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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Mike Brenner <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 6 Jan 1998 11:25:19 -0500
Mike Brenner <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (40 lines)
  > I would like to be able to take advantage of those things Tcl/Perl/Icon
  > type languages are good at (string and text processing, interfacing to
  > Unix system calls and utilities, simple GUIs) and yet work in a
  > strongly-type, reliable general-purpose language.

Who wouldn't? It would be great to have a library of text processing,
mainly awk regular expressions, in Ada. What is missing is not
any language features. What is missing is the code to do the
regular expressions in Ada.

The rest of the stuff (automatic
allocation of variable length strings, painless substring
operations, and Dos and Unix system calls that work) can also
be made available to Ada through an object oriented interface,
and I suspect that they will be a lot easier than the
regular expressions.

Maybe not, since it SO hard to get anything working
the same way on DOS and Unix gnat now, such as
(reading the directory, submitting a command to the operating
system, renaming a file, getting the mouse coordinates,
lighting dots on the screen, reading serial and parallel ports,
reading the keyboard immediately, and doing stream-io to
the standard output or from the standard input without getting
garbage end of line characters).

This is not a bindings issue, as much as it is an issue that we
need some working libraries to do some things with gnat.

I have never used TCL, and if it is free, I would like to try it.
If not, why are we discussing it as an alternative for the basic
tools of our trade like regular expressions? Some things are
so basic to operating a computer that their non-existence is
a veto against using a language for certain applications.

Regular expressions are one of those things that are so basic
that the Ada community needs to develop working code to do them.

Mike Brenner