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README.md

TutorialAda

An Ada programming language tutorial with samples. This tutorial covers a variety of topics in varying levels of depth. As with most things on GitHub, it is a work in progress.

You can download snapshots of this tutorial below.

Pull requests against this repository are also welcome.

To build the document, you will need a suitable TeX installation. On Windows I recommend MiKTeX, but other TeX installations would probably be fine. In the root folder use the following commands:

$ pdflatex main
$ bibtex main
$ pdflatex main
$ pdflatex main

Yes, it is necessary to issue the same command multiple times. LaTeX relies on this to correctly build cross-references, the table of contents, and similar things. The result of the commands above is the file main.pdf which contains the tutorial. You may have to install some supporting packages into your TeX installation. Some TeX installations can do this automatically; others may need manual assistance. Let the error messages be your guide.

To run the samples, install the latest version of GNAT Community. Start the GPS integrated development environment and load the project file samples.gpr in the samples folder. You can then use the various menu items in GPS to build and run the sample programs.

In addition to the samples, this repository contains several larger example programs that demonstrate Ada more fully or that show how a particular technology/library can be used in Ada. These larger programs stand alone, meaning they each have their own GNAT project file. Currently the tutorial document does not describe these additional programs, although that might change in the future. The following examples are included:

  • ASIS. The ASIS library allows you to write analysis programs for Ada without having to create your own parser and semantic analyzer. This example program is merely a skeleton. (Note: it might be more appropriate to demonstrate libadalang rather than ASIS).

  • Channel. This program creates a simulated noisy channel and sends random data over that channel using different error detection and correction methods. It is very old code written by me to support a computer communications class I taught many years ago. The program is mature enough to be a little interesting, but it could benefit from more elaboration.

  • GtkAda. This program is intended to demonstrate the GtkAda graphical library. Right now it is little more than a placeholder (it displays a single button). A more interesting application (like a graphical version of the Hexdump example?) would be welcome.

  • Hexdump. This program is a simple command line hex viewer. It displays the contents of a file as a sequence of bytes in hex, along with the offset of each byte and its ASCII interpretation.

  • Huffman. This program does a huffman encoding of the specified input file. It also displays some interesting information about the encoding process. The program is incomplete.

  • Win32Ada. This program is intended to demonstrate the Win32Ada library that allows Ada to interface directly to the Windows OS. Right now it is little more than a placeholder. A more interesting application (again: a graphical version of the Hexdump example?) would be welcome.

  • XMLAda. This program is nothing more than one of the samples in the XMLAda documentation. A more interesting application would be welcome.

Peter C. Chapin
chapinp@acm.org

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