Feeds

Thinking of Ada

Not just for things that go 'bang'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

You’re not designing software for an aeroplane, so what does a bug or two matter between friends, eh?

There are many who should be forgiven for assuming that this is the standard mantra of software developers. Bugs in applications happen, and continue to happen, and the world does keep turning. But as applications have become more significant in businesses, especially for companies that increasingly live and die by the web, a bug can be every bit as fatal as one that shuts down the engines at 38,000 feet.

Web-based operations are just one type of business where the reliability of software is fast becoming central to their survival and where the "it’s only a bug", attitude should now be the equivalent of “it’s only bird flu, I expect I’ll live”.

So AdaCore's launch of the latest version of GNAT Pro, v5.04, is perhaps timely. The launch itself is hardly earth-shattering stuff, for GNAT is just an open-source Ada applications development environment. And Ada, of course, is an old and rather esoteric language developed specifically for US military applications.

In its latest incarnation, Ada 2005, still holds on to the fundamental goal of producing highly reliable applications. And while the defence marketplace is still its primary target, there could well be some mileage in developers looking at the language for the truly `mission critical’ applications that are now becoming common.

The 2005 version introduced enhancements that make Ada far more compatible with web-based applications and environments, particularly in terms of interoperability with Java and C++. This should now allow developers to exploit its reliability and capabilities, such as its safe, high level memory management, and some compile-time and run-time checks that are designed to help avoid bugs like buffer overflows or access to unallocated memory.

Other factors that help Ada ensure its reliability are its standardisation by ISO, and the fact that this means upgrades to the language only occur in a controlled fashion – and not very often. This may seem heretical in a world where software vendors assume they must be dead if not upgrading all the time, but in the cause of applications reliability, it may not be such a bad idea. The new version of GNAT Pro incorporates enhancements to the installation process, as well as new features such as options for stack usage analysis and a tool that can be used to enforce project-specific rules. It comes with a full Ada compiler, an IDE, and a toolset that includes a visual debugger and a set of supplemental libraries and bindings. It is also available to run on the latest 64-bit platforms such as SGI’s Altix servers and HP’s Integrity servers.®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.