[Develop your Ada program NOW!] [Tips] [FAQ]
Welcome to WebAda and the Ada Information Clearinghouse. We are blatantly promoting the Ada language, and specifically, the latest revision ('95). If you haven't looked already, there is a lot of information about Ada available on the Internet. However...
This is an Ada Development Environment, soon to become an Ada Tools Showcase. Read on for more information.
There are many ways to exploit your browser's capabilities. To get started, review this list of tricks. Some of WebAda's features derive from your browser's capabilities. So the better your browser and operating system, the easier it is to use WebAda. When editing your program you need to fill out and submit the WebAda form:
filling out a form = editing a file submitting the form = saving the file
Source code that compiles can be "surfed" in WebAda. Cross-reference information generated by the compiler is formatted into html links. So when you view the source code, you can click on any highlighted source to jump to its declaration!
Currently, you are given a directory on the host machine to store your programs. The area is not secure, so don't enter proprietary code. The directory name is based on your host name which is one of the pieces of information passed around when you are using the Internet. For now, you don't need to worry about the library name. Whenever you visit WebAda, your programs will be where you left them.
Here's the drawback: If you visit WebAda from different remote hosts (for example, from work and from compuserve), you will have two different libraries and you can't share the files. If you are sharing a remote host name (often the case from work), then everyone with that name will have access to the same library. Depending on what you want to do, maybe that isn't a big drawback!
WebAda is documented completely on the Internet. Frequently Asked Questions, Tips, Tutorials, Reference Manuals...oh, never mind, you can find it. And let us know what needs improving!
We will try to give you the most useful links at the appropriate places. For example, when you are looking at Ada code, we will try to always have a link to the Ada Language Reference Manual handy.
Where do we start? This is only the beginning. So maybe we should explain what WebAda is not:
WebAda is not a full scale development environment!
There are too many interface issues preventing WebAda from providing a full scale development environment (not to mention how difficult it would be!) Java may solve some of those problems in the future, but for now, we are providing a simple means to learn Ada and become familiar with Ada tool support.
Several vendors of Ada products are interested in providing their tools for you to try in the WebAda environment. So as we enhance WebAda, we will also integrate these tools for you to try.
Also, these same vendors should begin to provide more Internet-related features, such as error messages that are html-formatted to link to the Ada Language Reference manual or other explanations.
As you use WebAda, you will notice some of the same limitations we notice. Please keep in mind that the power of WebAda is in exploiting the Internet. So the features that leverage the Internet have the highest priority.
Library searching (i.e. search lists) has already been worked on, but is not quite ready. When it is ready, we will add existing bindings for you to use!
Providing context-sensitive help. It just takes so long to write.
The goal is to allow Internet-wide references to Libraries and Source code using URL's. The logical progression is to allow your library to reside on your host, then to allow the compiler and tools to be hosted anywhere on the Internet (such as University mirrors for Ada classes).
It's not that it isn't possible, but some things don't look as easy, yet: Debugger, Java language sensitive editor.
All of the documentation is online. Let us know if you can't find what you are looking for. Or if you had trouble finding something, let us know how we can make it easier for the next person to use WebAda.
In order to leave as much room on the page for you to work, several abbreviations are used:
LRM refers to the Ada 95 Language Reference Manual
Q&S refers to the Ada 95 Quality and Style Guidelines
Lovelace refers to the interactive Ada 95 Lovelace Tutorial
- Doug Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
- Doug had the initial idea, suggested it to Clyde, then took the prototype Clyde developed and worked with Mary Collela and Dennis Markham at the AdaIC to build WebAda. Doug did most of the design and implementation.
- Clyde Roby email@example.com
- Clyde not only built the first prototype, he continues to make suggestions and works with Doug to find problems before WebAda is released on the unsuspecting public.
- David A. Wheeler firstname.lastname@example.org
- David developed the original package CGI and the Lovelace tutorial.
- Everyone Else
- You know who you are.