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Team Ada: Ada Programming Language Advocacy


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Sender: "Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
From: Jeff Castellow <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Mon, 9 Apr 2001 21:17:38 -0400
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Reply-To: Jeff Castellow <[log in to unmask]>
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To Members and Friends of DC SIGAda


Our Next Meeting is scheduled for 12 April 2001 as a Joint Meeting of the
Baltimore and DC SIGAda Chapters. Currie Colket, of The MITRE Corporation
will be speaking on Everything You Wanted to Know About Exceptions, But Were
Afraid to Raise. The presentation will start at 7:30 P.M. (Refreshments and
Social at 7:00 P.M.) at the Lockheed Martin Corporation in Rockville,
Maryland. Snacks and soft drinks will be served at 7:00 PM, the general
meeting will start at 7:30 PM, followed by the program.

Abstract: Everything You Wanted to Know About Exceptions, But Were Afraid to

Exception processing was considered by Jean Ichbiah to be one of the 3 most
important features of the Ada language. It has the power to detect serious
problems in the execution of a program and return one back to a known safe
state with high integrity. As such, it can be a very powerful tool for
developing high quality software. Unfortunately many developers do not use
the full power of exceptions. Frequently the use of exceptions is to simply
log the problem and continue execution, allowing things to gracefully
degrade. In the case of Ariane 5, exceptions were raised appropriately, but
the result had not been well thought out, resulting in a disaster.

This presentation will start at the basics, discussing the Ada 83 concept of
exceptions. To be effective, exceptions and their handling must be addressed
at the design level and not at the code level where it is frequently
performed today. This presentation will discuss several alternative
approaches to addressing error handling in the design using exceptions.

Since Ada 83, several changes have been made to the exception area. Changes
for Ada 95 made exceptions more effective. A Workshop at Ada-Europe this May
will address proposed needs for exceptions that may likely result in changes
for the next version of the Ada language, Ada 0X.

The use of exceptions can be assessed via automated tools. The presentation
will conclude by addressing several analyses that can be performed on a
program via automated tools so the program quality can be improved.

Presenter: Currie Colket
        Mr. Currie Colket is the Vice Chair of ACM SIGAda for Meetings and
Conferences, the Chair of the SIGAda Ada Semantic Working Group, and Chair
of the ISO WG9 ASIS Rapporteur Group. He recently retired from the DoD where
he served in the Air Force as an Airborne Surveillance Officer on AWACS and
a computer scientist for the United States Navy. Mr. Colket is currently a
software systems engineer for MITRE. His current tasks involve code analysis
using ASIS-based tools. Prior to his affiliation with MITRE, he was a
consultant for the Software Program Manager's Network (SPMN). He has a
Bachelor of Science from Case Institute of Technology, a Master of Business
Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master of
Science in Computer Science from the Ohio State University. His email
address is [log in to unmask]

                Lockheed Martin Corporation
                9211 Corporate Boulevard
                Rockville, Maryland 20874


>From all points: Get to I-270 West from the I-495 Beltway,
Take I-270 West to Shady Grove Exit;
Turn left at light;
Turn right on Corporate Dr (at light);
Turn right at end of access road (can only turn left or right);
Go to end of driveway.
The building for the meeting is on the right, across the open courtyard
area. It is building #9211, as marked. Parking lots are on the left and

Enter main lobby. Stop at guard desk to check in. The Meeting is in the
4th floor telecon conference room.

To obtain a map of the location, visit, select
Driving Directions for the destination address:
"9211 Corporate Drive,
 Rockville, Md."

Next Meeting:
Please put 8 May 20001 on your calendar when Frank Beard will be talking
about Building Graphical User Interfaces using ObjectAda.
Notes From March Meeting:
Mr. Greg Gicca provided an excellent presentation at the March Baltimore
SIGAda Meeting on FAA DO-178B Details followed by a Short Overview of the
Aonix Raven Tool Support. For those who missed the presentation, it is
available on line at following the link
for the March meeting.

DC SIGAda Home Page and Maillist
Please visit the DC SIGAda Web site at

Please provide suggestions on the Web site and its contents. We are
particularly interested in ways the DC SIGAda Home Page can serve you

Consider subscribing to our e-mail list. Simply send an email to:

[log in to unmask]
with the body containing:

subscribe SIGAda-DC Your Name

Detailed instructions to subscribe and signoff are provided on the DC SIGAda
Home Page.

We will have snacks and soft drinks at 7:00. The meeting begins at 7:30 pm.
Please forward this message to people who might be interested in attending.
We welcome all new members as our attendance and interests grow.

Many thanks to all earlier participants, contributors, speakers, advisors,
and friends, who are involved in helping to produce and attend the meetings.

Jeff Castellow, Chair, DC SIGAda