Thursday, May 22, 2008

JGNAT is coming back!

(If you're not interested in the Ada programming language, then this post has nothing for you :-)

AdaCore has announced in their latest newsletter that JGNAT, their Ada-to-Java Byte Code compiler, is being updated and will be made available in the 2nd quarter of 2008 (see the "In The Pipeline" sidebar):
A collection of add-on tools for interfacing between Ada and
Java is scheduled for release during Q2 2008. They support
mixed-language Ada/Java development, in particular:

- Calling natively-compiled Ada code from Java
- Compiling Ada to JVM bytecodes and communicating between Ada and Java directly.

The toolsuite exploits the Java Native Interface (JNI) for the
first scenario, but automates the generation of the JNI-related
“glue code” to ease the job of the developer. An updated
version of AdaCore’s JGNAT product handles the second
scenario. The tools take advantage of Ada 2005’s new
features to provide an interfacing mechanism that complies
with the Ada standard.
A future version of the toolsuite will support the invocation of
Java methods from natively-compiled Ada code.
The original release was never updated beyond version 1.1p, which I used a fair amount. I felt it was almost, but not quite, production quality. My experience was that it worked pretty well with Java 1.2, tasking broke in 1.3, and was pretty much a non-starter for 1.4.

Robert Dewar, AdaCore's president, commented in 2004 that "the status of JGNAT is that we have kept the sources updated to the minimal extent that they compile, but we no longer support this product and it was never fully completed."

I don't know the impetus behind restarting JGNAT support, but I'm glad to see it happening.


Lucretia9 said...

I believe it has something to do with Hibachi and not wanting to develop the plugins in Java, but rather in Ada.


Marc said...

Heh, well that'd certainly work for me!

Seems like a lot of expenditure, though, just to simplify writing plug-ins. Where's AdaCore's payback on that?

guurk said...

However, for 14 grand (single user license) it just ain't worth it. And it's not part of the GPL stuff.