AdaIC News Winter 1996-1997

Ada Java Compiler Released

At the TRI-Ada ’96 Conference (Dec. 3-7, in Philadelphia), Intermetrics, Inc., announced the mass-market release of AppletMagic, its tool that converts Ada 95 source code to Java bytecode for execution by any Java-capable World Wide Web browser. AppletMagic simplifies the development of complex, high-reliability applets and can be used as a supplement or an alternative to the Java language.

The Ada Joint Program Office (AJPO) provided partial funding for development of AppletMagic through its Ada Technology Insertion Program-Partnerships (ATIP-P) program. Priced at $99, with a reduced price of $40 for academic use, AppletMagic includes a development environment, class libraries, multimedia training, and Ada language documentation.

Netscape Navigator, Microsoft Explorer, and other Web browsers contain Java bytecode interpreters that execute applets downloaded from Web sites. Because the applets can now be generated by AppletMagic as well as any other Java development environment, the developer can program either in Ada 95 or in Java, or can mix the two; the end user can’t tell the difference.

Tucker Taft, principal designer of Ada 95, and Intermetrics’ technical leader for AppletMagic, said: “The combination of Ada 95 and Java technologies is a ‘best of both worlds’ solution. Ada provides compile-time advantages such as enumeration types, generic templates, in, in-out, and out parameter modes, etc., while the Java execution technology contributes runtime flexibility through automatic garbage collection, dynamic linking and platform independence”. (As part of the TRI-Ada program, Taft spoke on “Exploiting Java Technology with Ada”.)

Bill Carlson, Vice President for Products and Technology, said: “With Java support on nearly every desktop, and Java-based network appliances and embedded computers popping up everywhere, we’re very excited about making Ada’s software engineering strengths and legacy of reusable software available as an applet development tool.”

AppletMagic is available on CD-ROM for Windows 95 and Windows NT, and can be purchased online. Users seeking more information can visit the AppletMagic site at Headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Intermetrics, Inc., is a software-development, systems-integration and systems-services company. Further information about Intermetrics can be found at its home page at Ø