Section 14.3 - On-Line Ada Information Sources

If you're using Ada and have a question, there are a number of different resources available, depending on the kind of question you have. As we discussed earlier, the LRM is the authoritative book regarding Ada syntax. Two other useful on-line sources for answers to common questions include:

Here are some of the more important Ada WWW servers that are good sources of Ada-related information:

  1. The Switzerland Ada WWW Server / Home of the Brave Ada Programmers (HBAP). One of the most popular Ada WWW servers is Magnus Kempe's Home of the Brave Ada Programmers (HBAP), which is located in Lausanne, Switzerland. This server contains a number of Ada-related items, including this tutorial.
  2. Public Ada Library (PAL). The PAL is a library of Ada software, courseware, and documentation. The main PAL site is in the U.S. at wuarchive.wustl.edu (WUARCHIVE), and a French mirror site is also available. The PAL (subject) "card catalog" is an easy way to directly access the PAL data. The PAL is currently managed by Richard Conn.
  3. Ada Information Clearinghouse Home Page. The Ada Information Clearinghouse Home Page provides a collection of Ada-related information.
  4. SIGAda WWW Home Page. SIGAda, a Special Interest Group of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), maintains an Ada-related home page. A number of working groups on specialized areas (such as numerics and real-time work) have information available through this server.

This list of servers is only a partial list; in particular there are a number of Ada software libraries. The HBAP server has a list of other sources of Ada information.

If you're interested in a free Ada compiler, look at GNAT (the GNU - NYU Ada95 Translator); the GNAT Project Home Page has more information. The HBAP server can point you to lists of Ada compilers. If you're developing a program to analyze an Ada program, you may want to learn more about ASIS; the ASIS working group page may be of interest to you.

Your next source for answers should be local experts or your compiler vendor. If you can, ask your local Ada guru at your company or university. If you have a compiler question, send your question to the compiler vendor. For example, GNAT bug reports should be addressed to gnat-report@cs.nyu.edu.

If all these approaches fail, post your question to the newsgroup comp.lang.ada. As when posting to any other newsgroup, don't use inflammatory language, and include all the information necessary so others can understand your problem. In particular, state your question clearly, give the name and version number of your compiler, give the kind of computer and operating system you're running on, and include a simple example if that's relevant.


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David A. Wheeler (wheeler@ida.org)