

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      Yes. When things that should be open standards are substituted with proprietary products, I believe recreating them with a clean-room design is not only ethical but necessary.

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        I don’t even think it needs to be that narrow in scope - I am struggling to think of a case where clean-room reverse engineering would be unethical. Even in the case of one company reverse engineering another’s product; the IBM PC BIOS is my go-to example of that.

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      dead-tree print editions and crude typesetting

      The age of wasting lifeless corpses of trees for poor typesetting is, sadly, now. Old books have that problem occasionally, but in the last decade it became pervasive.

      But Ada hasn’t quite taken off in the mainstream. Social factors - perhaps association with restrictive licenses and a proprietary compiler - have constrained adoption.

      I wonder what proprietary compiler they are talking about. There are proprietary Ada compilers, but GNAT is free software.

      Also, that book has the signature of Jean Ichbia, the principal Ada language designer!

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        Old books have that problem occasionally, but in the last decade it became pervasive.

        [anecdotal, no way I can find where I read this years ago] There was a period, around 2000?, where books had to be > 1000 pages or they wouldn’t sell. You ended up with books with whole std libraries included, just to pad the page count.