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Question about setting up the dev environment in VScode

Hey all,

I'm new to the Ada programming language. I plan to learn this language well and help others learn it. I really like what I understand about the design. I'm also hoping to get into Embedded Systems, which is how I first heard about Ada.

What are your recommendations for setting up a dev environment? Are things such as alire important to have to use the language? I don't really understand the difference between SPARK and just regular Ada.

Thanks for helping me understand better.

submitted by /u/sanforsaken
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Declare function with undefined type

I want to create a library taking a kind of generic type (or something like this, I don't know how it is called).

What I have :

package A is
    type A_Type is record
        Field : Field_Type;
        A_Access : access A;
    end record;
end A;

package B is
    type B_Type is record
        OtherField : OtherField_Type;
        B_Access : access B;
    end record;
end B;

I want to create a common library taking A_Type or B_Type as parameters. My library cannot include A or B. It will be something like :

package CommonLib is
    procedure DoStuff (Param : Generic_Type);
end CommonLib;

-- Can be used by A :
A : A_Type;

-- Can be used by B :
B : B_Type;

How can I do ?

Import C function with void* parameter

I want to import a C function in Ada.

There is the C part :

void Register(const void *ctxt)
   saved_ctxt = ctxt; // This is a global variable 

void Send_Trace(const void *ctxt,
                const char *msg)
    if (saved_ctxt == ctxt)
        // Do stuff with msg

Now I want to use this function in a Ada program. There is my code :

type T_void is tagged null record;
package C renames Interfaces.C;

procedure Send_Trace_From_C(ctxt : in T_void;
                            msg  : in String)
    pragma Convention(C, T_void);

    procedure send_trace (A: out T_void; B : C.Strings.char_ptr);
    pragma import (C, Send_Trace, "Send_Trace");

    Char_ptr : C.Strings.char_ptr := C.Strings.New_String(msg);
    send_trace (ctxt, Char_ptr);
end Send_Trace_From_C;

But I have errors :

pragma "convention" argument must be in same declarative part

warning "send_trace" involves a tagged type which does not correspond to any C type

How can I use a *void in Ada ?

Is Ada truly seriously much more complex than Pascal?

I expect to get a lot of negative response here, maybe even insulates, but I honestly don't mean any offence.

I have been an imbedded developer for a few decades, about equally C, C++ and Ada.

A few days ago I was chatting with an Ada dev, whom I am unlikely to see again. I was bitching about the complexity of C++ and said that I liked Ada as it was "just Pascal with a few twiddly bits".

He may have felt insulted, or defensive, as he immediately replied "oh, no, it's much more complex than that", but didn't have a chance to explain why.

We were talking about Ada 95, BTW.

Again, I did not mean to offend either him or you; I am more concerned that I have been missing something that could make me a better developer.

I realize that there are minor language feature differences, but did I miss a paradigm shift? Please don't flame me - pretty please?

submitted by /u/jamawg
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String from integer8

I'm using a library in ada which contains many types :

type Int8 is range -8 ** 7 .. 2 ** 7 - 1;
subtype T_Name_String is Int8;
type T_Name_String_Fixed20 is array (range 1..20) of T_Name_String ;

And there is a record with :

type The_Record is record
   name : T_Name_String_Fixed20;
   -- and others
end record;

I can't change that, I don't know why there are using Int8 for ada strings but I'm not able to initiate the field name. I've try :

-- First try:
MyRecord.name = "hello               ";
-- Error : expected type T_Name_String_Fixed20 found a string type

-- Second try
Ada.Strings.Fixed.Move(Target => MyRecord.name;
                       Source => "hello               "

Gprbuild can’t find tool chain for Ada

Hi, On my Fedora 37 64-bit (Linux 6.3.8-100.fc3) I have two gnat installed, one for the host in /usr/bin and one for ARM targets in /opt/gnat/arm-elf/bin.

I removed /opt/gnat/bin from my PATH to avoid any complication. So now I have /usr/bon in my path, when I run which gnat, it does point to /usr/bin/gnat.

gnat -v gives me: GNAT 12.3.1 20230508 (Red Hat 12.3.1-1)

When I run gprbuild on my project (either with the terminal or through Gnat studio) I get: gprconfig: Can’t find a native tool chain for language ‘ada’ No compiler for language Ada

So I try to run gprconfig: gprconfig has found the following compilers on your PATH. Only those matching the target and the selected compilers are displayed. 1. GCC-ASM for Asm in /usr/bin version 12.3.1 2. GCC-ASM for Asm2 in /usr/bin version 12.3.1 3. GCC-ASM for Asm_Cpp in /usr/bin version 12.3.1 4. LD for Bin_Img in /usr/bin version 2.38-27.fc37 5. GCC for C un /usr/bin version 12.3.1

alr toolchain gives me: gprbuild 22.0.0 Available Detected at /usr/local/bin/gprbuild gnat_external 12.3.1 Available Detected at /usr/bin

Although Alire detects it (so it would probably work with it), I don’t want to use it, I don’t like it.

How can gprbuild see my gnat?

Thanks for your help!

submitted by /u/louis_etn
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AUnit - Usefullness of the `Test_Caller` package

There seem to be two different ways to do the same thing when using the AUnit library:

Using the AUnit.Test_Cases.Test_Case type, creating some function tests, then register each tests with the AUnit.Test_Cases.Register_Tests function. We can then add this Test_Case to a Suite using the function AUnit.Test_Suites.Add_Test.

There some example of this:

(Surprisingly, there no examples using this way in the AUnit repository.)

The other way is to use the AUnit.Test_Fixtures.Test_Fixture type, creating some function tests. These tests can then be added to a Suite using the generic package AUnit.Test_Caller with the functions AUnit.Test_Suites.Add_Test and AUnit.Test_Caller.Create.

I can see way of using Test_Caller in:

The only difference I can see is that, when using the AUnit.Test_Cases.Test_Case, you can override the Set_Up_Case, Set_Up, Tear_Down and Tear_Down_Case functions. While with the AUnit.Test_Fixtures.Test_Fixture you can only override the Set_Up and Tear_Down functions (because the tests are not group under a Test_Case).

Appart from that, I don't really see much difference.

So, what is the use of the AUnit.Test_Fixtures.Test_Fixture type with the generic package AUnit.Test_Caller ? Why would use this over the (simpler ?) AUnit.Test_Cases.Test_Case type ?

Every example I have seen in one format can be transformed into the other (the Set_Up_Case and Tear_Down_Case set appart). Could give an example which use one but cannot be done by the other ?

How do I ensure a record's discriminant value is equal to another record component's value?

I have a File_Reader composed of two records, File and Buffer. I would like to ensure both Records always have a valid buffer size when initialized, i.e. Data_File.IO_Buffer_Size is equal to Data_In.Size.

I couldn't find a way of initializing a record component's value with another record's component value or discriminant, so I figured I would at least apply a static predicate which was unsuccessful. Using dynamic predicate as,an alternative poses issues in a LightRuntime environment.

I could easily add a Buffer_Size discriminant to File_Reader, but I would like to explore alternative solutions. Lastly, the record layouts must be preserved since they are memory mapped using representation clauses which are not shown:

type File is 
      Name           : String;
      IO_Buffer_Size : Buffer_Size;
   end record; 

type Buffer(Size : Buffer_Size := 300)  is         
      Pos   : Buffer_Size := 0;
      Value : String(1 .. Size);
   end record;

type File_Reader(Name : String) is 
       Data_In      : Buffer;    
       Data_File    : File := (Name, Data_In.Size); -- Won't work
   end record;