AdaIC News Winter 1996

AJPO, AdaIC Release New
and Revised Publications

Helping software developers
like you keep pace with Ada.

|Ada 95 Quality and Style |AJPO Annual Report |Available Ada Bindings |CREASE|

The Ada Joint Program Office (AJPO) and the Ada Information Clearinghouse (AdaIC) have both recently released a number of major publications. Hardcopies of these reports will not be available for general distribution; however, electronic copies may be downloaded from the AdaIC's Internet host (

From the AJPO
Ada 95 Quality and Style

The Language Reference Manual provides a thorough definition of the Ada language. However, it was not intended to provide complete guidance on the appropriate use of Ada's powerful features.

Ada Quality and Style: Guidelines for Professional Programmers, authored by the Software Productivity Consortium (SPC), responded to that need for Ada 83; it was the Ada Joint Program Office's (AJPO's) "suggested style guide for all DoD programs".

Ada Quality and Style has proven its worth to Ada projects and managers. One notable example is the Message Text Format (MTF) Editor v4.0, which won a 1995 ComputerWorld Object Applications Award at the 1995 Object World conference in San Francisco. Ada Quality and Style was an integral part of the effort and guided walkthroughs reviewing the Ada code as it was developed.

With the advent of Ada 95, the AJPO had the SPC update Ada Quality and Style. The purpose is to help computer professionals produce better Ada programs by identifying a set of stylistic guidelines that will directly impact the quality of their Ada 95 programs.

The style guide is divided into chapters that map to the major decisions that each programmer addresses when creating high-quality, reliable, reusable, and portable Ada software. Some overlap exists in the chapters because not all programming decisions can be made independently. Individual chapters address Source Code Presentation, Readability, Program Structure, Programming Practice, Concurrency, Portability, Reusability, Performance, and a new chapter on Object Features.

Each chapter is further subdivided into guidelines, using a format that supports wide usage because its content is both prescriptive and tailorable. Each guideline consists of a concise statement of the principles that should be followed and a rationale explaining why the guideline is important. The guidelines also provide usage examples, in addition to possible exceptions to applying the guidelines. Many of the guidelines are specific enough to be adopted as corporate or project programming standards. Others require a managerial decision on a particular instantiation before they can be used as standards. In such cases, a sample instantiation is presented and used throughout the examples.

This new style guide is intended to provide a tool for both the novice and the experienced Ada programmer. To meet this objective, the Consortium involved both the public and the best available experts from across the Ada community. The Consortium invites comments for the future, as well. They will consider both suggestions on current guidelines and areas for future expansion.

AJPO Annual Report

FY 1995 has been an important year for Ada. Acceptance of Ada 95 as an national and international standard is perhaps the most notable news, but a lot has been happening otherwise. It will be covered in the Annual Report.

From the AdaIC
Available Ada Bindings

To further the growth of Ada, it is important that Ada applications be able to access whatever resources an end user will wish to control. This frequently requires Ada bindings to other standards and protocols that control such resources.

This report is the third in a series of Available Ada Bindings reports the Ada Information Clearinghouse (AdaIC) has produced since 1990.

The goal of the report is to describe the status of the major standards and bindings available to Ada programmers; provide a listing of relevant reusable resources; and list vendors supporting commercial implementations.

Catalog of Resources for Education in Ada and Software Engineering (CREASE)

Version 8.0 of the CREASE was released in January 1996. The new CREASE provides detailed information about 586 Ada courses offered by 323 different institutions throughout the world. It also provides information about available Ada books and videotapes, computer-aided instruction, and free educational resources. To gather data for this edition, the AdaIC sent out a special mailing to more than two thousand colleges and universities that offer computer-science courses -- in addition to the commercial trainers and military academies regularly tracked.

According to data collected, the number of available Ada courses has grown by 25%, and the number of institutions offering Ada training has grown by 26% since the release of version 7 last year. Of the courses, nearly 15% have already moved up to Ada 95.

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