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Joint Venture Produces Low-Cost Ada Development Environment for Academic


Tenon Intersystems, in a joint venture with Ada Core Technologies and McKee Consulting, is creating the first Ada development environment for Macintosh and Power Macintosh. The project, which is funded in part by the Ada Joint Program Office, is extending Tenon's highly-regarded UNIX system for Apple computers to include the GNAT-Ada 95 tool suite.

GNAT is an industrial-quality Ada 95 compiler produced by a collaboration between a team at New York University and others around the world. The GNAT compiler uses the back-end of gcc - the compiler system of the GNU environment. The GNU (a self-referential acronym for "GNU is Not UNIX") project includes a large body of UNIX-compatible software being developed under the auspices of the Free Software Foundation (FSF). Gcc is a re-targetable and re-hostable compiler system with multiple front-ends and multiple hardware targets. The GNAT Ada front-end, like all GNU software, is released subject to the General Public License (GPL), which ensures continued free availability of the system and its source code.

Tenon's MachTen UNIX/Mach software for Macintosh and Power Macintosh supports a complete GNU software development environment. The GNAT-MAC team brought Ada 95 to the entire range of Macintosh and Power Macintosh platforms by leveraging Tenon's existing gcc development tool suite. Gcc's language-independent, target-independent code generator enables multiple languages and multiple hardware platforms to be easily supported. GNAT is available for SPARC/SunOS, SPARC/Solaris, SGI/IRIX, i486/Linux, Alpha/OSF1, i486/DOS, Windows 95, Windows/NT, IBM R6000/AIX, HP/UX and now, for the first time, for Apple/MacOS.

Preliminary versions of GNAT-MAC are available now on the Internet . The current Ada 95 tool suite can be used with off-the-shelf versions of Tenon's Professional MachTen 2.2 or later (on 68K Macs) or Power MachTen 4.0.3 or later (on Power Macs). The Ada 95 environment includes up-to-date tools for object-oriented programming and the core Ada essential tools suite from the Free Software Foundation. On Power Macs, the final Ada compiler will include a tasking run-time environment, an interface to the MacOS threads library, and Ada language bindings to the Macintosh Toolbox (API).

In the fall of '96, Tenon will release a version of MachTen with the GNAT-MAC tools for academic and government markets. The Apple/MachTen Ada 95 compiler is targeted for validation by the end of 1996.

The GNAT-MAC project is being partially funded by the ATIP-P (Ada Technology Insertion Program Partnership), a program designed to foster partnerships between government and industry to increase the variety and availability of Ada 95 products. Ada 95, the first ISO and ANSI standard programming language to fully support object-oriented programming, was designed to support reliability, portability and re-usability. It is the programming language of choice for large systems where reliability is essential. It is also considered a valuable educational tool for programming and software engineering.


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