GNACK (the GNU Ada CORBA Kit) is a project to produce a freely
distributable OMG IDL to Ada95 mapping implementation that uses
the GNU Ada compiler, GNAT.

It is obviously a lot of work to produce a full native Ada95
ORB. So initially the goal is set a little lower: interface
to an existing free CORBA implementation. The first target of
this is ORBit, a C language based ORB (for further info, see
http://www.labs.redhat.com/orbit/)

ORBit was chosen for the ease of interfacing between Ada95 and
C. It is further planned to support interfacing with TAO, a C++
based ORB (see http://www.cs.wustl.edu/~schmidt/TAO.html),
however the current GNAT version 3.10p still has problems with
the C++ interfacing.

GNACK makes use of IDLtree.pl, an IDL parse frontend written
in Perl. For ORBit/TAO interfacing, the Ada source code generator
backend is idltree2gnat.pl. The interfacing is light weight,
i.e. thin Ada wrappers around the C/C++ produced by the ORB
system's IDL compiler.

A small demo program with an Ada client and an Ada server
communicating through ORBit is now running. However, the
development stage is still to be considered pre-alpha. In
particular, the POA support is preliminary, as the current
IDL/Ada mapping standard does not yet encompass it.

I am announcing this at an early date to encourage active
participation by others interested in using CORBA with Ada.

Oliver M. Kellogg

e-mail: [log in to unmask]