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Jean Ichbiah

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Jean David Ichbiah
Jean Ichbiah 1989-90, picture for ALSYS
Born(1940-03-25)25 March 1940
Died26 January 2007(2007-01-26) (aged 66)
Occupationcomputer scientist Executive DirectorAlsys
Known forchief designer (1977–1983) of the Ada programming language[1]

Jean David Ichbiah (25 March 1940 – 26 January 2007)[1] was a French computer scientist and the initial chief designer (1977–1983) of Ada, a general-purpose, strongly typed programming language with certified validated compilers.[1]

Early life


Ichbiah was a descendant of Greek and Turkish Jews[1][2] from Thessaloniki who emigrated to France.[3]



In 1996 fund the Company Aonix. From 1972 to 1974, he worked on designing an experimental system implementation language called LIS, based on Pascal and Simula.[4] (He had been chairman of the Simula User's Group.) He was also one of the founding members of IFIP WG 2.4 on Systems Implementation Languages.[5]

He then joined CII Honeywell Bull (CII-HB) in Louveciennes, France, becoming a member of the Programming Research division.[1] Among other projects he worked on the rewrite of the Siris 7 operating system into Siris 8 computer restructuring Iris 80 .

Ichbiah's team submitted a language design labelled "Green" to a competition to choose the United States Department of Defense's embedded programming language. When Green was selected in 1978, he continued as chief designer of the language, now named "Ada". In 1980, Ichbiah left CII-HB and founded the Alsys corporation[1] in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, which continued language definition to standardize Ada 83,[1] and later went into the Ada compiler business, also supplying special validated compiler systems to NASA, the US Army, and others. He later moved to the Waltham, Massachusetts subsidiary of Alsys.

In the 1990s, Ichbiah designed the keyboard layout FITALY, which is specifically optimized for stylus or touch-based input. Subsequently, he started the Textware Solutions company, which sells text entry software for PDAs and tablet PCs, as well as text-entry software for medical transcription on PCs.

Awards and honors


In 1979, Jean Ichbiah was designated a chevalier (knight) of the French Legion of Honour[1] and a correspondent of the French Academy of Sciences. He received a Certificate of Distinguished Service from the United States Department of Defense for his work on Ada.



Jean Ichbiah died from complications of a brain tumor on January 26, 2007.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Jean Ichbiah (1940–2007)", Ada Information Clearinghouse, 2007 AdaIC.
  2. ^ Colmerauer, Alain (July 2007). "In memoriam, Jean ICHBIAH" (in French). Archived from the original on 2015-05-03. Retrieved 2015-04-22.
  3. ^ Jean Ichbiah. "Disappointed by lack of localization/customization capabilities". Retrieved 2007-02-13. ...my mother was born in Saloniki
  4. ^ "Software at Bull". Archived from the original on 2011-07-10. Retrieved 2010-07-13. LIS was an experimental implementation language designed by Jean Ichbiah on Siris8. LIS was not used on commercial CII products. LIS was inspired by Pascal and Simula and has contributed to the definition of Ada.
  5. ^ Gerhard Goos. "The Beginning of IFIP Working Group 2.4". Retrieved 2007-02-13.
  6. ^ Joyce Tokar (2007-01-28). "In Remembrance of Jean Ichbiah". Newsgroupcomp.lang.ada. Usenet: 9b850$45bd0bc6$cc0ba50e$14514@alevelhigher.com. Retrieved 31 January 2007.

Further reading