Ada 2005 is the informal name for the recent update to the Ada language. Formally, it is embodied in an Amendment to the Ada standard (ISO/IEC 8652:1995). It has been approved by the ISO/IEC standardization process and published as ISO/IEC 8652:1995/Amd 1:2007.
Various informal names have been proposed and used for this update. The informal names of the different Ada versions traditionally include the year of the publication of the Standard. An early guess was that would occur in 2005, but that proved to be overly optimistic. However, 2005 was the year during which most of the technical issues were decided, and WG 9, with the input of the Ada community, has decided to use Ada 2005 as the informal name of this update.
Remember that the official name of the language is just “Ada” — that never changes. Informal names exist to allow readers to tell the difference between the various versions of the Ada language. The informal name for this version could be anything; “Willywog Ada” would do just as fine. Ultimately, the community decides on an informal name to use consistently, and Ada 2005 was the choice here.
The Introduction to the draft consolidated Ada Reference Manual says the following:
A number of good ideas were not included in Ada 2005 because of technical issues, insufficient detail in their design, and lack of manpower. It is thought that many of these ideas will be revisited the next time Ada is revised.
Of course, a lot of bad or controversial ideas were discussed and discarded as well. We’re not going to enumerate them; they deserve to live in anonymity.
A good place to start is the Ada 2005 Rationale for Ada 2005. The Rationale provides an overview of Ada 2005 features, examples of their use, compatibility with Ada 95, and more.
A number of articles on Ada 2005 were published in the August 2006 issue of Crosstalk. They include an overview of Ada 2005, specific discussions of its impact on real-time and high-integrity applications, a look at using Ada with .NET, and a peek into the design process of Ada 2005.
The September 2006 issue of Embedded Systems Design includes Programming Real-Time with Ada 2005, which introduces Ada 2005 real-time programming features assuming no prior knowledge of Ada.
For an look at the entire Ada language, including both old and new features, John Barnes has updated his textbook; the new edition is Programming in Ada 2005. Other textbooks on Ada 2005 have also been published. You can find out more about all of them on our Learning Materials page.
Sometimes, it’s best to just go to the horse’s mouth. Ada Europe has sponsored a combined version of the Ada standard that contains the text of all three documents (the original Ada 95 standard, the 2001 Technical Corrigendum [bug fixes], and the Amendment). You can find it in our standards section.
Finally, for those who must go to the source, drafts of the actual Amendment document are available. The actual final standard has to be purchased and is quite expensive; you can buy it at ISO’s publications site. We don’t recommend reading the Amendment because it consists of changes to the earlier Ada 95 standard, and thus it is rather incomplete. It’s telling that the committee that designed Ada 2005 worked primarily from drafts of the combined version.
Electronic versions of the Ada 2005 Reference Manual are available on this website. Print versions have been published by Springer, and should be available from your favorite bookseller. See the article Accessing the Ada Language Reference Manuals for more information on obtaining both electronic and print copies of the Ada 2005 Reference Manual.