Rationale for Ada 2012
1.1 Revision process
Ada has evolved over a number of years and, especially
for those unfamiliar with the background, it is convenient to summarize
the processes involved. The first version was Ada 83 and this was developed
by a team led by the late Jean Ichbiah and funded by the USDoD. The development
of Ada 95 from Ada 83 was an extensive process also funded by the USDoD.
Formal requirements were established after comprehensive surveys of user
needs and competitive proposals were then submitted resulting in the
selection of Intermetrics as the developer under the leadership of Tucker
Taft. Then came Ada 2005 and this was developed on a more modest scale.
The work was almost entirely done by voluntary effort with support from
within the industry itself through bodies such as the Ada Resource Association
After some experience with Ada 2005 it became clear
that some further evolution was appropriate. Adding new features as in
Ada 2005 always brings some surprises regarding their use and further
polishing is almost inevitable. Accordingly, it was decided that a further
revision should be made with a goal of completion in 2012.
As in the case of Ada 2005, the development is being
performed under the guidance of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22 WG9 (hereinafter just
called WG9). Previously chaired by Jim Moore, it is now under the chairmanship
of Joyce Tokar. This committee has included national representatives
of many nations including Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan,
Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. WG9 developed guidelines 
for a revision to Ada 2005 which were then used by the Ada Rapporteur
Group (the ARG) in drafting the revised standard.
The ARG is a team of experts nominated by the national
bodies represented on WG9 and the two liaison organizations, ACM SIGAda
and Ada-Europe. In the case of Ada 2005, the ARG was originally led by
Erhard Plödereder and then by Pascal Leroy. For Ada 2012, it is
led by Ed Schonberg. The editor, who at the end of the day actually writes
the words of the standard, continues to be the indefatigable Randy Brukardt.
Suggestions for the revised standard have come from
a number of sources such as individuals on the ARG, national bodies on
WG9, users and implementers via email discussions on Ada-Comment and
so on. Also several issues were left over from the development of Ada
At the time of writing (August 2011), the revision
process is approaching completion. The details of all individual changes
are now clear and they are being integrated to form a new version of
the Annotated Ada Reference Manual. The final approved standard should
emerge towards the end of 2012.
© 2011, 2012, 2013 John Barnes Informatics.
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