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 Ada Home, also called the Home of the Brave Ada Programmers (HBAP). Kempe's server is located in Lausanne, Switzerland, and 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), 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.

One set of reusable components I'd particularly like to point out are the free Ada 95 Booch Components. The Booch components were originally developed by Grady Booch and updated to Ada 95 by David Weller. The Booch components have been used by many developers. However, please don't confuse me (David A. Wheeler) with the person who ported the Booch components (David Weller); we just happen to have similar names.

There are simple ways to answer simple syntax questions. A nice set of Ada 95 reference cards have been developed by Paul Pukite. Members of the Database Research Group at the University of Geneva have produced a very nice set of documents describing the syntax rules of Ada 95 illustrated by syntactic diagrams, with cross-references.

Documentation on the Ada interface to the Java library is available from Intermetrics. If you're interested in a free Ada 95 compiler, look at GNAT; the GNAT Project Home Page has more information. "ez2load" is a simple-to-install package of Ada-related products (including GNAT) for IBM-compatible PCs running MS-DOS or Microsoft Windows 3.1/95/NT. 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 For bug reports to any compiler vendor, be sure to include the expected output, the actual output, the source code that causes the bug (simplified if possible), and the version number (GNAT reports this when given the -gnatv option).

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.


What are the following: HBAP, PAL, GNAT, ez2load, comp.lang.ada?

  1. The Switzerland Ada WWW server, a library of Ada components, a free Ada compiler, an easy-to-install set of Ada components for PC's, the Ada newsgroup.
  2. A library of Ada components, the Switzerland Ada WWW server, a free Ada compiler, an easy-to-install set of Ada components for PC's, the Ada newsgroup.
  3. A free Ada compiler, an easy-to-install set of Ada components for PC's, the Ada newsgroup, a library of Ada components, the Switzerland Ada WWW server.

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