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Dirk Craeynest <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 12 Nov 2013 14:01:04 +0100
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Ada 2012 Language Rationale Published

New educational resource by Ada expert John Barnes explains key Ada
2012 concepts


PITTSBURGH, Pa., November 12, 2013 - Today at ACM SIGAda's HILT 2013
(High Integrity Language Technology) Conference, the Ada Resource
Association (ARA) and Ada-Europe announced the publication of the Ada
2012 Rationale and its free availability for downloading.  Sponsored in
part by Ada-Europe, the Ada Resource Association, and AdaCore, the
Ada 2012 Rationale was written by longtime Ada authority John Barnes.
It summarizes the new Ada 2012 features, shows examples of their use,
describes compatibility with earlier versions of the language standard,
and explains the reasons behind critical language design decisions.
This new Rationale will be a valuable resource for anyone interested
in learning the innovations introduced by the Ada 2012 standard.

The Rationale may be downloaded at no cost from [1], [2], and [3].
The book may also be purchased through its commercial publisher,
Springer, as volume LNCS 8338 in their Lecture Notes in Computer
Science series, to be released in mid-December 2013.


The Ada 2012 Rationale contains the following chapters:

- Introduction, covering the development of Ada 2012 and giving a
  brief overview of the main changes from Ada 2005.

- Contracts and Aspects, describing the contract mechanism, one
  of the major enhancements in Ada 2012.  It explains subprogram
  preconditions and postconditions, type invariants, and subtype
  predicates, and also presents the new unifying concept of "aspects".

- Expressions, describing the new flexible forms of expressions
  introduced in Ada 2012.  These new forms - conditional expressions,
  quantified expressions, and expression functions - are especially
  useful in conjunction with contracts.

- Structure and Visibility, describing various improvements including
  the generalization of parameter modes to functions, additional
  flexibility with incomplete types, and new forms for "use" clauses
  and return statements.

- Tasking and Real-Time, describing various enhancements including
  control over task allocation on multiprocessor architectures,
  improvements to the scheduling mechanisms, and control of budgets
  with regard to interrupts.

- Iterators, Pools, etc., describing various improvements in a
  number of general areas in Ada 2012.  These include important new
  features regarding indexing and accessing that simplify iterating
  over containers, and a subpool facility for additional flexibility
  in storage management.

- Predefined Library, describing a variety of minor improvements in
  areas including string and character handling, directory processing,
  locale, and streams.

- Containers, describing enhancements to the Containers library,
  including a new facility for bounded containers that does not
  require dynamic storage management, more elegant mechanisms for
  element access and iteration, support for multiway trees, a more
  general sorting facility, and queues that can be manipulated in a
  well-defined fashion by multiple tasks.

"John Barnes has the rare ability to take complex material,
distill it down to its essence, and explain it in an understandable
and often entertaining manner," said Ben Brosgol, ARA President.
"Ada 2012 has advanced the state of the art in language design, and
the new Rationale will help developers understand and appreciate the
language's innovations."

"To encourage Ada 2012's adoption, educational material needs to
be widely and easily accessible," said Tullio Vardanega, Ada-Europe
President.  "The Ada 2012 Rationale is an excellent training resource,
and we hope that both students and professional developers will take
advantage of its free availability."

About Ada

The Ada programming language was designed for high-integrity systems
- critical applications where reliability is essential and where
compliance with safety and/or security standards may be required.
Its compile-time and run-time checks help detect errors early in
the software development life cycle, avoiding vulnerabilities such
as buffer overflow that are prevalent in other languages.  Ada is
an international (ISO) standard, with the latest version (Ada 2012)
introducing direct support for contract-based programming among other
new features.  Ada continues to see a growing usage in safety-certified
applications, including commercial aircraft avionics, military systems,
air traffic management/control, railroad systems, and medical devices,
and in security-sensitive domains such as financial services.

About the Ada Resource Association

The Ada Resource Association (ARA) is a non-profit organization
chartered to support the continued evolution of the Ada language and
its infrastructure, to serve as a source of information about Ada and
its usage, and to promote Ada as a language for effective software
engineering.  To these ends the ARA maintains the Ada Information
Clearinghouse website and has provided funding for the
development and maintenance of the Ada language standard and the Ada
Conformance Assessment Test Suite.  For information about the ARA,
including sponsorship opportunities, please visit
The ARA is headquartered in Oakton, VA (US).

About Ada-Europe

Ada-Europe is the international non-profit organization that
promotes the knowledge and use of the Ada programming language in
academia, research and industry in Europe.  Its flagship event is the
annual international conference on reliable software technologies, a
high-quality technical and scientific event that has been successfully
running in the current format since 1996.  Ada-Europe has member
organizations all over the continent, in Belgium, Denmark, France,
Germany, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland, as well as individual
members in many other countries.  For information about Ada-Europe,
its charter, activities and sponsors, please visit:
Ada-Europe is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

A PDF version of this press release is available at

Organization Contacts

Ada Resource Association
Ben Brosgol, ARA President
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Tullio Vardanega, Ada-Europe President
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Press Contacts

Ada Resource Association
Jessie Glockner, Rainier Communications
Tel: +1-508-475-0025 x140
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Dirk Craeynest, Ada-Europe Vice-president
c/o KU Leuven, Department of Computer Science
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