Dear Team, I figured that most of you are not fully aware of the happenings
in the swedish computer press, so here's an article from "Datateknik" (the
"Byte" of Sweden, well, almost ;-), No 17, 24-Oct-1996.
It has been translated in a native Swedish singel-pass neural translation
process (me) so please set your language filters to "Generous".
Ada goes from war to Internet
OBJECT ADA IS THE FIRST DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENT FOR THE OBJECT ORIENTED
PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE ADA95, AND ISO STANDARD AS OF 1995.
OBJECT ADA FOR WINDOWS AND OBJECT ADA FOR UNIX, FROM THOMSON SOFTWARE
PRODUCTS, PROVIDES A GRAPHICAL ENVIRONMENT FOR WRITING PROGRAMS IN ADA 95.
Picture of 2 Gripen fighters: "ADa was created for the US defence and was
primarily intended for embedded systems. It's not until now the general
purpose complilers are spreading.
Object Ada is the technical development in the areas of space,
energy transport, medecin, telecom, finance, process industry, and of
course the traditional defence sector. "Ada used to focus on on cirtical
systems, such as ATC and C2", says Jaques Brygier, product manager at
Thomson. Today there are many systems on the commercial market that could
benefit from the safety/security (sw "s=E4kerhet") and control of Ada.
The ADa idea was born at the DoD in the mid-70's. The goal with Ada, that
was finished 1983, was to have a langauge for embedded systems. Ada built
on language features from different other languages, so it should not have
been hard to get good, quick and cheap compilers. But the different
language features had never been present in the same language, and the wait
for good compilers was long. This lead to a slow proliferation, and the
main area of use became defence, in spite of the more general ambition.
In 87, Ada became an ISO standard. ISO standards are to be re-evaluted
every 10yrs, and in January 1995, the revised ISO 8652:1995 was published.
Ada83 had object oriented design and inheritance from classes/types. This
has been added to to get full OO with inheritance, polymorphism and dynamic
binding. Ada95 also added a simpler method of communicating between
processes, and is compared to Ada83 more open and can co-exist with C++ and
other OO languages, as well as Fortran and COBOL.
Ada is today the only ISO standard OO language. C++ is going through the
process and is estimated to become a standard in 1998. C++ once won over
Ada for two reasons. 1) C++ builds on C 2) Ada was late with good
compilers, Ada compilers were expensive compared to C++ compilers from e.g.
Since 1995, there is a free Ada compiler from GNU, called Gnat (GNU NYU Ada
Transformer). GNAT is forcing Thomson and others to reduce the price of
their compilers and developmen environments.
The most interesting feature with Object Ada is apart from that the
connection to Java. You can write your code in Ada and generate Java-code
from the Ada source. According to a test in PC Wee is this the first
compiler to generate Java byte code from another source langauge. The
benfit is, according to Thomson, that Ada is safer than Java.
The development environment reminds of the Visual-C++. Object Ada is
capable of using the Microsoft class libraris and complies with the
standaard drag-and-drop rulers. Electronic help for developers that are
unused to the object technique is provided, as are tools to use Object Ada
The compilers is intended for Windows95 and NT and Unix platforms from Sun
and HP. Prices are singel user home version 2450 SEK (1USD=3D6.7SEK), singel
user business 5950 SEK and multi-user business 14950 SEK.
A new release of Object ADa wil be available by end of 1996.
LOW PRICE AND SAFE JAVA GIVES ADA NEW LIFE
- Ada compilers are nowdays available both for little money and no money,
says Bj=F6rn K=E4llberg, senior scientist and Ada expert at CelsiusTech in
J=E4rf=E4lla. Without that development Ada would have been dead by now.
In 1985 CelsiusTech received a contract to build two systems for the
Swedish DoD. The company selected Ada to meet the requirements for safety,
and because a complete development environment could be provided. Hence,
CelsiusTech became known as early and willing Ada users.
- Technically, Ada is all benefits, says Bj=F6rn. The language prevents mino=
bugs and problems with the code. 80% of CelsiusTech production is in Ada,
and there are strong indications that it's cheaper to maintain than C++.
In an Ada conference last year Rational/Verdix presented the experiences
from their compiler systems. These had been used during 10 years by many
customers. Half the code is written in C and half in Ada. Analysis shows
that the Ada code was cheaper to develop and that the C code had six times
more bugs that had to be fixed.
The new compiler that Thomson is now introducing, Object Ada, is stating
JAva byte code generation as a selling point. Why write Java in ADa? Bj=E4rn
K=E4llberg thinks it has benefits. "Java is basically C++ without the
dangerous parts. C++ without the dangerous parts is basically Ada.
Therefore a transformation from Ada to JBC is possible, while a
transformation from C++ to Java is impossible. By writing Java in ADa,
you'd get past the uncertainties of Java".
Picture of Swedish flag overlaid with the Lady Ada: "HBAP- Home of Brave
Ada Programmers: here are the links to free compilers, Ada copurses for C++
programmers and all you need to know about Ada (www.adahome.com). The Ada
in Sweden homepage provides more food for thought about Ada
Daniel Wengelin <[log in to unmask]>
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