Ann: DragonLace and Ada Support on *BSD / *Solaris / Android

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jrmarino

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Mar 3, 2011, 3:07:22 PM3/3/11
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For a long time, support for Ada was poor to non-existent for the four
major BSD platforms of FreeBSD, NetBSD, DragonFlyBSD, and OpenBSD.
GNAT would not build from source, although FreeBSD i386 was pretty
close. Over the last year, I've developed a substantial set of
patches and now GNAT from GCC-4.6 passes the entire ACATS and gnat.dg
testsuite without failure on FreeBSD, DragonFlyBSD, and NetBSD on both
the AMD64 and i386 platforms. The version is called "GNAT-AUX" and it
also builds on OpenBSD with only a single failure the same two
platforms.

Three of the BSDs have brand new Ada software in the package/ports
system. I would like to give many thanks to Wen Helping for his
extensive testing and tweaking of the following software (just) now
available in the FreeBSD ports system:

lang/gnat-aux [GNAT compiler based on gcc-4.6]
devel/gps [GNAT Programming Studio]
devel/gprbuild-aux [GPRBuild for GNAT-AUX]
devel/gnatpython [Needed for AWS test suite]
textproc/xmlada [XML library needed by GPS and AWS]
x11-toolkits/gtkada [gtk bindings needed by GPS]
www/aws [Ada Web Server]


I would like to extend the same gratitude to Matthias Drochner who
also spent an incredible effort bringing the same packages to NetBSD
and DragonFlyBSD through their mutual package system "pkgsrc":

lang/gnat-aux
devel/gps
devel/gprbuild-aux
devel/gnatpython
textproc/xmlada
x11/gtkada
www/aws


Progress about Ada support the *BSD and *Solaris is found at the
http://www.dragonlace.net web site. There's a blog/RSS feed there,
and we've started a mailing list that people can use to talk about any
of the projects they may have interest in.

I've also successfully built GNAT-AUX which passes flawlessly on
OpenSolaris. I also appreciate the Solaris-based Operating system, so
support for Illumos based systems will likely arrive in the future.
It's not on my immediate priority list, but maybe interest from others
will affect that.


OPENBSD
=======
As previously mention, GNAT-AUX builds and performs seemingly just
fine on OpenBSD, already passing almost every test. However, I do not
plan on creating any Ada ports for OpenBSD. There appears to be zero
interest for Ada ports for OpenBSD, even from the Ada users I know
that are fans of OpenBSD. That said, anybody can just copy the
Makefiles from FreeBSD to tweak them for OpenBSD. I won't do it, but
I'm happy to give advise to anyone else that wants to tackle this.


DRACO
=====
A long-term project of mine is to graft the GNAT front end of GCC to
LLVM by replacing the "GiGi" module. The resulting native Ada
compiler for LLVM will be called DRACO. I've spent a fair amount of
time on this in the past and currently the project is mothballed, but
not for forever.


ANDROID
=======
I've recently built a GNAT-AUX cross-compiler for Android, and
verified that helloworld runs on the Android SDK emulator. I'm
looking to buy a Honeycomb Android tablet. After that I'll look to
fully test GNAT-AUX on the platform and hopefully blaze the trail for
creating native Ada applications for Android devices.

There are other projects brewing. As appropriate, details will appear
on DragonLace. If you have interest in any of these projects aimed at
*BSD, *Solaris, or Android platforms, then feel free to help kick off
use of the DragonLace mailing lists and possibly contribute to some of
these projects. If nothing else, consider that no less than 3 BSD
platforms are now excellent Ada development environments!

Regards,

John Marino

Jeffrey Creem

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Mar 4, 2011, 5:41:21 AM3/4/11
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On 3/3/2011 3:07 PM, jrmarino wrote:

>
> ANDROID
> =======
> I've recently built a GNAT-AUX cross-compiler for Android, and
> verified that helloworld runs on the Android SDK emulator. I'm
> looking to buy a Honeycomb Android tablet. After that I'll look to
> fully test GNAT-AUX on the platform and hopefully blaze the trail for
> creating native Ada applications for Android devices.
>

Great work as always. Android cross port is intriguing and has been on
my wish list for some time.

Marcelo Coraça de Freitas

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Mar 4, 2011, 8:37:50 AM3/4/11
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I won't even comment on specific topics because I am jaw dropped right
now. Awesome work! I think I might switch for a *BSD anytime soon (I
am going to fire up a VM today for sure).


Congratulations and thanks for all this effort!

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