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Ada

Contributor(s): Paul Bassett

Ada (pronounced AY-duh ) is a programming language somewhat similar to Pascal that was selected in a competition and made a U.S. Defense Department standard. (It is named for Augusta Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace (1815-1852), who helped Charles Babbage conceive how programs might run in his mechanical Analytical Engine. She is often considered the first computer programmer.) Ada was originally intended for real-time embedded systems programming .

By its supporters, Ada is described as a programming language that avoids error-prone notation, is relatively quick to implement, encourages reuse and team coordination, and is relatively easy for other programmers to read. The most recent version, Ada 95, is apparently a significant improvement over earlier versions. Among the sophisticated, according to The New Hacker's Dictionary , Ada has a reputation as a committee-written language, with poor exception-handling and interprocess communication features. It's not clear that "hackers" still feel this way. The Ada home page says: "The original Ada design was the winner of a language design competition; the winning team was headed by Jean Ichbiah (Ichbiah's language was called "Green"). The 1995 revision of Ada (Ada 95) was developed by a small team led by Tucker Taft. In both cases, the design underwent a public comment period where the designers responded to public comments."

Ada 95 can be used with object-oriented programming design methodology and source code can be compiled into Java classes by the Ada 95 compiler . These classes can be run as Java applets or applications on a Java virtual machine .

First standardized by ANSI in 1983 and ISO in 1987, the latest standard is ANSI/ISO/IEC-8652:1995 Ada 95.

This was last updated in October 2005

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