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

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At the time, he was a member of the Programming Research division at CII Honeywell Bull (CII-HB) in Louveciennes, France. He had previously designed an experimental system implementation language called LIS (1972–1974), based on Pascal and Simula (in fact, he had been chairman of the Simula User’s Group), and was one of the founding members of IFIP WG 2.4 on Systems Implementation Languages.


Ichbiah’s team submitted the language design called “Green” to the competition to choose the United States Department of Defence’s embedded programming language. When Green was selected in 1978, he continued as chief designer of the language, renamed “Ada”. Ada is a structured, statically typed, imperative, wide-spectrum, and object-oriented high level computer


programming language, extended from Pascal and other languages. It has built-in language support for explicit concurrency, offering tasks, synchronous message passing, protected objects, and non-determinism. Ada is an international standard; the current version, Ada 2012 is defined by ISO/IEC 8652:2012.

Major implementations of Ada are AdaCore GNAT, Green Hills software optimising Ada 95 compiler, Aonix ObjectAda etc…



In 1980, Ichbiah left CII-HB and founded the Alsys Corporation in La Celle-Saint-Cloud, which continued language definition to standardize Ada 83, and later went into the Ada compiler business, also supplying special validated compiler systems to NASA, the US Army, and others. Ichbiah designed the keyboard layout fitaly which is specifically optimized for stylus or touch-based input and subsequently started the Text ware company, which sells text entry software for PDAs and tablet PCs, as well as text-entry software for medical transcription on PCs.




  • He received a Certificate of Distinguished Service from the DoD for his work on Ada.
  • In 1979, Jean Ichbiah was designated a “chevalier” (knight) of the French Legion of Honour and a “correspondent” of the French Academy of Sciences.


He was a descendant of Jewsfrom Thessaloniki who emigrated to France. Jean Ichbiah died from complications of a brain tumour on January 26, 2007.

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