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Community Input for the Maintenance and Revision of the Ada Programming Language

by brukardt

ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 22/WG 9 (WG 9) is responsible for the maintenance and revision of the Ada Programming Language and associated standards and technical reports. As part of the language maintenance activity, WG 9 has established a group of Ada experts as the Ada Rapporteur Group (ARG). The ARG receives input from the Ada community at large to consider for inclusion in revision to the Ada programming language standard. The WG 9 has produced a number of revisions to the language in accordance with ISO policy and to address the evolution of technology (Ada 83, Ada 95, Ada 2005, Ada 2012).

Presently, the ARG is beginning work on a revision to Ada 2012 so that ISO standardization of the new version can be completed by 2020. This is a relatively short horizon, but it ensures that the language continues to evolve, and at the same time requires that the changes to the language are evolutionary and do not present an undue implementation burden on existing compilers and users.

WG 9 requests the Ada community to submit enhancements to be considered for inclusion in the next revision of Ada. These should be sent to ada-comment@ada-auth.org as described in the Ada Reference Manual Introduction (http://www.ada-auth.org/standards/rm12_w_tc1/html/RM-0-3.html#p58). For enhancement requests, it is very important to describe the programming problem and why the Ada 2012 solution is complex, expensive, or impossible. A detailed description of a specific enhancement is welcome but not necessarily required. The goal of the ARG is to solve as many programming problems as possible with new/enhanced Ada features that fit into the existing Ada framework. Thus the ARG will be looking at the language as a whole, which may suggest alternative solutions to the problem posed by an enhancement request. For a more detailed discussion, the guidelines presented for the Ada 2005 revision (see http://archive.adaic.com/news/pressrelease/call4apis.html) can be used as the ARG requirements are little changed.

WG9 accepts enhancement requests at any time. To be considered for inclusion in the next revision of Ada, enhancement requests must be received by 15 January 2018. Suggestions received after that date may be considered if they relate to topics already under development; others will be considered only for future versions of Ada.

WG 9 has directed the ARG to focus its work on three areas of particular interest to the Ada community: additional facilities for multi-core and multithreaded programming, improved facilities for program correctness, and enhanced container libraries. There are numerous proposed enhancements in these and other areas. Some of these proposals originated with members of the ARG, and others from members of the community at large. The interested reader can find the current state of these at http://www.ada-auth.org/AI12-SUMMARY.HTML.

WG 9 encourages members of the Ada community at large to use the guidelines outlined above to provide input to WG 9 and the ARG for needed revisions and upgrades to the Ada programming language.

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