AdaCore Blog

Farewell Robert...

by Cyrille Comar

It is with great sadness that I have to announce the death of Robert Dewar...

My first acquaintance with Robert goes back to 1992 when in an internet forum dedicated to Ada, he answered my first and timid post related to the design of the OO aspects in Ada 95 by saying that it was probably the dumbest idea he ever heard in his life. So I was slightly concerned about meeting him in person the following year at NYU when I joined the GNAT team. I discovered a very friendly, colourful person always ready to start an intellectual battle over technical topics but also able to show kindness and support in personal or social topics. That's the first lesson I remember dearly from Robert: being fierce in technical debate doesn't mean being fierce in human relationships. The second far more significant lesson I learnt from Robert was about where to find freedom... It was at the end of my sabbatical at NYU for the GNAT project, long before AdaCore was even considered. I was ready to move back to my old university teaching assignment in France and had a long talk with Robert. I told him how sad I was to go back and how much more exciting I found to work on the GNAT project. He did not give me any direct advice but helped me to realise what I really wanted to do and who had the bigger say in it: myself! He taught me, without spelling it out explicitly, that the best place to find freedom is within yourself. I still remember this discovery as one of the most important of my life and I owe it to Robert.

If you would like to leave a message for his family and friends, please do so by adding a comment to this blog post.

Posted in #Robert Dewar   

About Cyrille Comar

Cyrille Comar is co-founder and Managing Director of AdaCore Europe. He has been involved with Ada for well over a decade. Having received his PhD degree in Computer Sciences in 1986, Dr. Comar joined the GNAT project at New York University in 1993. One of the key architects of GNAT, Cyrille has notably led the implementation of the Ada 95 object-oriented features and the GNAT library model. He was also a key architect of the Ada 95 gcc frontend. Cyrille has published many papers on the Ada language and GNAT technology.