AdaIC News Winter 1996


Dr. Charles Engle, AJPO Chief
Letter From the AJPO

Welcome to the Winter issue of the Newsletter! Much has been happening here at the AJPO that we need to report to you.

|Building on a Foundation |Looking Ahead |Ada and Reuse|
|Validations |Academic Ada |Ada in Education |Suggestions|

Building on a Foundation

First, as reported in the last issue, Mr. Don Reifer left the AJPO in October after almost two years as its leader. Don guided the AJPO through some exciting times. He introduced a business perspective into this government organization and was the guiding force behind the commercialization trend. He oversaw the finalization of the Ada 95 effort, through ISO standardization, providing the support Chris Anderson of the Ada 9X Project needed to accomplish her mission so very well! Don is very energetic, and his passionate fever to accomplish more with shrinking resources sparked much activity whose results are only now coming to fruition. We are sorry to see Mr. Reifer go; he will be missed.

Looking ahead

However, with every departure there is an arrival. I am the new Chief of the Ada Joint Program office, and I look forward to continuing in the footsteps of the previous holders of this position. Don is a tough act to follow, but I will try to continue his initiatives and to create some new directions for the future of Ada. I have some fresh ideas that I will try to bring into existence within the next several months, but I will wait until the next newsletter to detail them. I will hint that most involve the continued and accelerated commercialization of Ada.

Ada 95 is a mature language (although the implementations are not yet mature). We have, or are in the process of creating, bindings for most things. For educators and trainers, we have GNAT for researchers, academic Ada for educators, and textbooks already coming out. In fact, we ended 1995 with six validated Ada 95 compilers -- with more anticipated as the new year begins! The AJPO is supporting 12 Ada 95 projects whose focus is on maturing tools; two systems have already completed development in Ada 95. Given this maturation, the DoD needs to transition Ada 95 "ownership" to the commercial world.

This will not affect Ada policy! However, it will, I believe, increase the acceptance of Ada. Ada is an excellent language that should be used because of its technically superior abilities in most applications. Anyway, more on that, next time.

Ada and reuse

Next, this issue is the premier issue of the combined Ada and Reuse newsletter. It is our intention to bring together these two very important technologies so that maximum benefit can be derived. Ada is a natural for reuse. Reuse is a natural for Ada. Accordingly, we have chosen to combine them in this forum to bring you news about each. Already in this issue we have articles explaining the DoD Software Reuse Initiative. In future issues, we will continue to expand this synergy of the newsletter until the two topics reach parity and thus produce greater understanding of what DoD is doing with these two technologies.
Ada & Reuse
When we discuss reuse
now we mean the result
of domain analysis and
engineering, through the
creation of architectures,
to product lines. Ada is a
natural for Reuse!

Reuse is a technology ripe for exploitation. Please understand that the reuse discussed here is not only about the reuse of code components. The real payoff in reuse comes in the reuse of much larger "pieces." When we discuss reuse now we mean the result of domain analysis and engineering, through the creation of architectures, i.e., the software bus, to product lines. It is product-line reuse that has the real potential to return value to the software developer and the Program Manager. In future issues of this newsletter, we will be demonstrating the relationship between these two topics.

Validations

On the Ada front we have much exciting news to report. We validated the first Ada 95 compiler in November under version 2.0 of the Ada Compiler Validation Capability (ACVC). It was the Intermetrics AdaMagic compiler on a Sparc host with the Patriot missile hardware as the target. Since then we have had three more validations, all GNAT-based compilers on different variations of Silicon Graphics hardware. We expect to have at least two more validations before Christmas. That will give us six validated Ada 95 compilers!

Academic Ada

The Academic Ada compiler is progressing well. Dr. Michael Feldman,hpot in collaboration with Dr. Elliot Koffman, has produced an updated version of their popular textbook to discuss Ada 95 features. This textbook will be bound with a validated Intermetrics/Thomson Ada 95 compiler, a syntax directed editor, a visual programming interface, a source level debugger, and hypertext versions of the Reference Manual, the Rationale, and the textbook. Shrink-wrapped and available on six platforms including PowerPC, 80x86, Sun and HP, under Windows 95, Windows NT, and Unix, the whole package will sell for less than $70.00. It will be available in universities through Addison-Wesley in February for delivery prior to the start of the Fall semester in 1996.

Ada in education

I am also pleased to announce that the Ada Information Clearinghouse has released the latest version of the Catalog of Resources for Education in Ada and Software Education (CREASE). It shows that there has been a 25% increase in the number of schools teaching Ada and a corresponding 25% increase increase in the number of courses offered. This has been a consistent trend since we started keeping the CREASE -- 25% growth each year demonstrates the success of Ada in academia.

Suggestions?

Finally, let me say that I am pleased to have been appointed to this position, and I hope to continue the efforts that lead to the growth of Ada. If you have any suggestions for ways that we can improve what we do, please feel free to contact us. The AJPO staff can be contacted via e-mail at ajpo@sw-eng.falls-church.va.us. You can contact me directly at engle1c@sw-eng.falls-church.va.us, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Dr. Charles B. Engle, Jr.
Chief, Ada Joint Program Office


        Back                    Contents                    Next