The ACM Special Interest Group on Ada


Association for Computing Machinery
1515 Broadway
New York, NY 10036-5701
Phone: +1 (212) 869-7440
Fax: +1 (212) 302-5826
Reply To:

Mr. Currie Colket
Chair ACM SIGAda
The MITRE Corporation
7515 Colshire Drive
McLean, Virginia 22102-7508
Phone: +1 (703) 883-7381
FAX: +1 (703) 883-1339

18 July 2002

Dear SIGAda Members:

Ada-Europe hosted an excellent conference in Vienna, Austria from 17-21 June. This is the first time Austria had hosted an Ada-Europe conference and they did an excellent job. Dr. Gerhard Schildt did a wonderful job putting the conference together. There were many excellent papers as well as a Workshop on a Standard Container Library for Ada. Such a Library could be an excellent addition to the Ada International Standard.

There was some exciting news at the ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22 WG9 meeting that Friday. As most of you know, WG9 is that body of international representatives responsible for the maintenance and evolution of the Ada International Standard. The National Bodies represented on WG9 had been Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. It is very pleasing to report that this important working group has increased in size by one National Body, the first new one in years. Please welcome Dr. Tullio Vardenega, the National Body Representative from Italy.

One important discussion item for WG9 was the schedule to produce the next version of the Ada International Standard. WG9 is planning to produce an Amendment to the existing standard, ISO/IEC 8642:1995 in lieu of developing a major revision as was done in 1995. In 2000, the Ada International Standard was updated with a Technical Corrigendum 1 (COR.1:2000). This Technical Corrigendum provided some needed maintenance corrections to the Ada language. However, it was limited to making corrections only. Either an Amendment or a Revision is required to keep the language up to date by supporting new programming usage and paradigms. An Amendment could be written so that it incorporates noticeable changes intended to add value to the Ada community. These changes could be significant improvements intended to stimulate interest in both the current Ada community and potential users in the software engineering community. WG9 is planning to update the Ada International Standard using the Amendment approach. A very draft preliminary schedule was presented at the WG9 meeting. The draft preliminary schedule presented in Table 1 represents the current thinking, but is likely to change.

Please note that SIGAda will be playing a prominent role in the evolution of the Amendment. To achieve such a role, a formal liaison must be established between an organization such as SIGAda and WG9. Mr. James W. Moore, Chair of WG9, has invited ACM SIGAda to become a Category C Liaison with WG9. Category C liaisons are liaisons to organizations, which make an effective technical contribution and participate actively at the WG level. A formal Liaison request titled: Request for Establishment of Category C Liaison between SC 22/WG 9 and the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Ada (SIGAda) has been formally approved by the SIGAda Executive Committee and the ACM Executive Committee (EC). This document was published in the June 2002 Ada Letters and has been embodied in a WG9 variant known as N407. At the 21 June WG9 meeting, the request was formally approved unanimously as Resolution 42-5. It reads: "In accordance with of the JTC1 Directives, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG9 confirms the Category C liaison request of ACM SIGAda contained in N407 and forwards the request to SC22 for its consideration and any actions needed to effect approval of the liaison." SC22 holds its next meeting in Finland in August 2002. Please stay tuned for more information on this important initiative.

We strongly believe that such a liaison will be important to the SIGAda community, as it will provide us with the opportunity of having input to the evolving Ada language specification. The benefits to SIGAda are identified in N407. In addition, this Liaison will also provide extra value to a SIGAda membership, in that:

We are extremely pleased that ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22 WG9 has honored us by requesting we become a Category C Liaison. We believe that it is a strong indication of ACM SIGAda's value to the international Ada community. We believe such a liaison will be valuable to our membership and potentially attract new members.

Table 1 - Preliminary Schedule to Produce the Ada Amendment

December 2002 Present at SIGAda 2002, provide for discussion groups and collect feedback.
June 2003 Present at Ada-Europe 2003, provide for discussion groups and collect feedback.
September 2003 Receive the final input for enhancements to the Ada language of "unknown pedigree"
September 2003 Present at International Real-Time Applications Workshop (IRTAW)
Autumn 2003 Present at SIGAda 2003
31 December 2003 Receive the final input for enhancements to the Ada language from delegated groups (e.g., SIGAda, Ada-Europe, IRTAW)
June 2004 WG9 approves scope of amendment (perhaps by approving AIs, perhaps by reviewing draft amendment)
Informal circulation, receive comments and prepare final text
Spring 2005 Complete proposed text of amendment
Mid 2005 WG9 email ballot
Third Quarter 2005 ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22 Final Preliminary Draft Amendment (FPDAM) ballot
Late 2005 ISO/IEC JTC1 Final Draft Amendment (FDAM) ballot
Late 2005/Early 2006 ISO/IEC Amendment to ISO/IEC 8652 approved

Before signing off, I would like to remind you of our next conference at Houston/Clear Lake, Texas from 8-12 December 2002, pending approval by ACM. The venue will be right across the way from the NASA Space Center. We are planning a NASA SIGAda 2002 activity, which should be interesting. As noted in the schedule above, this conference could be extremely important to you by allowing you participate in the process to produce the Amendment for the Ada International Standard. For more information, please see:

I am looking forward to seeing you there!

Sincerely yours,

Currie Colket
Chair ACM SIGAda