Ada beats Colossus in Cipher Challenge

I caught this article on Slashdot about an Ada program beating Colossus in a challenge to quickly decrypt messages from the Lorenz SZ42 cipher. The Ada program took 46 seconds versus what Colossus (the World War II machine in Bletchley Park that cracked German messages) solved in about three and a half hours.

Ada has me very fascinated because I'm interested in programming languages that lend themselves to computational correctness and high execution speed. I haven't used Ada, but I tend to hear good things about it, and would like to try using it next time I start a project. I'm particularly interested in how it would help programs that use cryptography and that are going through a Common Criteria evaluation.

According to the TIOBE Index, as of May 2008, Ada is sitting at #17 with 0.431% popularity and a rating of 'B'. From that point of view it doesn't look like the hottest thing out there, but it has Objective-C (Mac's darling) way out-ranked. Objective-C is #47 with 0.083% popularity, which makes me wonder if it's worth learning for writing Mac OS X Widgets. Fortunately, Mac's Xcode provides some good hooks for Python (#7, 4.6% popularity) and Ruby (#10, 2.85%)...

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