Thus, it is a common reference for Ada programmers and not just programmers implementing Ada compilers. Apart from the reference manual, there is also an extensive rationale document which explains the language design and the use of various language constructs. This document is also widely used by programmers. When the language was revised, a new rationale document was written. In the s, the US Department of Defense DoD was concerned by the number of different programming languages being used for its embedded computer system projects, many of which were obsolete or hardware-dependent, and none of which supported safe modular programming.
In , a working group , the High Order Language Working Group HOLWG , was formed with the intent to reduce this number by finding or creating a programming language generally suitable for the department's and the UK Ministry of Defence requirements. After many iterations beginning with an original Straw man proposal the eventual programming language was named Ada. The total number of high-level programming languages in use for such projects fell from over in to 37 by The HOLWG working group crafted the Steelman language requirements , a series of documents stating the requirements they felt a programming language should satisfy.
Many existing languages were formally reviewed, but the team concluded in that no existing language met the specifications. In April , after public scrutiny, the Red and Green proposals passed to the next phase. This proposal was influenced by the programming language LIS that Ichbiah and his group had developed in the s. In , C. Hoare took advantage of his Turing Award speech to criticize Ada for being overly complex and hence unreliable,  but subsequently seemed to recant in the foreword he wrote for an Ada textbook.
Ada attracted much attention from the programming community as a whole during its early days. Its backers and others predicted that it might become a dominant language for general purpose programming and not just defense-related work. Ada Lovelace In , the US Department of Defense began to require the use of Ada the Ada mandate for all software,  though exceptions to this rule were often granted.
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By the late s and early s, Ada compilers had improved in performance, but there were still barriers to full exploitation of Ada's abilities, including a tasking model that was different from what most real-time programmers were used to. Because of Ada's safety-critical support features, it is now used not only for military applications, but also in commercial projects where a software bug can have severe consequences, e. It featured advanced distributed processing, a distributed Ada database, and object-oriented design.
Ada is also used in other air traffic systems, e. Work has continued on improving and updating the technical content of the Ada programming language. Ada is an ALGOL -like programming language featuring control structures with reserved words such as if , then , else , while , for , and so on. However, Ada also has many data structuring facilities and other abstractions which were not included in the original ALGOL 60 , such as type definitions , records , pointers , enumerations.
Such constructs were in part inherited from or inspired by Pascal. A common example of a language's syntax is the Hello world program : hello. This program can be compiled by using the freely available open source compiler GNAT , by executing. Ada's type system is not based on a set of predefined primitive types but allows users to declare their own types. This declaration in turn is not based on the internal representation of the type but on describing the goal which should be achieved.
This allows the compiler to determine a suitable memory size for the type, and to check for violations of the type definition at compile time and run time i.
Ada supports numerical types defined by a range, modulo types, aggregate types records and arrays , and enumeration types. Access types define a reference to an instance of a specified type; untyped pointers are not permitted. Special types provided by the language are task types and protected types.
Types can have modifiers such as limited, abstract, private etc. Private types can only be accessed and limited types can only be modified or copied within the scope of the package that defines them. Ada is a structured programming language, meaning that the flow of control is structured into standard statements. All standard constructs and deep-level early exit are supported, so the use of the also supported " go to " commands is seldom needed. This program can be compiled, e. Packages, procedures and functions can nest to any depth, and each can also be the logical outermost block.
Each package, procedure or function can have its own declarations of constants, types, variables, and other procedures, functions and packages, which can be declared in any order. Ada has language support for task-based concurrency. The fundamental concurrent unit in Ada is a task , which is a built-in limited type. Tasks are specified in two parts — the task declaration defines the task interface similar to a type declaration , the task body specifies the implementation of the task.
Depending on the implementation, Ada tasks are either mapped to operating system threads or processes, or are scheduled internally by the Ada runtime. Tasks can have entries for synchronisation a form of synchronous message passing. Task entries are declared in the task specification. Each task entry can have one or more accept statements within the task body.
If the control flow of the task reaches an accept statement, the task is blocked until the corresponding entry is called by another task similarly, a calling task is blocked until the called task reaches the corresponding accept statement.
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