ACATS 4.1 User's Guide
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6.2 Event Trace Files

An event trace file includes each (interesting) event that occurs during the compilation, binding/linking, and execution of one or more ACATS tests.
An event trace file provides a way to present the implementation-specific format of events to the Grading Tool in a common format. In order for an ACATS user to use the Grading Tool, they will need to provide a method to get an event trace file from the implementation's processing of ACATS tests. There are a number of ways to accomplish that; several are outlined in following subclauses. No matter what method is selected, it should be possible to use the same options/tools for future ACATS tests. (Developing a method to create event trace files should be a one-time cost).
The events of an event trace file are intended to be abstract representations of the processes of an implementation. It should be possible to map the processes of any Ada implementation into an event trace file.
The event trace file was selected as the method of abstracting implementation processing in order to avoid the ACATS Grading Tool from providing an disincentive to innovation in error handling by Ada implementations. The files are not intended to be useful (directly) to a human user, so their details should have little effect on the human error handling interface for an implementation. Moreover, while the event trace files provide values for error messages and positioning, neither of these is required for formal grading (they're provided to making easier for an ACATS user to figure out why a test is reported as failing). As noted in 5.6.2, the actual text of an error message is not used to determine pass or fail for grading purposing; only the specified location of the error is used.

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