Seeking advice 
Author Message
 Seeking advice

My apologies in advance if some of these questions have been answered
recently or are contained in a FAQ that I should have read before posting :)

I would like to begin doing some commercial programming and ADA seems like a
very appealing language.  However, I am concerned about a number of issues:

1. Development environments seem to be horrendously expensive.  Are there
any reasonably priced (for me this means probably sub $1000) compilers/IDEs
available?

2. Are there any licencing issues with using the gnat compiler for
commercial work?

3. Is interest in ADA increasing/remaining steady/decreasing?  For example,
will ADA still have significant support in, say, five years?

4. Are there any graphics libraries which are supported on multiple
platforms (preferably Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris)?

Thanks,

Tony



Thu, 28 Jul 2005 13:36:32 GMT  
 Seeking advice

Quote:

> My apologies in advance if some of these questions have been answered
> recently or are contained in a FAQ that I should have read before posting :)

> I would like to begin doing some commercial programming and ADA seems like a
> very appealing language.  However, I am concerned about a number of issues:

Ada not ADA. Ada is a name not a Three Letter Abbreviation

Quote:
> 1. Development environments seem to be horrendously expensive.  Are there
> any reasonably priced (for me this means probably sub $1000) compilers/IDEs
> available?

GNAT

Quote:
> 2. Are there any licencing issues with using the gnat compiler for
> commercial work?

No

Quote:
> 3. Is interest in ADA increasing/remaining steady/decreasing?  For example,
> will ADA still have significant support in, say, five years?

Hard to say anything about five years. Maybe C/C++ is ban by law by then
for all I know, but I hope I still can fly airplanes with Ada inside. I
have also noticed that people from the mobile/telecommunication companies;
Nokia, Ericsson, Siemens (IIRC) seem to be doing Ada.

I don't know about the commercial sector, but these points I find
important for growth of Ada among young people:

   [] Gnat is getting included in gcc
   [] GPS (Gnat's IDE) will hopefully be released to the public
   [] Kdeveloper getting Ada support
   [] GtkAda
   [] Gnade and APQ
   [] SDL bindings
   [] AdaXML
   [] And a standard library for dealing with list etc...

Quote:
> 4. Are there any graphics libraries which are supported on multiple
> platforms (preferably Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris)?

GtkAda and SDL are your best bets.

--
Preben Randhol ---------------- http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~randhol/ --
"{*filter*} is the last refuge of the incompetent", Isaac Asimov



Thu, 28 Jul 2005 19:35:46 GMT  
 Seeking advice


Quote:
> 1. Development environments seem to be horrendously expensive.  Are there
> any reasonably priced (for me this means probably sub $1000)
compilers/IDEs
> available?

Compiler including GUI builder from rrsoftware  $295
Object Ada for WIndows from Aonix < $1000
GNAT $Free
AdaGIde for Windows
(http://www.usafa.af.mil/dfcs/bios/mcc_html/adagide.html) Free

Never have had to debug a single array bounds error in >10 years of
professional programming... Priceless

Quote:
> 2. Are there any licencing issues with using the gnat compiler for
> commercial work?

No

Quote:
> 3. Is interest in ADA increasing/remaining steady/decreasing?  For
example,
> will ADA still have significant support in, say, five years?

Support in 5 years..Yes.. Increasing/Decressing..  Unclear..Within 5 years
Sun will be gone. Java will be a memory. Everyone will be using .Net and C#
(or A# :)....  Ok..I have no way of knowing this but I think there is a
better chance that there will be significant Ada support available in 5
years than there is that Sun will be around and strong.

Quote:
> 4. Are there any graphics libraries which are supported on multiple
> platforms (preferably Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris)?

GtkAda...But if you really mean supported then we start talking some more
cash with some expensive support contracts.


Thu, 28 Jul 2005 21:02:41 GMT  
 Seeking advice

Quote:
> > 3. Is interest in ADA increasing/remaining steady/decreasing?  For
> example,
> > will ADA still have significant support in, say, five years?

> Support in 5 years..Yes.. Increasing/Decressing..  Unclear..Within 5 years
> Sun will be gone. Java will be a memory. Everyone will be using .Net and
C#
> (or A# :)....  Ok..I have no way of knowing this but I think there is a
> better chance that there will be significant Ada support available in 5
> years than there is that Sun will be around and strong.

Its impossible to know the future, but you've got to figure that there are
enough large-scale, long lived projects done in Ada that it isn't going to
go away any time soon. With GNAT out there in source form, support becomes
less of an issue because you can always do it yourself or pay someone to do
it for you if you really find a desparate need. (O.K., it gets more
expensive, but you are not high & dry.) Besides, I really don't know why
there is such a hand wringing over support anyway. You typically may need
*some* support in the early stages of a project but once the project
matures, you're not in trouble with an unsupported product because you
aren't doing much but tweaking and fixing things anyway. If you're
constantly starting new jobs in Ada, then hey, you're the customer base
keeping the supporting companies alive! :-)

Besides, it would seem that we've been getting increased traffic on this
newsgroup over time so maybe Ada is on an upswing?

Quote:

> > 4. Are there any graphics libraries which are supported on multiple
> > platforms (preferably Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris)?

> GtkAda...But if you really mean supported then we start talking some more
> cash with some expensive support contracts.

That depends on what the meaning of the word "Graphics Libraries" is...
GtkAda is going to be pretty suitable for building GUIs and maybe some light
duty 2D kind of drawing (although I've never used it for that, so I can't
say for sure...) If someone wants to do some kind of slick, 3D animations
and the like, I'm pretty sure GtkAda is going to fall short.

If there is a need for more sophisticated graphics, Ada should be able to
bind to most commercial libraries that are out there. Its possible
commercial vendors may have bindings already built. That's kind of a lousy
answer because the interface may be very unnatural for Ada and it creates
more work and means you're always lagging behind with new releases of the
library. If you get enough advantages from Ada on the rest of the app, it
may be worth biting the bullet on the graphics library.

MDC
--
======================================================================
Marin David Condic
I work for: http://www.belcan.com/
My project is: http://www.jast.mil/


    "Going cold turkey isn't as delicious as it sounds."
        -- H. Simpson
======================================================================



Fri, 29 Jul 2005 20:44:25 GMT  
 Seeking advice

Quote:
> ======================================================================
> Marin David Condic
> I work for: http://www.belcan.com/
> My project is: http://www.jast.mil/

NEWS> spawn nslookup www.jast.mil
<End of Display>

Spawning subprocess
Server:  LOCALHOST
Address:  127.0.0.1

*** LOCALHOST can't find WWW.JAST.MIL: Non-existent host/domain

<Return> to continue NEWS



Fri, 29 Jul 2005 21:22:41 GMT  
 Seeking advice

Quote:

> I don't know about the commercial sector, but these points I find
> important for growth of Ada among young people:

>    [] GPS (Gnat's IDE) will hopefully be released to the public

IMHO this is the candidate for the Ada killer-app we've all been talking about...

Regards,
Wojtek



Sat, 30 Jul 2005 01:14:49 GMT  
 Seeking advice

Quote:
-----Original Message-----
From: Marin David Condic

> Besides, it would seem that we've been getting increased traffic on this
> newsgroup over time so maybe Ada is on an upswing?

Someone posted a link to an article on language usage some time back.  It
had Ada increasing from 4% to either 12% or 16%.  One of the largest, if
not the largest, percent increase of any language.

Ada may not have the largest piece of the market, but it's still a significant
increase.

Quote:
> If there is a need for more sophisticated graphics, Ada should be able to
> bind to most commercial libraries that are out there. Its possible
> commercial vendors may have bindings already built. That's kind of a lousy
> answer because the interface may be very unnatural for Ada and it creates
> more work and means you're always lagging behind with new releases of the
> library. If you get enough advantages from Ada on the rest of the app, it
> may be worth biting the bullet on the graphics library.

PHIGS Ada binding.

http://archive.adaic.com/tools/bindings/PHIG/PHIG.txt

http://www.itl.nist.gov/iaui/vvrg/cugini/pvt/hy-std.html

http://digilander.libero.it/fbradasc/OPEN_PHIGS.html

Surely, it's still around.

Frank



Sat, 30 Jul 2005 03:01:21 GMT  
 Seeking advice
Funny. It *used* to work when I fisrst started this job! :-)

A quick pass at Google indicates that perhaps one would be better served by
going to http://www.jsf.mil/ and I'll have to update my .sig accordingly.
Thanks.

MDC
--
======================================================================
Marin David Condic
I work for: http://www.belcan.com/
My project is: http://www.jsf.mil/


    "Going cold turkey isn't as delicious as it sounds."
        -- H. Simpson
======================================================================


Quote:


> > ======================================================================
> > Marin David Condic
> > I work for: http://www.belcan.com/
> > My project is: http://www.jast.mil/

> NEWS> spawn nslookup www.jast.mil
> <End of Display>

> Spawning subprocess
> Server:  LOCALHOST
> Address:  127.0.0.1

> *** LOCALHOST can't find WWW.JAST.MIL: Non-existent host/domain

> <Return> to continue NEWS



Sat, 30 Jul 2005 20:26:41 GMT  
 Seeking advice

Quote:
> Funny. It *used* to work when I fisrst started this job! :-)

> A quick pass at Google indicates that perhaps one would be better served by
> going to http://www.jsf.mil/ and I'll have to update my .sig accordingly.

Well that one has a Program Management & Milestones frame that ends in 1999,
somewhat less up-to-date than a PBS rerun I saw this week.

The rest of the frame relies on lots of JavaScript so it does nothing with
a secured browser.

I hope you folks working on the project do a better job than those working
on the website...



Sat, 30 Jul 2005 20:36:29 GMT  
 Seeking advice
That was the result of a {*filter*} Google search on "Joint Strike Fighter". It
quickly succeeded in killing Netscape for me - but that's no big surprise
considering I'm using an old version on an old computer and it was probably
written in C. :-)

I don't know who is doing the website or if there is one that is more up to
date than the Concept Demonstrator Aircraft (CDA) that were covered in the
Nova special. All I can say for sure is that the program is quite alive and
well even if their website is not.

The Nova special on PBS was pretty cool, but (for selfish ego reasons) I
wish they covered the engines a bit more. At the moment, I'm working on a
variant of the lift system that will allow engine interchangeability between
Pratt & GE. The control operates the lift fan, roll posts and the really
cool 3BSD nozzle on the back. I've got .mpg and .avi files showing the
nozzle in operation and it just gets really amazing that we can swing that
big, heavy thing around so quickly and nothing breaks. It *is* proof that
Ada is capable of doing low-level, embedded, hard-realtime work for those
who don't wish to believe it. (How's that for getting back on topic? :-)

I suspect the program office is interested in keeping up public support for
the JSF, so chances are they will get their website fixed. Perhaps it can be
accessed using a different browser & I may try to check that out. Dropping a
note to them (assuming you can find an e-mail address) might help.

MDC
--
======================================================================
Marin David Condic
I work for: http://www.*-*-*.com/
My project is: http://www.*-*-*.com/


    "Going cold turkey isn't as delicious as it sounds."
        -- H. Simpson
======================================================================


Quote:

> Well that one has a Program Management & Milestones frame that ends in
1999,
> somewhat less up-to-date than a PBS rerun I saw this week.

> The rest of the frame relies on lots of JavaScript so it does nothing with
> a secured browser.

> I hope you folks working on the project do a better job than those working
> on the website...



Sun, 31 Jul 2005 20:38:26 GMT  
 Seeking advice

Quote:
> The Nova special on PBS was pretty cool, but (for selfish ego reasons) I
> wish they covered the engines a bit more.

You should be proud - journalists try to concentrate on problem areas :-)


Sun, 31 Jul 2005 20:46:47 GMT  
 
 [ 14 post ] 

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