Jesterrace may kick us for spamming his forum yes...or more specifically me.
ATA means AT Attachment and it dates back more than twenty years. If you want to look through the various terms, read this entry at Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_Advanced_Technology_Attachment
There is no great advantage for SATA over PATA in optical drives other than it uses smaller cables, has no master/slave setup and is the newer connection. SATA is going to be around a long while, and we are very nearly at the end of PATA connected devices in new computers.
PATA interface drives will still be produced as replacements in older computers, but that is about the only place we will use them in the future.