Lacking Natural Simplicity

Random musings on books, code, and tabletop games.

Failing at Ada Again

Back on May 20th, 2019 I ordered a copy of Programming in Ada by John Barnes and spent some time reading it and working with Ada. I get interested again in Ada periodically. In theory, I ought to like programming in Ada — it's one of the last remaining widely used members of the Pascal language family, which I like. There is a distribution of the GNAT Community Edition for macOS which bundles the GNAT Ada compiler and some useful libraries. But I could never get comfortable.

  • GNAT Community Edition for macOS doesn't include GtkAda, so I couldn't easily write GUI programs.

  • Getting programming libraries was back to the old download and install it from scratch yourself method. I find it much easier to use systems like Chicken Scheme's Eggs Unlimited to find and install software, or OCaml's opam.

  • Brew, a package manager for macOS, doesn't include GNAT and GtkAda. The case is better in MacPorts and much better on Fedora, but not good on Ubuntu. I think there are are fewer packaged Ada libraries across the open source Unixes in general.

  • The lack of a garbage collector is annoying.

  • The type system is strict and not very flexible.

  • And especially irritating to me, I tried using the Ada mode on GNU Elpa and it didn't indent Ada code properly.

I think in my current programming environment using Ada is still a difficult task.

Print Friendly and PDF


Comments powered by Disqus