Section 14.3 - On-Line Ada Information Sources

If you're using Ada and have a question, there are a number of different resources available, depending on the kind of question you have. As we discussed earlier, the RM is the authoritative book regarding Ada syntax. Two other useful on-line sources for answers to common questions include:

Here are some of the more important Ada WWW servers that are good sources of Ada-related information:

  1. provides a nice set of Ada-related links.
  2. The Switzerland Ada WWW Server / Home of the Brave Ada Programmers (HBAP). Historically, one of the most popular Ada WWW servers is Magnus Kempe's Ada Home, also called the Home of the Brave Ada Programmers (HBAP). Kempe's server is located in Lausanne, Switzerland, and contains a number of Ada-related items, including at one time this tutorial. However, this site has not been as active recently.
  3. Ada Information Clearinghouse (AdaIC). The Ada Resource Association (ARA) maintains the AdaIC at
  4. SIGAda WWW Home Page. SIGAda, a Special Interest Group of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), maintains an Ada-related home page. A number of working groups on specialized areas (such as numerics and real-time work) have information available through this server.

This list of servers is only a partial list; in particular there are a number of Ada software libraries. The HBAP server has a list of other sources of Ada information.

There are simple ways to answer simple syntax questions. A nice set of Ada 95 reference cards have been developed by Paul Pukite. Members of the Database Research Group at the University of Geneva have produced a very nice set of documents describing the syntax rules of Ada 95 illustrated by syntactic diagrams, with cross-references.

Documentation on the Ada interface to the Java library is available from Intermetrics. If you're interested in a free Ada 95 compiler, look at GNAT; the ACT Home Page has more information. "ez2load" is a simple-to-install package of Ada-related products (including GNAT) for IBM-compatible PCs running MS-DOS or Microsoft Windows 3.1/95/NT. The HBAP server can point you to lists of Ada compilers. If you're developing a program to analyze an Ada program, you may want to learn more about ASIS; the ASIS working group page may be of interest to you.

Your next source for answers should be local experts or your compiler vendor. If you can, ask your local Ada guru at your company or university. If you have a compiler question, send your question to the compiler vendor. For example, GNAT bug reports should be addressed to For bug reports to any compiler vendor, be sure to include the expected output, the actual output, the source code that causes the bug (simplified if possible), and the version number (GNAT reports this when given the -gnatv option).

If all these approaches fail, post your question to the newsgroup comp.lang.ada. As when posting to any other newsgroup, don't use inflammatory language, and include all the information necessary so others can understand your problem. In particular, state your question clearly, give the name and version number of your compiler, give the kind of computer and operating system you're running on, and include a simple example if that's relevant.


What are the following: GNAT, ez2load, comp.lang.ada?

  1. A free Ada compiler, an easy-to-install set of Ada components for PC's, the Ada newsgroup.
  2. an easy-to-install set of Ada components for PC's, a free Ada compiler, the Ada newsgroup.
  3. The Ada newsgroup, a library of Ada components, the Switzerland Ada WWW server.

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