DATELINE: July 13, 1994

Confirming its commitment to the Ada programming language, the Defense Department has issued a broad agency agreement (BAA) to fund the development of undergraduate curricula and courses and seed the university community for another generation of Ada programmers.

Under this program, DOD will provide $300,000 to $800,000 in grants to universities and colleges. DOD's BAA is the fifth such effort by the federal government to broaden the gene pool for its Ada work force but the first since the Defense Information Systems Agency took the program over in January.

The new program will focus more on viewing Ada as a methodology for software engineering rather than just a programming language, said David Basel, the DISA liaison in the Ada Joint Program Office. This emphasis reflects DOD's interest in Ada. Defense officials have touted the language because it imposes a certain discipline on programmers in ways that other languages do not.

DISA will accept proposals in three areas: Ada in traditional computer science, business, engineering, information management and related courses; significant new year-long course sequences in Adaoriented software engineering; and software engineering courses that focus on Ada 9X, the most recent version of the Ada language.

Universities receiving grants will be expected to develop course curriculum that can be disseminated to other undergraduate computer science programs. As a fringe benefit, DOD also will be looking for any tools or compilers that might be developed by the participants, according to the BAA.

The proliferation of information about Ada curricula has got more institutions interested in participating. "We are seeing more interest from universities," said Christine Anderson, director of the Ada 9X Project Office. "We are actually turning down some people because we don't have enough funding."

[Source: Monroe, John Stein. "DOD Backs Ada with Educational Funds," Federal Computer Week, Vol. 8, No. 17, July 4, 1994.]


DATELINE: July 13, 1994

On June 17, 1994, DDC-I, a global supplier of safety critical software development tools for developers of real-time embedded applications, announced a validated Ada development system targeting the Intel Pentium processor.

Ada support by DDC-I now makes the Pentium processor a powerful design choice for safety critical embedded systems. "Having the support of Ada opens markets early for the Pentium processor. We have provided hardware support to DDC-I for this validation, and we are pleased that our customers using any Intel architecture microprocessor from 8086 to the Pentium processor, have support from a stable and reliable safety critical tool supplier", said Chak Sriprasad of Intel, Military & Special Products Division.

The validated DDC-I Ada Compiler System (DACS TM) for Intel processors are available hosted on DEC VAX TM running VMS TM and Sun TM SPARC running SunOS TM and Solaris TM. The object format is OMF compatible and thus useable by a large number of third party tools. DACS also includes a symbolic Motif-based debugger.

[Source: Press Release from DDC-I. For more information, contact: Jennifer C. Sanchez, DDC-I, Inc., 410 N.44th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008.]


DATELINE: July 13, 1994

Safety Critical Software Systems refers to those systems that are critical to human life. Many industries, including transportation, nuclear energy, and medicine are in the process of setting specific standards for the development, testing, and certification of safety critical software. An area of key importance is the software language used as the basis for the final installed system. Standards specify that the language must be well-defined, have validated tools, enable modular programming, have strong checking properties and be clearly readable. Of all the programming languages available today, only Ada provides an appropriate baseline for safety critical software.

Ada has numerous properties which make it a natural choice for the development of safety critical systems.

The era of safety critical software is just beginning. More and more aspects of our lives are being controlled by software. Thus, it is ever-important that software meet growing standards. Applications in Ada assure the highest standards of accuracy, reliability and certifiability.

[Source: "Safety Critical Software - The Ada Solution." Alsys world Dialogue, Spring 1994, Vol.8, Number 1.]