Talk:Ada Lovelace

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Rearrangement of information; revisiting Ada vs Lovelace[edit]

I haven't changed any of the page's content as such, but I have made several rearrangements to the existing content. Before I did this, the article jumped back and forth through her life in a few places, and there was a lot of repetition. This gave the article an unpolished, amateur feel, and it was confusing to read. I think my rearrangements have put things in a more logical order and have hopefully clarified some of the sections I was initially confused by. I'm happy to discuss further if anyone wants.

I've also used the name "Ada" instead of "Lovelace" in some places. I did this initially before reading the discussion above (sorry - I'm new to editing Wikipedia and I didn't realise it would have been best to read the previous discussions first; I won't make that mistake again). I understand the points above about "Ada" appearing to be less respectful than "Lovelace", and about inconsistency with using both names at different places, however I think my name changes make sense, at least to some extent. Happy to hear disagreements. :) Here's my reasons for the name choices I made:

- When I first read the article, I was a little confused by all the different names and by who was related to whom (Lord Byron's affairs don't help with this!) I found it odd that Ada Lovelace was being referred to as "Lovelace" during her childhood when she only took on that name upon marriage. I felt that using "Ada" for her early years makes more sense.

- I started using "Lovelace" after she married, except where it wouldn't be clear whether "Lovelace" referred to Ada or her husband. For example, immediately after the description of her marriage, the article originally talked about "Lovelace" being sick, and about "Lovelace's mother". Nothing in the context made it immediately obvious without any doubt which Lovelace it referred to (e.g., it could have been Ada'a husband's mother that told her about Lord Byron's incest instead of Ada's own mother). I know that if her husband was being discussed, then he would probably always be referred to by a more formal title than "Lovelace", but people who are new to English peerage conventions might not realise this and hence might have trouble working out whether "Lovelace" referred to the husband or wife.

- I used "Lovelace" or "Ada Lovelace" exclusively when talking about her post-marriage work with Charles Babbage. I know this is inconsistent with using "Ada" earlier, but I introduced this section by initially using "Ada Lovelace", so I think the transition from "Ada" to "Lovelace" won't be too startling.

- The External links section has two references that refer to Ada Lovelace merely as "Ada". It seems that this is not an unacceptable naming convention for her in modern literature. Thus I don't believe that calling her "Ada" in the article is disrespectful, especially when it lends clarity to the article.

Lady alys (talk) 12:37, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Ada Augusta Byron married William King, the 8th Baron King. As such, her surname changed from Byron to King. If she had lived in America, she would have been known as Ada King or Mrs. King. When he was created the 1st Earl Lovelace, that title superseded "Baron King" and became her title as well ("the Countess Lovelace"). Since her husband was a peer, he would have been known as Lord Lovelace or merely "Lovelace", just as Ada's father (also a peer) was known as Lord Byron or "Byron". To refer to Ada Augusta Byron King as "Lovelace" is absurd; it was her title, NOT her surname. The wife of an Earl is called a Countess, and is addressed as "Lady Lovelace" not because "Lovelace" is her surname, but because it is her husband's title. She would never have been addressed as "Lady Ada", nor would anyone have called her "Lovelace". The prep-school attitude of Wikipedia, which calls people by their surnames even if those people would never have been called by their surnames in their lifetimes, only adds confusion to the debate. For the sake of clarity, she should be called "Ada". If that's too hard to swallow, call her "Lady Lovelace", just as we call her father "Lord Byron" rather than "George" or "George Byron". But don't, for the love of heraldry, call her "Lovelace" or "Ada Lovelace". Neither usage is correct.Munchkyn (talk) 22:58, 28 June 2012 (UTC)

How do we know that bloodletting was a contributory cause of Lovelace's death?[edit]

It says in the article that, "Lovelace died at the age of thirty-six, on 27 November 1852,[22] from uterine cancer and bloodletting by her physicians." Surely we cannot know that. Even if we have doubts about the process, and are sure that it cannot be good practice, we cannot know that it was a contributory cause of her death. There seems to be a number of bold statements in the article where the sentences might more thoughtfully have been qualified to allow for the lack of certainty. Just my view. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:41, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

I endorse this view. Xxanthippe (talk) 23:24, 23 January 2010 (UTC).

Should Ada Lovelace Day be included under the "Influences" area?[edit]

Hi, everyone. I wanted to bring up the question of whether Ada Lovelace Day should be added under the "Influences" section. My assumption is that cultural events having been influenced by the life of Lady Lovelace - and indeed named after her and continued in her spirit - should be included in this area. Ada Lovelace Day is a relatively new event, but one which has already garnered international participation and press. I had added something about it last year, but it was removed by an editor for not being influential enough. I can provide a bunch of sources from major media outlets that reported about the scope and success of the first iteration of the event if necessary (as well as plans for the second go for this year) that hopefully should provide some proof of the event's broad reach around the world. If that's not sufficient, I'm curious what criteria would be necessary for Ada Lovelace Day to ever be considered appropriately influential to include here...a certain number of participants? A certain number of media mentions? Anyway, thanks in advance for your input/thoughts/help! Girona7 (talk) 06:52, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

I think it warrants a mention - as Girona7 says, over a thousand people participated last year, and it got a lot of mentions in the technical press and at least some national papers e.g. [1]. Hannah dee (talk) 11:34, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Edit dispute over lede[edit]

user Cúchullain has altered the lede in a way that I think does not improve on the established version. The established lede states succinctly who she was and what she did. That suffices. What do other users think? Xxanthippe (talk) 23:24, 23 January 2010 (UTC).

From WP:LEDE, "The article should begin with a declarative sentence, answering two questions for the nonspecialist reader: "What (or who) is the subject?" and "Why is this subject notable?" Just saying she was the daughter of Byron hardly answers either question. Even the old version of the lead indicated that she is "mainly known" for her work on the analytical engine; as such it needs to go first. The rest should summarize the contents of the article, which I've tried to do with my most recent addition. If you can think of a way to improve the wording, please do, but these concerns need to be addressed.--Cúchullain t/c 17:06, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
As Cúchullain, I would prefer mentioning first her work for the analytical engine, because that's what she became famous for. I would however drop the second section of the lede (except perhaps its first sentence) and merge its contents with the following sections below the table of contents. --Cyfal (talk) 12:56, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Thank you Cyfal. On the rest of the lede, all articles need to have a lead that summarizes the article's contents. This may not be the best way to do it, but some summary of the important points needs to be there.--Cúchullain t/c 15:33, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Link to Reference Web Site[edit]

Question about this revert. The suggestion was that this is a link to a blog, but it's not. It's a link to the official web site for a book that was already listed under the References. I notice there are links to similar kinds of web sites under External Links. Any objections if I re-revert? Thanks! --Eekim (talk) 15:11, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Which Name First?[edit]

The article refers both to "Ada Augusta" and also to "Augusta Ada." Which is correct? (Once we know that, the article can be edited for consistency.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bbrownspsu (talkcontribs) 17:35, 20 September 2010 (UTC)


Could we please get a description of the algorithm that Ada wrote down? What problem does it solve, how does it work, and is it still in use today?

I'm curious ... has anyone translated her algorithm into source code and run it on a modern computer? --Uncle Ed (talk) 20:58, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

See the section [#First computer program]] at the top of this page for a link to the Bernoulli program. More are given at [2]. Dmcq (talk) 12:15, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

possible source[edit]

01:10, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Analytical Engine was never built in 1991 as stated; it was The Difference Engine No. 2[edit]

I came to this article after reading a current NY Times article ( and noticed the above discepancy, coflicting with statements in the first paragraph here. According to this article, the AE has not been built. (talk) 12:14, 11 November 2011 (UTC)David B. 11/11/2021. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:06, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

File:Ada lovelace.gif Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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The picture was placed on the Ada Lovelace page by an IP spa. if the photo is indeed of Ada, and can be sourced reliably (the source given by the spa (an obscure feminist blog) needs to be improved on and the age at which it was taken included) then I hope it will be kept. It is a far more plausible image of her than the previous one, which portrayed her as a tarted-up society flibbertigibbet. Xxanthippe (talk) 02:23, 13 December 2011 (UTC).

Effect on programming[edit]

It says as much above but maybe should be included in the article. Because she was rediscovered after actual programs for actual computers started being written, she had about as much impact on programming as Gregor Mendel had on genetics. None. Mendel, too, was rediscovered after someone else has stumbled on genes. Student7 (talk) 17:37, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Removing statement from "Controversy" due to misunderstanding of source[edit]

I'm removing the statement that Dorothy Stein "contends that the programs were mostly written by Babbage himself" because I read the original source and the author has misunderstood the source. Stein's actual statement is that all the examples of writing instructions for the machine in the Notes other than the Bernoulli number program were written by Babbage originally. There is no disagreement about Babbage's authorship of these examples, but they are not the "first computer program" or programs at all because of their simplicity. The Bernoulli number example is the "first computer program" and Stein documents Lovelace's extensive work on this example on pages 106 - 108. If another editor wants to add this claim back, please give a specific quote and a page number (the original cite included 19 pages, 92-110, most of which were not relevant). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Catavar (talkcontribs) 21:18, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

This article was edited as part of an edit-a-thon[edit]

We Can Do It!.jpg
This article was edited as part of the San Francisco WikiWomen's Edit-a-thon. The editor who attended the event may be a new editor. In an effort to support new editor's & a healthy environment, please assume good faith to their contributions before making changes. Thank you! Sarah (talk) 21:52, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Editors of Wikipedia are expected to edit competently in accordance with precedent. Those who are not able to may have their edits reverted. No dispensation is made for special interest groups. Xxanthippe (talk) 01:33, 31 July 2012 (UTC).
Is this a declaration that you will bite newbies? Sminthopsis84 (talk) 12:36, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
What newbies are you referring to? The editor who I reverted has an edit history going back to 2008? Xxanthippe (talk) 00:23, 8 August 2012 (UTC).
yes that is his mission Bhny (talk) 13:08, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Well, the editor makes no statement about gender on their user page, and I don't think that we should assume that over-active fangs⇒masculine gender. Nice male humans might be rare, but they do exist. :) Sminthopsis84 (talk) 15:44, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Facts and name[edit]

There was really no need to revert my entire edit. As I explained in the edit summary, I corrected several mistakes in the article unrelated to the name issue. For example, Ada was not born as the daughter of Baroness Wentworth. She was born to the Baroness Byron, who would become Baroness Wentworth many decades later. Her mother was not the "sole remaining representative of the Wentworth Viscounts", firstly because she was not a viscount and secondly because there was at least one other - Ada herself.

Now, about the name. It is factually incorrect to call her Lovelace when referring to events that took place before she became Countess of Lovelace. It is impossible to speak of "Lovelace" as a child. That's not only common sense, but also a Wiki guideline. Now, there's also the issue of whether "Lovelace" alone is appropriate, and it is a genuine problem for many people that can be easily solved by calling her "Lady Lovelace" and "Countess of Lovelace", at least in instances when it's not clear that the sentence does not refer to her husband (as peerage territorial designation normally do refer to the holde of the peerage and not the holder's spouse). It also flows better than just "Lovelace" because it is much less repetitious. Surtsicna (talk) 23:14, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for bringing the issue of the naming of Ada Lovelace to this talk page. There has been much discussion of the issue in the page above and it is appropriate to discuss it here before jumping in with major changes to a long established article.
Like many women of her class and time Ada experienced several modes of address during her life. Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Biographies states "A woman should be referred to by her most commonly used name, which will not necessarily include her husband's surname." In this case she is clearly known best as "Ada Lovelace" and this is the mode I would like to see used in the article. I would also think that "Ada" would be appropriate usage in many parts of the article particularly towards the middle and latter parts, but one editor thinks this is undignified (I don't see this myself). I do not support your scheme of referring to Ada by the style that held at various different times of her life, this just confuses the reader.
I suggest you leave the name issue until consensus is obtained on this page, and concentrate your edits one at a time on the "mistakes" that you claim exist in the article, giving an explanation of each of them, although I am not sure that all of them are mistakes. Xxanthippe (talk) 06:18, 31 July 2012 (UTC).
If they are not mistakes, feel free to explain how. It is a fact that she was not born to the Baroness Wentworth and that her mother was not the only representative of her line, for example. Anyway, Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Biographies#Subsequent use clearly states: "A member of the nobility may be referred to by title if that form of address would have been the customary way to refer to him or her; for example Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester may become "the Earl of Leicester" or just "Leicester" in subsequent mentions. Be careful not to give someone a title too soon; for example, one should use "Robert Dudley" or "Dudley" when describing events prior to his elevation to the peerage in 1564." It simply makes no sense to call her Lovelace when dealing with events that took place when she was a baby, decades before she actually became Countess of Lovelace. It is not my scheme - it is what's usually done. It's like referring to Elizabeth II as "the Queen" while describing her childhood. See, for example, the article about Laura Bush, who is called Welch in the first section and subsequently Bush. Surtsicna (talk) 10:24, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I also think it would be more appropriate to avoid using her first name, especially in the middle and latter parts because those parts concern a mature person who we can correctly call Lovelace. Then again, in the sections dealing with her early life, it is better to call her Ada than Lovelace simply because she was not Lovelace back then. I also think that calling her "Lovelace", "Lady Lovelace", "the Countess of Lovelace" and "the Countess" can only improve the prose by enriching it; I doubt it could confuse anyone, since it is properly explained that she was Countess of Lovelace in the very first sentence of the article and later in the section dealing with her marriage. For example, the article Queen Victoria alternates between "Victoria" and "the Queen", which is undoubtly better than using "Victoria" in every instance. Surtsicna (talk) 15:27, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
An authoritative source on the formal and informal usage of British titles is Debrett's Correct Form (Futura 1976) ISBN 0 7088 1500 6. Xxanthippe (talk) 01:28, 2 August 2012 (UTC).
I know. Since you don't seem to be opposed to my suggestions anymore, I'll try to fix more mistakes and enrich the prose a little bit. Surtsicna (talk) 08:43, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that "enriching the prose" is appropriate in an encyclopaedia. Maximizing accessibility is surely the aim here. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 13:53, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Shouldn't the prose be engaging? Is it really confusing to call her "Lovelace", "Lady Lovelace" and "the Countess of Lovelace"? It seems quite clear that she was Countess of Lovelace. Isn't it better than using plain "Lovelace" in every instance? If it is, I don't mind that. Surtsicna (talk) 15:57, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
This isn't my area of expertise, but I think that there are novels where the reader is expected to know that characters with slightly different titles are different people, so here they might wonder if "Lady Lovelace" and "the Countess of Lovelace" are different people. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 16:43, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

My revision of 5 August of the article is intended to make it read as simply as possible for the new reader. I follow the convention adopted by all of Ada's biographers in referring to her by the same name throughout (usually Ada). This removes the difficulty mentioned above of wondering if the "Countess" and "Lady Lovelace" are the same person and who, for example, "her niece" is; a little mental calculation is needed to work out that it is in fact Ada. The new reader should not be expected to have to make this calculation himself. In one paragraph of the 4 August version of Surtsicna the same person (Ada) is referred to as "Ada Lovelace", "the Countess" and "Lovelace". This is clumsy and sows unneeded confusion.

There is, though, one usage that is indisputably incorrect. That is to refer to Ada Lovelace as "Lovelace". This abbreviated form is the informal way of referring the holder of the peerage, it is never, neither then nor now, used for the wife of the peer. Therefore, to attribute the mathematical work to "Lovelace" is not only to commit a solecism but, by implying that the work was done by her husband (which no scholar has ever contended is the case), reads as an insult to Ada's memory.

I have put back my own edits that deal with these styling issues, in addition correcting some errors that I missed on the first round. My last edit was reverted after four hours. I hope this one lasts the 24 hour cycle. Xxanthippe (talk) 07:15, 5 August 2012 (UTC).


In this section is the sentence "The acrimonious divorce, with allegations of immoral behaviour against Byron [10] that Annabella would continue to make throughout her life." which appears to have lost some meaning during editing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:01, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Also, the sentence, "Annabella did not have a close relationship with the young Ada and the child often left her in the care of her grandmother Judith Milbanke, who doted on her." which appears to have become garbled. The child left her mother in the charge of her grandmother? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:05, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Why don't you tidy this up yourself (making sure that content is consistent with the sources)? Xxanthippe (talk) 00:33, 17 August 2012 (UTC).

Photograph of Ada Lovelace[edit]

There is a supposed photograph of Ada Lovelace floating around the internet. See, for example here and here. There are two problems with this photograph:

  1. I have not been able to locate any provenance for it. Does anyone know where it came from?
  2. Portrait photography didn't start until the 1840s and was quite rare until the 1850s. Lovelace died in 1852.

Anyone have further information or opinions on the legitimacy of this photograph? Kaldari (talk) 19:16, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

This isn't a citable source, of course, but Sydney Padua has done the most research on original sources for Lovelace's life that I'm aware of and says there is no photo of Lovelace: My money is on it being of someone else so I wouldn't spend too much time looking for a source. Thanks for checking it out, though - it would be really cool if we did have a photo of her! Catavar (talk) 03:33, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
According to Padua, that photo is actually of Lovelace's daughter, Lady Anne Blunt. Kaldari (talk) 23:26, 28 October 2012 (UTC)


Today, a single edit WP:spa has linked[3] a blog entry on the story of Ada and Babbage to the article.[4] Usually, Wikipedia does not accept self-published sources like blogs as reliable sources, due to the lack of editorial oversight. However, this blog is persuasively and entertainingly written by Stephen Wolfram, one of the masters of contemporary mathematical computing. As well as giving a comprehensive account of Ada's and Babbage's personal lives, it analyses Ada's mathematical contributions with authority and finds that her concept of the possibilities of computing was superior to that of Babbage. The blog is a major contribution to the history of computing. It does full justice to Ada and should be read by all readers of the Wikipedia article (it also contains a better picture of Ada than the Wikipedia article does). Xxanthippe (talk) 10:04, 13 December 2015 (UTC).

Criticism or Defence[edit]

The quotation of Babbage's Autobiography "Passages from the Life of a Philosopher" (1864) should be placed under Criticism not under Defence. Babbage simply states, that he is the author of the "first computer program" (Bernoulli number algorithm). (talk) 11:42, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

Eugene Eric Kim and Betty Alexandar Toole: "From this letter, two things are clear." This letter should be cited. (talk) 11:58, 13 December 2015 (UTC) In general: It is always better to cite the facts, not the interpretations! (talk) 12:12, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

Ok, found that letter. Ada to Babbage: "Give me the necessary data & formulae". To realize what is meant by data & formulae, one should read Menabreas Sketch of the Analytical Engine (English Translation: Ada Lovelace). -- (talk) 02:37, 14 December 2015 (UTC)

The citation from Doron Swade book "The Difference Engine" should also be placed under Criticism. (talk) 12:02, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

"Kim and Toole dispute this claim: Babbage had written several small programs for the Analytical Engine in his notebook in 1836 and 1837, but none of them approached the complexity of the Bernoulli numbers program." The computer programs for the calculation of polynomial functions are less complex, but the computer programs concerning Gauss elimination are as complex as the Bernoulli numbers program. These programs were developed between 1837 and 1840. ("Some two dozen programs for the Analytical Engine exist dated between 1837 and 1840." Quelle: A. G. Bromley, Analytical Engine, Annals of the History of Computing, Volume 4, Number 3, July 1982 p. 215.) (talk) 12:47, 13 December 2015 (UTC) (talk) 12:52, 13 December 2015 (UTC) Typo (talk) 23:37, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

WP:No original research[edit]

In recent days an WP:Spa User:, who has edited for less than a fortnight, has made 23 edits to Ada Lovelace and its talk. The edits take the form of arguing about the degree of originality of Ada's contribution by quoting primary sources. This is a totally inappropriate use of Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a tertiary source and should not to be used as a forum for a debate about matters relating to its subject, which would be more appropriate in a secondary source or a blog outside Wikipedia. I have reverted the edits on the grounds of WP:No original research. There is nothing to stop material from authoritative secondary sources that discuss this issue from being added. Xxanthippe (talk) 00:27, 17 December 2015 (UTC).

I've reverted the authoritative secondary sources Kim and Toole1999 and Bromley1982, you deleted unintentionally. The source Babbage Passages from the Life of a Philosopher (1864) (Autobiography) should be added, because Bromley1990 uses this primary source for his interpretation. So we have primary and secondary source. In my opinion it is allowed by "WP:No original research" to cite primary sources, but without own interpretation. Otherwise you have to delete most of the citations in the Wikipedia. -- (talk) 10:03, 17 December 2015 (UTC) -- (talk) 15:55, 17 December 2015 (UTC) -- (talk) 15:58, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
The quotation from Bruce Collier's PhD thesis is also no "authoritative secondary source", it's a polemic. So this quotation should be removed. -- (talk) 10:26, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
A Harvard PhD thesis that is a polemic? You will need a source for that opinion. Xxanthippe (talk) 23:44, 17 December 2015 (UTC).
The wrong quotation is in my opinion a polemic. The Harvard PhD thesis is of course a reliable source. We should correct this. -- (talk) 02:56, 18 December 2015 (UTC)
I've found Collier's PhD thesis: I can't find the quotation in his thesis. -- (talk) 17:27, 17 December 2015 (UTC)
A quotation from Collier's PhD thesis is "She made a considerable contribution to publicizing the Analytical Engine, but there is no evidence that she advanced the design or theory of it in anyway." -- (talk) 18:07, 17 December 2015 (UTC)

Lead versus Overview sections[edit]

At the moment this article has a sketchy lead section and an "overview" section. Now the manual if style on the lead section WP:Lede says "The lead should stand on its own as a concise overview of the article's topic". Hence the Overview section is superfluous to a properly crafted led. The simplest approach is merge it into the Leda. Now I tried that but another disagreed, so we need to talk about this. GraemeLeggett (talk) 21:54, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

I agree they should be combined into a single lead section. Kaldari (talk) 01:12, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for bringing this to the talk page in conformity with WP:BRD. As you can see from reading this talk page, the article has become very contentious, and many people have axes to grind on it for reasons that I do not fully understand. So changes are best made gradually. My impression is that the current lede is concise, acceptable and non-contentious. The overview could be incorporated in the main text, but I don't see any problem with it at present. The structure is clear and WP:IAR. I don't think we need anything in the lede about "poetical science", that is too much detail. Maybe the thing to do is just remove the Heading Overview. Xxanthippe (talk) 02:55, 5 February 2016 (UTC).
Like this [5]. What do you think? Xxanthippe (talk) 04:19, 5 February 2016 (UTC).
conforming to the MoS for article layout is nothing to do with the merits of Lovelace as possibly the first "programmer" (or not). There is no intention to remove material from combining the two, save where there is duplication. Renaming the section to overview does not make it any less of a displaced summary of the whole article. As to poetical science, if it (or any item) is too much detail for a lede (and ledes can be quick big) its too much for an overview. GraemeLeggett (talk) 07:17, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
I agree. It could go later in the main text. Xxanthippe (talk) 08:30, 5 February 2016 (UTC).

Recent changes[edit]

@J M Rice: Could you give me a little explanation as to the reasoning behind your recent changes? It seems like you removed some relevant information and made some strange formatting changes. R. A. Simmons Talk 00:03, 30 March 2016 (UTC)

"Explains, specifies, suggests, etc." are hackneyed. "At least a few..." is POV. Actually, the entire section is one-sided and polemical and the sources repetitive and rather obscure. It really should be deleted in toto, so my changes are minimal. Maybe you're someone who wants to plug his "Harvard" dissertation? J M Rice (talk) 07:10, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
Hey, assume good faith, please. I was just confused by the changes you made. As for your reasoning, I don't think that words being overused makes them necessarily incorrect or not useful within an encyclopedia, but I agree with many of your changes. I think that it could improve the section of the article on controversy over her contributions if we added a little background to the quotes and their authors. "Eugene Eric Kim and Betty Alexandra Toole:", for instance, doesn't really provide much relevance or authority to the following quote. It's certainly not your fault, but could we do something about that? R. A. Simmons Talk 12:27, 1 April 2016 (UTC)
Agree, context is everything. Commentators on her activities need to be given with background for the readers benefit. GraemeLeggett (talk) 13:45, 2 April 2016 (UTC)
Collier's 1970 Harvard thesis is a reliable source ( The 1990 "polemic" is from a new unsigned PREFACE without pagination for a facsimile reproduction of the thesis. The contributor of the quote said to me, that she doesn't have the original 1990 source, but she believes the quotation is correct. I can't check that. (talk) 13:36, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
We should pick one of Collier's quotes or the other. They basically say the same thing (that the ideas in the Notes were Babbage's and not Lovelace's). Having two lengthy quotes from a single person seems undue especially since Collier was not a Lovelace scholar (he was a Babbage scholar). Kaldari (talk) 19:13, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
I think that in the absence of a Lovelace scholar, a Babbage scholar would probably be the next highest authority. However, the current quote format is very poor, regardless. R. A. Simmons Talk 20:48, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
Betty Alexandra Toole is the Lovelace scholar (she wrote Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers), but she only gets 2 sentences in that section. I would favor expanding her quotation (as she does have more to say on the matter), and reducing Collier's quotations (just picking 1 of the 2). Kaldari (talk) 01:12, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
I want to point out, that Collier's 1990 preface is not peer-reviewed. It does not fulfill basic scientific standards in contrast to Collier's 1970 thesis or Bromley's articles. In order to improve the quality of this article, we should remove this quote. (talk) 21:56, 4 April 2016 (UTC)
I was unaware that such statements as made in a preface required peer-review, nor was I aware that there were scientific standards for them (it is a matter of history). Speaking of Bromley, though, the final quotation in the section (from Bromley) is totally pointless and irrelevant to the section. Or am I missing something? R. A. Simmons Talk 02:33, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
Prefaces don't need a peer-review process. So you can reprint your thesis with an additional preface full of defamations. The claim by Fuegi et al. was, that Lovelace was the first computer programmer, the Bernoulli program the first program. Bromley states, that there exist several dozen computer programs before. So there is a controversy. (talk) 07:58, 5 April 2016 (UTC)


@Kaldari: You edited the citation Collier1990 (chapter=preface). Because of that, I assume you own that source. Could you please send a copy of the additional preface to me. Thanks. (talk) 01:01, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

No, I don't have it. I was just going on your statement above that it was in a non-paginated preface (and the fact that Google Books won't give a page number for it in snippet view (which would seem to corroborate that.) Kaldari (talk) 01:07, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
Thats bad. Nobody has the source. Not the original contributor, not you, not I. This is a clear case of WP:VERIFY and WP:RELIABLE. (talk) 07:34, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

"Work" redundancy[edit]

There seems to be a large amount of overlap between the primary text of the "work" section and its subheading, "first computer program". They're almost verbatim reproductions of one another. What should be done? Should one be removed? R. A. Simmons Talk 13:34, 5 April 2016 (UTC)

The William King mystery[edit]

Currently the Notes section has 2 contradictory statements:

  • "Sources disagree on whether William King, her maths tutor, and William King, her later husband, were the same person." (with no citation)
  • "Sources make it clear that William King, her tutor, and William King, her future husband, were not related." (with 1 citation)

As we only have 1 citation, I don't see how we can make any claim about the "sources". Perhaps someone could dig up some more references on this. Kaldari (talk) 19:10, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

The tutor was William King (physician), a connection of her mother through the early co-operative movement. This business should be cleaned up – I wouldn't say the "doubt"/"mystery" needs to be kept for NPOV.

A relevant reference is in Sophia Elizabeth De Morgan, which I have just written. As Sophia Frend, she was a tutor to Ada a couple of years before King; and there is a third name, Arabella Lawrence, whom I have not yet tracked down.

The current article here does not mention these other two, so the whole coverage needs work. Charles Matthews (talk) 07:09, 7 July 2016 (UTC)


Hi. Are you sure she died from cancer? As I know it's completely wrong. She had cancer indeed, until her last day, but the cause of death was different. Thank you. IKhitron (talk) 16:24, 30 August 2016 (UTC)

Please give a source. Xxanthippe (talk) 22:29, 13 September 2016 (UTC).

Wolfram on Lovelace[edit]

Stephen Wolfram just published a significant piece on Ada Lovelace: Kaldari (talk) 08:49, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for reminding us of this again.Talk:Ada Lovelace#Ada/Babbage/Wolfram. Xxanthippe (talk) 21:23, 6 October 2016 (UTC).