Seeking to expand the availability of open-source Ada development software, embedded Ada provider Aonix is leading an effort to create an Ada Development Toolkit (ADT) within the Eclipse software framework. The initiative, to be announced at the Embedded Systems Conference this week, is similar to the existing Eclipse C Development Toolkit (CDK) project.
To launch the new initiative, Aonix is offering its existing Eclipse plug-in AonixADT technology to the open-source community, and has proposed to the Eclipse foundation that AonixADT be used as the core “baseline” technology in an Eclipse ADT effort. AonixADT provides an Ada-language sensitive editor, Ada compile and build capabilities, and an Ada debugger interface. In addition to Aonix' Ada compilers, it works with the open-source Gnat Ada compiler.
Gary Cato, director of strategic alliances at Aonix, noted that a large customer in the military/aerospace area has been encouraging Aonix to take the open-source route with its ADT product. It's already bundled in with Aonix' ObjectAda product at no extra cost, so there's no issue with revenues, Cato noted.
“The initiative allows us to bring that technology to the Eclipse foundation as a sanctioned project within Eclipse,” Cato said. “By offering it to the open-source community under the auspices of Eclipse, we're bringing an Ada development toolkit to the open-source community, and other vendors can contribute to it and take advantage of it.”
The Eclipse initiative helps keep Aonix “visible in the industry,” Cato said, and also serves the needs of its unnamed customer, which is also supporting the Eclipse effort. The new initiative comes with endorsements from Doug Schaefer, Eclipse CDT project lead, and Chip Downing, aerospace and defense industry marketing manager at Wind River Systems.
Aonix will offer its ADT environment on an open-source basis regardless of the progress of the Eclipse initiative, Cato said. With the initiative, he noted, AonixADT can become a “baseline” for a community of developers who can add new technology around it.