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Yesterday — 27 March 2023News from the Ada programming language world

Since MSys2 dropped support for Ada (!), how can I build Ada projects such as sdlada and gprbuild-bootstrap that require command-line tools (e.g. makefiles or bootstrap.sh) on Windows?

I'm several levels down a rabbit hole here, but if you'll bear with me I want to outline the whole chain in case there's a better way to achieve my original goal that I missed.

  • I want to port some old embedded-device Ada code to run in a gtkada application.
    • I have installed GNAT Studio and can build/run simple gtkada projects with it.
  • I downloaded the "sdlada" project to learn more about interfacing Ada with C code
    • Also I might want to use SDL visuals in my GTK app
    • However I can't directly open sdlada's .gpr files with GNAT Studio
      • Because it's missing some Ada source code that's generated in the build
      • Apparently you must use the makefile to build sdlada
      • When I try on MSys2, the makefile fails because my system is missing gprbuild
  • So I tried to follow the Bootstrapping instructions for gprbuild
    • https://github.com/AdaCore/gprbuild/
    • But the gprbuild bootstrap.sh script fails because my system doesn't have gnatmake
      • Facepalm - because MSys2 dropped Ada support
      • "There's a hole in the bucket"
  • On an MSys2 issue it was suggested a user might build gcc from source to get back Ada support
    • I have built gcc before (for a cross-compiler) so... maybe? I could try this...
    • However if the MSys2 maintainer can't get it to build for him why would it work for me?
  • But this is getting off in the weeds considering - I have GNAT Studio and can already build+run Ada programs
    • But how do I run a makefile with gprbuild from GNAT Studio on Windows?
      • Is there a "GNAT Studio Command Line" (terminal) available somewhere? (Like how an install of Visual Studio includes shortcuts to open a command line preloaded with paths to MSVC tools.)
      • Is it possible (and advisable) to try to MSys2 make refer to the tools in "C:\GNAT\2021\bin"?
submitted by /u/valdocs_user
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Before yesterdayNews from the Ada programming language world

"Union" types in Ada

Dear Ada community,

I've just picked up Ada (again) and try to implement a little API client as a first learning project. Currently I'm creating model classes for the entities returned by a JSON API. In the API specs, there is a JSON field, which can contain different data types, which are an ISO timestring *or* an ISO time interval.

Now I'm trying to find out, what is the "Ada way" to define a field, that can handle multiple types. The only thing that comes into my mind for my example is a variant record. Something like

type Time_Or_Interval (Has_End : Boolean) is record Begin_Date : Ada.Calendar.Time; case Has_End is when True => End_Date : Ada.Calendar.Time; when False => null; end case; end record; 

Is this the preferred way?

submitted by /u/dubst3pp4
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ADA code help (beginner)

By: Harsha
23 March 2023 at 08:56

I am learning ADA language at my university and need help with the following question.

  1. Write the iterative version and recursive version of a program that determines whether a given word is a palindrome. For instance, eve is a palindrome

  2. write a program that reads a given word by the user and prints whether it is a palindrome on the screen.

Your help is very much appreciated! Thank you

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Getting unix command CAT to work on Windows

The issue of getting the equivalent command of the Unix command cat on Windows has been discussed for example here: What is the Windows equivalent of the Unix command cat?

I have looked at the project MinGW here: MinGW - Minimalist GNU for Windows Files

I have installed the file mingw-get-setup.exe and now I have a gui with which I can retrieve necessary Unix tools by downloading from the internet. But I do not know which of these tools has/have the cat command.

I would like to use the cat command to merge Ada specifications and bodies files so as to distribute the codes as just one .ada file on which other users can use the gnatchop command to retrieve the original files again.

If there are other better projects on Windows to obtain the cat command directly in a single Windows installation unlike the MinGW project in which tools have to be installed by downloading from the internet, I am interested.

Libadalang, Alire, and macOS


This exercise was prompted by the need for Scripted Testing to be supported by – as far as possible – code generation. The need is for the public or interfacing view of a supporting part (domain) of a system to be able to log calls made to it and to provide values on calls to it, using a scripting mechanism.

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New release of vscode extension For Ada 23.0.15

VS Code Extension for Ada 23.0.15

In this release we improved Alire integration. Now you don't need the compiler to be in the PATH (only alr) when you are working with a crate, because Alire will configure it for you. Suppose you setup a crate for Rasperry Pico, if you open it in VS Code, then navigation should work out of the box. Also any Alire configuration is skipped altogether if the VSCode was launched with alr edit or alr exec.

We also change auto-detected tasks, so they are use alr exec -- prefix to run gprbuild, gprclean, gnatprove in the correct environment. You can also pass extra option using args property in the tasks.json file.

Renaming tool leaves found renaming problems in the diagnostics, so you can examine them in the "Problems view".

You can install newer version from the marketplace, OpenVSX or download it from GitHub release.

Happy codding!

submitted by /u/max_rez
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Ada input format issue

I'm new to Ada and not sure how to fix this code. It appears it is about format issue, but don't know what is causing this. I am trying to read two files called a.txt and b.txt then compute the inverse of it. Sorry again am just stuck.

Here is the input files


2 -2 4 -2 2 0 
1 0 4 -3 0 0
1 1 1 1 1 1 
1 0 0 -1 0 0
3 0 0 -3 0 2
1 0 0 0 -2 4



here is my code

with Ada.Text_IO, Ada.Float_Text_IO, Ada.Integer_Text_IO;
use Ada.Text_IO, Ada.Float_Text_IO, Ada.Integer_Text_IO;

procedure Matrix_Inverse is

   type Matrix is array (1 .. 6, 1 .. 6) of Float;
   type Vector is array (1 .. 6) of Float;
   function Get_Matrix_From_File(Filename : String) return Matrix is
      A : Matrix := (others => (others => 0.0));
      File : File_Type;
      Line : String (1 .. 20);
      Last : Natural;
      Open (File, In_File, Filename);
      for I in A'Range(1) loop
         Get_Line (File, Line, Last);
         for J in A'Range(2) loop
            A (I, J) := Float'Value (Line (1 .. Last));
            Get (File, Line);
            Get_Line (File, Line, Last);
         end loop;
         A (I, 6) := Float'Value (Line (1 .. Last));
      end loop;
      Close (File);
      return A;
   end Get_Matrix_From_File;
   function Get_Vector_From_File(Filename : String) return Vector is
      B : Vector := (others => 0.0);
      File : File_Type;
      Open (File, In_File, Filename);
      for I in B'Range loop
         Get (File, B (I));
      end loop;
      Close (File);
      return B;
   end Get_Vector_From_File;
   procedure Print_Matrix(A : Matrix) is
      for I in A'Range(1) loop
         for J in A'Range(2) loop
            Put (A (I, J), 6, 2);
            Put (" ");
         end loop;
      end loop;
   end Print_Matrix;
   function Inverse(A : Matrix) return Matrix is
      Inv : Matrix := (others => (others => 0.0));
      Identity : Matrix := (others => (others => 0.0));
      for I in Identity'Range(1) loop
         Identity (I, I) := 1.0;
      end loop;
      for I in A'Range(1) loop
         if A (I, I) = 0.0 then
            for J in I + 1 .. A'Range(1)'Last loop
               if A (J, I) /= 0.0 then
                  for K in A'Range(2) loop
                     A (I, K) := A (I, K) + A (J, K);
                     Identity (I, K) := Identity (I, K) + Identity (J, K);
                  end loop;
               end if;
            end loop;
         end if;
    for J in A'Range(1) loop
      if J /= I then
            Factor : constant Float := A (J, I) / A (I, I);
            for K in A'Range(2) loop
                A (J, K) := A (J, K) - Factor * A (I, K);
                Identity (J, K) := Identity (J, K) - Factor * Identity (I, K);
            end loop;
      end if;
    end loop;

    for I in A'Range(1) loop
          Diagonal : constant Float := A (I, I);
          for J in A'Range(2) loop
            Identity (I, J) := Identity (I, J) / Diagonal;
          end loop;
    end loop;

      return Identity;
    end Inverse;

  function Solve(A : Matrix; B : Vector) return Vector is
    Inv_A : Matrix := Inverse(A);
    Result : Vector := (others => 0.0);
    for I in Result'Range loop
        for J in Result'Range loop
          Result (I) := Result (I) + Inv_A (I, J) * B (J);
        end loop;
    end loop;
    return Result;
  end Solve;

  A : Matrix := Get_Matrix_From_File("a.txt");
  B : Vector := Get_Vector_From_File("b.txt");

  Solution : Vector := Solve(A, B);

    for I in Solution'Range loop
        Put(Solution(I), 6, 2);
        Put(" ");
    end loop;
end Matrix_Inverse;

Variable arglists in Ada

Why does not Ada support variable function/procedure argument lists? Is it hard to implement or does it somehow go against "we should keep things secure" philosophy of the language?

Varargs were over there at least as early as C and allow very handy things like printf, the likes of which can also be found in other languages like Java or C#. Another neat example is logging functions where it is usual to pass information from all kinds of data types, not only strings, in separate arguments.

And even if this is considered non-secure technique, Ada could still make it better than at least in C by e.g. throwing an exception if there is some mismatch between format string and the actually passed arguments.

Ada and C++ interface, avoid duplicated code [closed]

I'm working on a C++ application, Module_A, that has to use a diverse module, Module_B_Ada and Module_B_CPP depending on configuration.

Module_A + Module_B_Language will be compiled in different OS. I want to avoid duplicating Module_A to have a Module_A for Ada compilation and a Module_A for C++ compilation.

For now, the only thing that came to my mind has been to separate the code that uses the Ada module and exclude it from compilation when is compiled for C++ to avoid linking errors for unresolved symbols.

Another thing I'm thinking about is to comment the "extern" statement on the Module_A and define the Ada services to a void implementation when compiling for C++.

Have yoy ever faced a similar problem? How have you solved it?

wolfSSL Ada/SPARK language bindings

17 March 2023 at 05:35

I was looking for DTLS libraries and found this recent post on the wolfSSL website.

Exciting news in wolfSSL language bindings: we are currently exploring the possibility of adding bindings for the Ada and Spark languages!

Ada is a programming language known for its explicitness, strong typing, and abundance of compile-time checks. It is widely used in safety-critical and high-integrity software. Spark, on the other hand, is a smaller subset of Ada that offers the invaluable ability to formally prove the correctness of your software.

We believe that wolfSSL bindings would be immensely valuable to the Ada and Spark communities. These bindings would provide a production-ready, robust, and well-tested TLS stack that supports the latest protocols (TLS1.3/DTLS1.3). Additionally, it would open the door to obtaining FIPS 140-3 and DOI-178C certifications for Ada and Spark applications that use TLS for their encrypted communications, or that want to use our wolfCrypt implementation for their cryptographic operations, such as encrypting data at rest.

As wolfSSL already supports post-quantum TLS 1.3 and DTLS 1.3, these bindings would also naturally allow you to make your Ada and SPARK applications quantum-safe.

Are you interested in an Ada/Spark wrapper? If so, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] with any questions, comments, or suggestions.

Source: wolfSSL ADA/Spark language bindings – wolfSSL

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