SIGAda Annual Report

July 2002 - June 2003
Submitted by: Currie Colket, Chair ACM SIGAda

SIGAda is chartered under ACM as one of approximately 35 Special Interest Groups. This document represents an annual report for the SIGAda Activities for the ACM calendar year of 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003.

SIGAda Purpose

Our By-Laws, approved on 18 June 1984 identify that SIGAda's activities will include:

  1. Collecting and disseminating information in the specialty, through a newsletter and other publications approved by the Publications Board of the ACM;

  2. Organizing sessions at conferences of the ACM;

  3. Sponsoring conferences, symposia, and workshops;

  4. Organizing working groups for education, research, and development;

  5. Serving as a source of technical information for the Council and subunits of the ACM;

  6. Serving as an external technical representative of the ACM when authorized by the Council or the Executive Committee of the ACM;

  7. Working with subunits of the ACM on technical activities such as lectures or professional development seminars;

  8. Fostering the organization of local groups and activities;

  9. Determining and representing members' opinions with respect to the specialty; and

  10. Interacting with non-ACM organizations. Such relationships will be in accordance with ACM guidelines regarding external relationships.


SIGAda Mission Statement

The SIGAda Mission is updated periodically to reflect SIGAda's mission. It is found in the SIGAda Fact Sheet. The current version is posted online at: The Mission Statement reads:

The ACM SIG on Ada deals with the Ada language and a broad span of issues related to its usage, teaching, standardization, and implementation. SIGAda members include practitioners, educators, researchers, and managers from a wide range of organizations in industry, academia, and government. Among the topics that SIGAda addresses are software engineering practice (with a particular focus on object technology), real-time applications, high-integrity & safety-critical systems, high-integrity and safety-critical systems, software education, and large-scale system development. SIGAda explores these issues through an annual international conference, special-purpose Working Groups, active local chapters, and its quarterly Ada Letters publication.


SIGAda Description for ACM Guide

ACM publishes a Guide to describe all of its SIGs. The ACM Guide is updated annually as an advertisement for its SIGs and to encourage ACM members to join the SIGs. The current version of the ACM Guide is posted online at: Guide (sic). The description of SIGAda in the Guide reads:


The ACM Special Interest Group on Ada Programming Language is a powerful resource for the software community's ongoing understanding of the scientific, technical and organizational aspects of the use, standardization, environments, and implementations of the Ada language. The annual SIGAda conference is a major event not only for Ada specialists but also for all enthusiasts in modern software topics such as process improvement, CASE, object-oriented methods, and software education. In addition to reduced registration fees at this joint industry/academia/government conference with its major vendor exhibits and at other SIGAda-sponsored workshops and meetings, members receive the quarterly newsletter ACM Ada Letters, which is the best way to stay current on Ada and Ada community happenings.


SIGAda Executive Committee

The SIGAda Executive Committee (EC) consists of 6 elected officers: the Chair, Vice Chair for Meetings and Conferences, Vice Chair for Liaison, Treasurer, Secretary, and International Secretary. The EC also includes the Past Chair for continuity from one administration to the next. The current slate was elected in 2001 for the term 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2003. The time period has been extended until 30 June 2005. The current slate includes:


Chair:      Mr. Currie Colket
Vice Chair for Meetings and Conferences:   Mr. David Harrison
Vice Chair for Liaison:   Mrs. Ann Brandon
Treasurer:   Dr. John McCormick
Secretary:   Mr. Clyde Roby
International Representative:   Dr. Jean-Pierre Rosen
Past Chair:   Dr. Ben Brosgol

Elections are planned for early 2005.


ACM SIG Staff Liaison

The ACM SIG Staff Liaison supporting SIGAda is Mrs. Irene Frawley. We have been pleased with the wonderful support Mrs. Frawley has provided. We would also like to acknowledge the wonderful support from all of the ACM staff during 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003.


ACM SIGAda Annual International Conference on the Ada Programming Language (SIGAda 2002) - Our Annual Conference

The ACM SIGAda Annual International Conference on the Ada Programming Language (SIGAda 2002) was held in Houston at Clear Lake in Texas from 8-12 December 2002. The conference was successful from a technical and financial perspective. There were 86 attendees. 18% of the attendees were from overseas, representing the countries of Belgium, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UK. Proceedings were produced as a printed hardcopy, which was distributed at the conference and as an electronic CDROM distributed after the conference. This CDROM has a host of interesting papers and presentations not provided with the hardcopy of the proceedings. In particular, the slide sets from our keynote speakers and invited speakers are available. Mr. Tucker Taft chaired an ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 22 WG9 forum addressing the evolution of the Ada language from an ISO perspective. Dr. Robert Dewar addressed high quality achievable via free/open source software and its impact on software engineering. Mr. Robert Carey discussed the use of Ada 95 and CORBA in the National Ignition Facility (NIF) program to generate power via fusion. This is a very impressive use of Ada synchronizing the firing of 192 extremely high powered lasers to a really small target to create fusion. The power fired is equivalent to that used by the entire rest of the United States during the same nanosecond. The use of Ada appears to be extremely successful for this research; we only hope that the research also provides valuable results. Dr. Charles McKay challenged us to address critical needs in Ada 2005 for Mission & Safety Critical (MASC) computing systems. He believes that we should remember our roots & emphasize the current & future needs for embedded MASC systems. His excellent presentation resulted in a separate track during the WG9 forum to address these needs. Mr. Michael McEvilley discussed the essence of Information Assurance and why it is important to the Ada Community. The Information Assurance community is taking a new look at Ada to address its very challenging needs. Very special thanks to Dr. Salih Yurttas (General Chair), Dr. John McCormick (Program Chair), Dr. Ben Brosgol and Mr. Hal Hart (Exhibit Co-Chairs), Mr. Mark Glewwe (Publicity Chair), Mr. Clyde Roby (Webmaster and Proceedings Chair), Mr. Hal Hart (Treasurer), Dr. David Cook (the Tutorial Chair), Mr. Tom Panfil (Registration Chair), Dr. Michael Feldman (Education Working Group Chair), and Mr. David Harrison (Vice Chair for Meetings and Conferences) for an excellent conference. Every conference we have conducted since 1999 has been financially successful.

Our next conference will be at San Diego, California from 7-11 December 2003. The venue will be at the Red Lion Hanalei Hotel. It is convenient to the San Diego recreational and sight-seeing attractions. For more information, please see: Dr. Robert Leif, Newport Instruments, will be the Conference Chair; Dr. Ricky E. Sward, US Air Force Academy, will be the Program Chair.


Ada Letters, SIGAda's Quarterly Newsletter

SIGAda publishes 4 newsletters on an annual basis. The newsletter provides an excellent means to stay current in the Ada community. The Managing Editor is Dr. Martin Carlisle, USAF Academy and the Technical Editor is Mr. Pat Rogers, Software Arts and Sciences. Both have done an excellent job in producing a key resource to our SIGAda membership. It should be noted that ACM sets deadlines for newsletter submissions. SIGAda has a reputation at ACM for always being on time. The 4 newsletters published from 1 July 2002 - 30 June 2003 are summarized as:


Issue Dated Major Contents
Volume XXII Number 3 September 2002
  • Reusable Software Components - Trudy Levine
  • Workshop Report - SIGAda 2002 "Creating a Symbiotic Relationship between XML and Ada" - Robert Leif
  • An Automatic "Visitor" Generator for Ada - Martin C. Carlisle and Ricky E. Sward
Volume XXII Number 4 December 2002
  • Proceedings of the 11th Ada Real-Time Workshop held in Mount Tremblant Canada April 8-11, 2002. (125 pages)
  • WG9 Liaison Request with SIGAda - Currie Colket
  • Plan for Ada Application Program Interfaces (API) Management - Clyde Roby
Volume XXIII Number 1 March 2003
  • Proceedings of the SIGAda 2003 held in Houston at Clear Lake in Texas from 8-12 December 2002
Volume XXIII Number 2 June 2003
  • Reusable Software Components - Trudy Levine
  • Automatic Prototype Generating via Optimized Object Model - Sheldon X. Liang, Lynn Zhang, Luqi
  • Real-time programming safety in Java and Ada - Bo Sanden
  • Dear Ada - Matthew Heaney


Ada Advocacy

Since 1994 SIGAda has conducted an "Ada Awareness Initiative". Its centerpiece has been our SIGAda professional booth display unit in exhibition halls at important software engineering conferences. This lets folks know that Ada is very much alive and a sound part of any software engineering effort having real-time, high integrity, high-assurance, and highly distributed requirements. We go to about 4-5 conferences a year. Via this exhibiting, SIGAda sustains Ada visibility ("name recognition"), provides various Ada-advocacy materials such as dozens of "Ada Success Stories" and the Walnut Creek Ada CD-ROM, and makes available Ada experts (our booth staff volunteers) who can intelligently answer questions, provide pointers and help, and debunk the mis-information about Ada that many attendees at these shows have. This program has been extremely successful and viewed as a highly important thrust in a recent fall 2002 survey of the SIGAda membership. We thank Mr. Hal Hart and Mrs. Ann Brandon for leading this important effort. SIGAda graciously acknowledges and thanks the Ada Resources Association (ARA), a consortium of Ada vendors, for their financial support of SIGAda's Ada Awareness Initiative and our booth activities. The shows supported from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003 included:


Dates Location Conference
4-8 November 2002 Seattle, Washington OOPSLA 2002: Object Oriented Programming Systems Languages and Applications
19-23 February 2003 Reno, Nevada SIGCSE 2003: SIGCSE 2003 Symposium
22-26 April 2003 San Francisco, California Embedded Systems Conference West
28 April - 1 May 2003 Salt Lake City, Utah Software Technology Conference (STC 2003)

SIGAda Awards

Started in 1994, the ACM SIGAda Awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the Ada community and to SIGAda. The two categories of awards are:


ACM Case Studies

Written by leading domain experts for software engineers, ACM Case Studies provide an in-depth look at how software teams overcome specific challenges by implementing new technologies, adopting new practices, or a combination of both. Often through first-hand accounts, these pieces explore what the challenges were, the tools and techniques that were used to combat them, and the solution that was achieved.

Lifelong Learning

ACM offers lifelong learning resources including online books and courses from Skillsoft, TechTalks on the hottest topics in computing and IT, and more.