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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Craig Carey <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 19 Aug 2002 05:21:35 +1200
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Craig Carey <[log in to unmask]>
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I ask for some more information on who wanted JGNAT, and when they switched
over to a view agreeing with ACT which was it had bugs.

At 31 Jan 2001 09:29 -0700 Wednesday, Carlisle Martin C Dr USAFA/DFCS wrote:
 >You should certainly look into JGNAT, which allows an Ada programmer to
 >access all of the Java classes (including Swing, e.g.) and compile Ada
 >programs into JVM byte code (so they have all of the same multi-platform
 >capabilities).  See (select products, then JGNAT)
 >Download (free) from:

ACT pulled the plug on the JGNAT project, so said a messages at comp.lang.ada.
It is quoted below. (This message is not full of questions for Mr Carlisle;
responses from the DoD staff have been brief.).

Here is a copy of the Usenet message:

 >From: [log in to unmask] (Robert Dewar)
 >Newsgroups: comp.lang.ada
 >Subject: Re: JGNAT status??? (was: Re: Help: Problem with JGnat)
 >Date: 3 Aug 2002 07:36:06 -0700
 >"Dr. Michael Paus" <[log in to unmask]> wrote in message news:<[log in to unmask]>...
 >> Yes, a new public version of the current JGNAT sources
 >> could be great.
 >We have no plans for any further work on JGNAT
 >?> if it is true that a version exists which runs on Java
 >> 1.3+.
 >It is false. There were indeed filed bugs in this area, but
 >they were never solved.
 >> Maybe we can convince ACT to consider
 >> this.
 >What is "this"? Doing more work on JGNAT? That's not going
 >to happen. The sources are out there, the first task would
 >Robert Dewar
 >Ada Core Technologies


* Did the DoD fund the ACT JGNAT project?.

* Who was in the DoD that wanted the JGNAT system?.

* Will it be revived with such force and an excess of expenditure that
  JGNAT is made to run properly. I presume ACT argued strongly before
  JGNAT was started, that it would fail for sure, and that is what ACT
  is now saying. So it sounds like the DoD wanted it. [I saw something
  identifying the DoD and I can't find it now.]

* Which part of the DoD was pro-Java/JVM ?. I don't seem to have that
   sort of detail here.

* As seems likely, the DoD opinions of Java and JVMs may have worsened
   over time. Has anybody got comments on which parts of the DoD held
   which views, and when, as Java and buggy software become less and less
   credible inside of the DoD ?.

I do not have quotable comments saying that the DoD was even interested
in JGNAT. I hope to not mislead if wrong on that point.

Is there anti-Java DoD that can be requested under US Freedom of
Information law ?.

This next message of 2001, indicated some serious interest in putting
JVMs into military machines. Or perhaps the DII COE made a mistake

At 19 June 2001 07:51 -0400 Tuesday, Marc A. Criley wrote:

Online at:

 >About a year ago I discovered that the DII COE Integration and Run-Time
 >Specification (I&RTS) 4.0 prohibited the use of tools that compiled
 >languages other than Java into Java Byte Code (JBC).  This obviously
 >precluded the use of Ada products such as JGNAT and AppletMagic to develop
 >"portable Web-based" applications.  (The use of analogous compilers for
 >other languages, such as Eiffel and Python, were therefore barred as well.)
 >Here's the original prohibition:
 >"Developers shall not use compilers designed to convert code developed in
 >other languages (e.g., Ada, C++) to create Java byte-codes. This
 >restriction is important because such compilers may inadvertently bypass
 >intended Java security features."  -- Section 8.2.3, bullet 3.
 >As I mentioned, having never received any feedback, I have no idea what
 >role our submission played in the descision to remove the bullet.  Perhaps
 >major, perhaps none, perhaps it was the Python advocates that got it out
 >:-)  Whatever the reason, we did our part, and I'm pleased with the way
 >things turned out.
 >Marc A. Criley
 >Senior Staff Engineer
 >Quadrus Corporation
 >P.S. A plaintext version of the submission is available in the Team Ada
 >archives at
   [ Subject: Recommended DII COE change to permit Ada (etc) to Java compilers
     Date: Mon, 10 Apr 2000 10:27:12 -0400 ]

It seems like the DoD is adapting its views about Java. At some point in
time they would attempt to discourage its use. Has that happened already?.

Also, the GNU Java compiler project is not proceeding excellently too.
This if ACT won't do the coding it could be an Ada project with no
possibility ending up being used. With this clearly failed Ada 95 project,
who were the people or agencies that wanted JGNAT ?.

I can't recall a webpage listing Ada 95 failure stories. I have not
looked at the website for comments on this topic.

Craig Carey
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