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TEAM-ADA  November 2006

TEAM-ADA November 2006

Subject:

Re: Class Library for Ada OOP

From:

Michael Feldman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Team Ada: Ada Programming Language Advocacy (83 & 95)

Date:

Thu, 16 Nov 2006 11:55:30 -0500

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (74 lines)

Rick et al,
>
> The accusation is that Ada has no such collection (actually, most people 
> believe that OOP is impossible in Ada).
>
> I have downloaded CLAW which holds out promise for GUI work although it lacks 
> documentation.  Also, the current GNAT compiler is not listed among its 
> compatibilities.  GtkAda works but its implementation for Windows appears to 
> be something of an afterthought berining consequent restrictions.  My 
> experience of Booch components is that they are subroutines rather than 
> classes.
>
> What else is around?
>
> Rick Duley

Well, Ada 2005 provides a *standard* container library that's quite similar
to the Java and C++ (STL) ones. Monday at the SIGAda conference, I attended 
a tutorial on this by Matt Heaney, who participated in the design and did 
the GNAT implementation. The latest GNAT release supports this (in full, 
I think).

That's a *container* library. As for GUI stuff, since Ada isn't tied to
a specific platform, we wouldn't expect GUI classes to be in the standard. 
On the other hand, we do have Open GL and GtkAda, which are more prevalent
in the Unix world than the Windows one. AdaCore supports and distributes
GtkAda.

If you want something Windows-specific, take a serious look at A#, which 
is the US Air Force Academy (Martin Carlisle) targeting of GNAT to the 
.NET platform. This was also presented here at the conference, and provides 
(inter alia) Ada 2005 interfaces to the .NET API's. Martin's stuff is
at http://martincarlisle.com.

AdaCore announced that there's sufficient customer interest in A# 
that they're going to make a fully-supported product of it. That is
very good news. So we should see it distributed from Adacore's site
in 2007 sometime.

The bad news is that AFAIK, jgnat - GNAT on the Java JVM platform - 
doesn't seem to be going anywhere. For all the talk about it, Adacore
says there's not much commercial interest in it, so nobody's keeping
it moving.

By the way - Mac fans like me are glad to note that the OS X port of
GNAT is now fully-supported and freely-distributed along with Windows
and Linux ports.

GNAT is now *included* with many (all?) current Linux distributions. 
I installed it the other day straight from my SUSE DVD.

Academic folks should consider joining AdaCore's GNAT Academic
Program (GAP), which has no membership fee and a simple registration
process. Yesterday I attended Ed Schonberg's talk on this. Joining GAP 
gets you access to the GNAT software (which anyone can download anyway
from libre.adacore.com) but also to support from Adacore (which normally 
only paying customers get). Send queries to [log in to unmask]

Finally, note that the AdaCore URL for the public distributions is
http://libre.adacore.com. You do have to fill out a simple web form
to open an account, but there's no cost and they say they are doing this
to get a better idea of who's using all the free stuff. That site also
has a lot of general Ada 2005 material, including some good summary/
introductory stuff. I didn't see the full Ada 95 reference manual there,
but you can pick this up in various formats from the standards section
of http://www.adaic.org.

BTW - I have no connection to AdaCore - I'm just passing on information,
much of which I picked up ths week at the conference.

I hope this helps!

Mike Feldman

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