The DragonLace project is at it again! John Marino has acquired an Android device and, after building GNATDroid-ARMv7, has confirmed that he could compile Ada programs on FreeBSD and execute them on the Android tablet.
That is just awesome news, both for FreeBSD users and Ada programmers in general. The work done by John is simply amazing.
You can read the entire announcement here.
The DragonLace.net project, who’re responsible for bringing the GNAT AUX Ada compiler to the *BSD users, are hard at work on enabling Ada programmers to build software for Android devices without having to touch Java, or as John Marino said in a recent comp.lang.ada post on the subject:
It would be a nice project for someone to blaze the trail on writing Native Android phone/table applications without any Java. This is possible from Android 2.3 onwards using the “NativeActivity” functionality provided with the Android Native Development Kit (NDK). The API require C bindings, but it shouldn’t be too difficult.
More information is available at the DragonLace.net website, specifically these two articles:
This is in my humble opinion both very good and very exciting news! I am currently involved in the development of an Android application, and I would personally have loved if it could’ve been done in Ada instead of Java.
I know some of the Ada-DK members have Android devices (myself included), so perhaps we should spend a few open Ada-DK meetings on testing this stuff? Could be both a learning and fun experience.
In a lengthy post to comp.lang.ada John Marino of DragonLace fame outlines the current status of Ada support for *BSD, *Solaris and Android.
And things are looking pretty good:
For a long time, support for Ada was poor to non-existent for the four major BSD platforms of FreeBSD, NetBSD, DragonFlyBSD, and OpenBSD. GNAT would not build from source, although FreeBSD i386 was pretty close. Over the last year, I’ve developed a substantial set of patches and now GNAT from GCC-4.6 passes the entire ACATS and gnat.dg testsuite without failure on FreeBSD, DragonFlyBSD, and NetBSD on both the AMD64 and i386 platforms. The version is called “GNAT-AUX” and it also builds on OpenBSD with only a single failure the same two platforms.
The amount of work that has gone into this is amazing, and I personally look forward (very much!) to the day where Android apps can be build using Ada. How cool would that be?
If you visit the DragonLace website, you’ll see that the project is only 3 measly failures away from having achieved perfect status for its GNAT AUX port project.
I think I’m going to have to install one or more BSD’s and start testing my own AWS powered web tool box!
This project is a _huge_ boon to the Ada community.
Building Android applications in Ada is no longer a faraway dream, now that the DragonLace project has managed to successfully built the GNAT AUX cross compiler Android.
This is very exciting news indeed, and seeing a screenshot of an Ada hello world program running in the Android SDK is just amazingly cool.
But don’t take my word for it – go read the full announcement instead.