The Tale of How caracal Came To Know Ada

I like stories. I especially like stories written by experienced programmers about their past, and how they got to be where they are today, using the languages they use. Such stories give me perspective and entertain me. They are both learning and fun.

Yesterday caracal of #ada IRC fame posted a link to one such story: The Tale of How caracal Came To Know Ada.

It’s a both fun and interesting read, and I wish more Ada programmers, especially the skilled and experienced ones like caracal, would blog about their life with Ada, how they met her and why they’ve stuck around for a few decades.

I’m still using GNAT today, currently trying to write a GUI toolkit for OpenGL, and it continues to haul my freight like a trooper. Ada itself hasn’t stood still: They dropped the DoD mandate in 97, a new version (Ada95) came along in the mid 90s with some nice additions, now a still-newer version (Ada05) is the standard, and they’re busy with Ada12, which adds some interesting new features. And GNAT keeps plugging along, releasing new free versions every six months or so, and Ada is now an official front-end for the GNU Compiler Collection, or gcc, which is sorta the de facto standard for open-source software.

If you read the entire story, you’ll discover that caracal was working on an Ada compiler back in 1980, based on the green proposal. That was the starting point for his now 31 year long love affair with Ada.

My own relationship with Ada is still in its infancy. We’ve been together since 2009. I sincerely hope that in 2040 I can write a blog-post like caracal’s. Lady Ada is a wonderful companion, and I intend to stick with her, if she’ll have me.

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