The Story of My Life so Far - Part 95 - My involvement in the standardization of Ada 95

in story •  10 months ago

This is the story of my life so far: 68 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France



The story starts here
Previous episode: Part 94


The Ada programming language has been first standardized as an ANSI standard in 1983.

The language is named after Ada Lovelace, who worked with Charles Babbage. She was born in 1815 and this is the reason why the Ada ANSI standard was ANSI/MIL-STD 1815A. This original version is known as Ada 83.

Ada became an ISO standard in 1987. Since then, there have been three standardized versions of the language: Ada 95, Ada 2005 and Ada 2012, the latest.


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Because of my job at CR2A with the groupe ExTRA, I was involved in the standardization of Ada 95 between 1991 and 1994.

I participated with Nasser Kettani in several meetings of the "ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG9", the ISO working group in charge of the standardization of Ada. I was in the French delegation with several other people, in particular Jean Ichbiah, the main designer of Ada 83, and Philippe Kruchten who will have a major influence on my life, both professional and personal.

During these meetings, I met many people from the other delegations, in particular Robert Dewar and Ed Schonberg with whom I will work later at AdaCore.

As there were many people that were interested in the "noble" part of the language, the semantics and in particular the new features that were to be included in Ada 95, I decided to look to a chapter that described the text elements used in the language.
In the draft of the new standard, it was indicated that among the characters in the identifiers of the language there were the "letters" from the ISO/IEC 10646 standard: Universal Coded Character Set.
So, I went to the French part of ISO, AFNOR (Association Française de Normalisation) and read the ISO/IEC 10646 document. Nowhere in it could I find the definition of the "letter" characters. The reason in that this standard describes the different characters of most of the languages of the world, and in many of them, the notion of letter does not exist.

So, I reported this to WG9 and suggested that the authorized characters should be those that included "letter" in their description in the standard. And this is what is included in the Ada standard since then.


The main designer of the Ada 95 standard was Tucker Taft who had a big fight with Jean Ichbiah during one of the meeting of the WG9. I will tell the story as I witnessed it in the next post.

Continue to Part 96


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Summary
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8
Part 9 - Part 10 - Part 11 - Part 12 - Part 13 - Part 14 - Part 15 - Part 16
Part 17 - Part 18 - Part 19 - Part 20 - Part 21 - Part 22 - Part 23 - Part 24
Part 25 - Part 26 - Part 27 - Part 28 - Part 29 - Part 30 - Part 31 - Part 32
Part 33 - Part 34 - Part 35 - Part 36 - Part 37 - Part 38 - Part 39 - Part 40
Part 41 - Part 42 - Part 43 - Part 44 - Part 45 - Part 46 - Part 47 - Part 48
Part 49 - Part 50 - Part 51 - Part 52 - Part 53 - Part 54 - Part 55 - Part 56
Part 57 - Part 58 - Part 59 - Part 60 - Part 61 - Part 62 - Part 63 - Part 64
Part 65 - Part 66 - Part 67 - Part 68 - Part 69 - Part 70 - Part 71 - Part 72
Part 73 - Part 74 - Part 75 - Part 76 - Part 77 - Part 78 - Part 79 - Part 80
Part 81 - Part 82 - Part 83 - Part 84 - Part 85 - Part 86 - Part 87 - Part 88
Part 89 - Part 90 - Part 91 - Part 92 - Part 93 - Part 94



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Amazing post

Wow!!! Working with Ada will be a great honor and time well spent
Inspiring story
You are genius

It was fascinating to follow your life story @vcelier
My fingers are crossed waiting for the next episode of the story
Otherwise thanks for sharing and stay blessed