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Ada FAQ: comp.lang.ada (part 3 of 3)

comp.lang.ada Frequently Asked Questions (and answers), part 3 of 3. Please read before posting. Does *not* get into Ada programming questions [for that see the companion Ada/programming FAQ].
Archive-name: computer-lang/Ada/comp-lang-ada/part3
Comp-lang-ada-archive-name: comp-lang-ada/part3
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 24 May 1996
Last-posted: 22 April 1996

                       Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Recent changes to this FAQ are listed in the first section after the table
    of contents. This document is under explicit copyright.

This is part 3 of a 3-part posting; part 1 contains the table of contents.
Part 2 begins with question 4.
Parts 1 and 2 should be the previous postings in this thread.

7: Bindings

7.1: General

   The AdaIC (see question 5.2, above) has a report on "Available Ada
   Bindings". It can be ordered in hardcopy as flyer T82, or it can be
   downloaded. It is available by anonymous FTP on the AdaIC host in

7.2: POSIX/Ada

    7.2.1: What is the status of the POSIX/Ada work?

   The Ada Binding to POSIX System Services (IEEE Std 1003.5-1992) was
   recently approved as ISO 14519.1:1995. The IEEE approved IEEE Standard
   1003.5-1992 in June 1992. This is the Ada Binding to the facilities
   defined in ISO 9945-1:1989/IEEE 1003.1-1990, the POSIX System

   IEEE Standards Committee P1003.5 has worked on Ada bindings to IEEE
   draft standards 1003.4, Real-Time Extensions and 1003.4a, Threads
   Extensions. Current plans are to fast-track the real-time amendment
   (IEEE project P1003.5b) through ISO as soon as it passes its IEEE
   ballot. IEEE approval is expected "soon" (4Q95/1Q96), as the final
   round of IEEE balloting is wrapping up. For more information, contact
   the P1003.5 Chairman, Jim Lonjers (,

    7.2.2: How can I get a copy of POSIX/Ada?

   You can buy a copy of the standard from the IEEE. The order number is
   "SH 15354", and the mailing address is "IEEE Service Center, 445 Hoes
   Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08855-1331". They will accept credit-card orders
   at 1-800/678-4333. The cost is $62.50 + $5.00 s/h ($43.75 + $4.00 s/h
   for IEEE Members).

    7.2.3: Is it available via FTP?

   Current IEEE policy prohibits electronic distribution of IEEE
   standards. Proceeds from the sale of IEEE standards help support the
   IEEE standards program. However, The POSIX P1003.5 committee has been
   able to work out an arrangement with the IEEE to make the POSIX/Ada
   package specifications available for distribution via e-mail and
   anonymous FTP from directory

7.3: How do I interface X Window System with Ada?

   This question turns out to be pretty darn hard to answer easily. There
   are at least three variables that need to be filled:
    1. platform where you are going to be running.
    2. compiler you would like to use.
    3. level/flavor of X you would like to run (e.g., just need bindings
       to Xlib, want Openlook as opposed to Motif, etc).

   Once you fill all three of the above, then you can start to get
   answers. In order to keep the answer brief, companies that offer such
   products are simply listed, along with locations where free versions
   are available.

   Before giving you the list, a little history is in order. The first
   Xlib bindings that were publically available were done by SAIC for
   STARS. This implementation had many bugs, but it was there, and it was
   free. This version was eventually withdrawn from the STARS repository,
   and has now been replaced with a better one. In addition, SAIC has
   done an Xt implementation based on these Xlib bindings (also for
   STARS). NOTE: the above description may well be inaccurate,
   corrections are welcome.

   Now, for the list:

First off, there is a pretty complete list of available bindings
for X at the AdaIC.
FTP Location:

Free versions:
STARS: bindings to Xlib and Xt.  Available on
Note: the ASSET host no longer takes anonymous FTP.  To
request an account, contact:

Non-free versions:
SERC: bindings to Xlib/Xt/Motif
contact: well! (Scott Cleveland)

Verdix: bindings to Xlib/Xt/Motif
(Note that bindings to Xview are included with the SunAda Sun4 compiler)
contact: (Paul Moskowitz)

ATC: bindings to Xlib/Xt/Motif
contact: ???

TeleSoft (now part of Thomson Software Products, ex-Alsys):
bindings to Xlib/Xt/Motif (TeleWindows)
(Note that bindings to Xview are included with the TeleSoft Sun4 compiler)

X-based GUI (Graphical User Interface) Builders:
Objective (OIS): Screen Machine
contact: Phil Carrasco (703/264-1900)

TeleSoft (now part of Thomson Software Products, ex-Alsys): TeleUSE

EVB Software Engineering, Inc. : GRAMMI
contact :
        or with subject "send grammi"

Sun Microsystems: DevGuide
contact: ???

SERC: UIL-to-Ada code generator
(not really a GUI-builder, but works with several builders to
generate Ada instead of other languages).
contact: well! (Scott Cleveland)


8: Is there a list of good Ada books?

   An extensive, annotated list is included in the companion Learning Ada

   Otherwise, just for a list of texts (no evaluations or
   recommendations) take a look at


9: Resources

9.1: What FTP sites contain information about Ada or Ada source?

   Public Ada Library (formerly Ada Software Repository)
 (Internet address:


          European mirror: (Internet address:

          European CD-ROM mirror: in

   Ada-Belgium ftp server
 in pub/Ada-Belgium

   AdaIC (Ada Information Clearinghouse)
 in public/AdaIC [mirrored by the PAL,
          listed above] (Internet address:

   ASSET / STARS (Software Technology for Adaptable, Reliable Systems):
 (Internet Address:

          Note: the ASSET host no longer takes anonymous FTP. To request
          a free account, contact:

9.2: Reuse

    9.2.1: Are there any free, public-domain, or other general-access software
    repositories that contain Ada source code and information on reuse?

   There are a number of them, among them PAL (the Public Ada Library),
   AdaBasis, and ELSA, described below. 

    Public Ada Library (formerly Ada Software Repository)

   Formerly the Ada Software Repository (ASR), the Public Ada Library
   (PAL) is a collection of programs, components, tools, general
   information, and educational materials; taking up hundreds of
   megabytes, it contains the source code for hundreds of distinct items
   as documented in its Master Index. Previously housed on the SIMTEL20
   host computer, it is now located at Washington University at St.
   Louis's host ( -- which had been a mirror site for
   the ASR). The PAL is available for anonymous FTP, directory:

   The PAL has its own FAQ, a copy of which is stored in directory which stores
   the FAQ files posted to news.answers. 


   AdaBasis consists of about 560 MB public domain source code and
   documents, mainly taken from the Public Ada Library (PAL). The
   software has been classified and is presented in a hierarchical
   manner, separated in different application domains, and, for some
   domains, with an additional multi-faceted searching facility.

   The intent is to provide students, teachers and researchers with a
   large collection of reusable Ada components and systems for use in
   language and software engineering courses.

   AdaBasis is a WWW server at URL
   which was set up by the Programming Languages Group of the
   Institut fŘr Informatik at the University of Stuttgart, Germany.
   They plan to enlarge the library in the future, and welcome free
   public domain contributions. For more informations or to make
   suggestions please contact

    ELSA (previously AdaNet)

   ELSA is a component of the Repository Based Software Engineering
   (RBSE) Program sponsored by NASA's Technology Utilization Division. It
   is a public-domain reuse library containing value-added software from
   ASR (PAL), STARS, JPL, many educational institutions, and various
   other sources. The non-software information includes relevant research
   papers, standards, and technical reports.

   ELSA also distributes components on floppy disks. All of its services
   are free of charge.

   For more information, contact ELSA Client Service at 1-800/444-1458 or

    9.2.2: Is there some sort of database of re-usable Ada software

   You might want to join ACM SigAda (see question 5.3) in order to
   subscribe to Ada Letters. They publish a list of reusable components
   on an annual basis. In fact, it is more of a list of lists, in that it
   mentions places that have sets of reusable components. The maintainer
   of the Ada Letters "master list" is (also

   To our knowledge this list is NOT available online. Check also the
   software repositories, mentioned above (question 9.2.1).

9.3: Where can I get Ada benchmark programs?

   In addition to the information below, you may also wish to look at the
   AdaIC flyer "How to Obtain Benchmark Performance Test Suites and
   Results", flyer C15, file benchmrk.txt.

    The Ada Compiler Evaluation Capability/Ada Compiler Evaluation System

   The Ada Compiler Evaluation System (ACES) is a set of tools for
   systematically measuring the performance and usability of Ada
   compilation and execution systems (on a specific operating system).

   The entire ACES, software, and documentation is available on the WWW
   at URL and is
   also available for downloading via anonymous FTP from the AdaIC host
   computer, where it can be found in directory

    The Ada Evaluation System

   The Ada Evaluation System (AES) may be obtained from the British
   Standards Institute at the following address:

Software Product Services
Software Engineering Department
P.O. Box 375
Milton Keynes MK14 6LL
United Kingdom
Tel: 0908 220908
UUCP: sed@bsiqa.uucp
(Internet: bsiqa!

   As of February 1993, the current version is the DIY-MAPSE-01 version.
   It is available at a cost of 3,000 pounds sterling. BSI also offers a
   validation service at a cost of 24,000 pounds sterling. Principal
   documents are a User's Manual, a Reference Manual, and a Test
   Description Document.

   The Ada Evaluation System (AES) was merged with the Ada Compiler
   Evaluation Capability (ACEC) under a joint agreement between the
   Ministry of Defence of the United Kingdom and the Department of
   Defense of the United States that was signed in June of 1991. The
   merged product has been released as the Ada Compiler Evaluation System
   (ACES), which is the latest version of the ACEC.

    Hartstone Benchmarks

   Electronic-mail requests for Hartstone should be sent to the following
   Internet address:

   The reply message will contain full details of how to obtain source
   code and documentation by various means, including anonymous FTP.
   There is no charge for the Hartstone source code.

   For people without Internet access, the address to send requests to

REST Transition Services
Software Engineering Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Phone: 412/268-7787

   Hartstone source code may also be retrieved from the PIWG bulletin
   board. (See below.)

    The PIWG Benchmarks

   The ACM Performance Issues Working Group (PIWG) benchmarks may be
   obtained in one of three ways:
    1. Via anonymous FTP from the machine.
       Users should issue the command "ftp" and
       log in using the word "anonymous" as the login name and an
       identifying string (e.g., the user's e-mail address) as password.
       Change directory ("cd" command) to the "public/piwg/piwg_11_92"
       directory and use the FTP file-transfer commands to retrieve the
       files. The README file contains information about using the

    2. Via the PIWG bulletin board. Ideally, users should access this
       from a PC (rather than a dumb terminal) using a modem capable of
       sending and receiving at 1200 baud or higher. The number of the
       bulletin board is 412/268-7020. Once connected to the bulletin
       board, users will be able to navigate their way around the system
       using simple menus that the system provides. The point of contact
       for this service is Gene Rindels, 412/268-6728.

       Via a written request or telephone request to the following

PIWG Distribution
Software Engineering Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Tel: 412/268-7787
   As of February 1993, the current release of the PIWG suite is the one
       dated 11/92. There is no charge for the PIWG benchmarks.
       Documentation for the PIWG benchmarks consists principally of the
       READ.ME file distributed with the suite and comments in the
       individual test programs and command files. There is also
       additional information about the PIWG suite in the Winter 1990
       special edition of Ada Letters (Vol. X, No. 3, special edition on
       Ada Performance Issues).

9.4: Are there any dial-up BBS systems that deal with Ada?

   (Caveat: Telephone numbers can change without notice. If I find out a
   number doesn't work, it will be noted but the entry will be kept in
   until I'm sure the service has actually been discontinued. If you are
   aware of a better number, please let me know.)

Tel: 703/681-2845
Baud Rate: 300-28,800
Data bits: 8
Parity: None
Stop Bits: 1
Flow Control: XON/XOFF
Emulation: VT100
Once a connection is achieved,
      login:                  guest
      password:               Ada4sw-eng

AdaNet BBS: This is a free service that maintains e-mail
connections for people not on the Internet, an Ada source code
repository, and a selection of other on-line Ada-related
documents.  It is sponsored by NASA.
Call 800/444-1458 to register for access.

Air Force Software Technology Support Center (STSC) BBS
Tel: 801/774-6509
Baud: 2400, 1200, 300
Bits: 8
Parity: None
Stop Bits: 1

ACM SIGAda Performance Issues Working Group
PIWG Ada Benchmarks BBS
Tel: 412/268-7020

Embedded Systems Programming Magazine BBS
Tel: 415/905-2689

Naval Computer Telecommunications Command
Tel: 804/444-7841 (DSN 564-7841)

R.R. Software. Inc.
Tel: 608/251-5121
9600 baud max.


10: Credits

   The following persons have contributed, directly or indirectly
   through e.g. comp.lang.ada, to the information gathered in this FAQ
   (which was managed by the AdaIC before August 1994): StÚphaneáBarbey,
   JohnáBarnes, MotiáBen-Ari, HeddyáBoubaker, CarláBowman, DavidáBulman,
   SusanáCarlson, G.áVincentáCastellano, CyrilleáComar, RobertáDewar,
   PatrickáDonohoe, RolfáEbert, HerndonáR.áElliott, DaveáEmery,
   DonáErway, MichaeláFeldman, JohnáGoodenough, NiklasáHolsti,
   DrewáJohnson, MicheleáL.áKee, MathewáLodge, "tjmesler", GaryáMorris,
   RobbáNebbe, KarláNyberg, PascaláObry, FabrizioáOddone,
   RichardáO'Keefe, KurtáOlender, ManueláOpádeáCoul, IsaacáPentinmaki,
   MargieáPrice, RichardáRiehle, SergeyáRybin, TuckeráTaft,
   KeitháThompson, DaveáWeller, DavidáWheeler, and the maintainer has
   simply :-) organized, polished, or added some information for your
   satisfaction. The general HTML structure of this FAQ was originally
   inspired by the (now differently structured) WWW FAQ.


11: Copying this FAQ

   This FAQ is Copyright ę 1994-1996 by Magnus Kempe. It may be freely
   redistributed --as posted by the copyright holder in comp.lang.ada--
   in other forums than Usenet News as long as it is completely
   unmodified and that no attempt is made to restrict any recipient from
   redistributing it on the same terms. It may not be sold or
   incorporated into commercial documents without the explicit written
   permission of the copyright holder.

   Permission is granted for this document to be made available under the
   same conditions for file transfer from sites offering unrestricted
   file transfer on the Internet and from Forums on e.g. Compuserve and

   This document is provided as is, without any warranty.


    Magnus Kempe --

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