Online / 5 & 6 February 2022



A Lightweight Development Framework for the Implementation of Ada-based Software Systems

SweetAda is a lightweight development framework whose purpose is the implementation of Ada-based software systems.

Welcome to SweetAda.

SweetAda is a lightweight development framework whose purpose is the implementation of Ada-based software systems.

The code produced by SweetAda is able to run on a wide range of machines, from ARM® embedded boards up to x86-64-class machines, as well as MIPS® machines and Virtex®/Spartan® PowerPC®/MicroBlaze® FPGAs. It could theoretically run even on System/390® IBM® mainframes (indeed it runs on the Hercules emulator). SweetAda is not an operating system, however it includes a set of both low- and high-level primitives and kernel services, like memory management, PCI bus handling, FAT mass-storage handling, which could be used as building blocks in the construction of complex software-controlled devices.

SweetAda has some distinctive characteristics, like: - is ROMable - uses a ZFP run-time - has no dependencies; neither external libraries nor underlying code are needed

SweetAda has a complete toolchain (assembler, linker, Ada compiler and debugger), and optionally you could even use a machine emulator, which can execute the final output code inside a virtual target. In order to use SweetAda, a decent POSIX® environment with a Bash shell and GNU Make are required. For a Linux® workstation this is quite standard, while for a Windows® machine you can download and install either MSYS2 (preferred) or Cygwin®. Anyway, SweetAda toolchains for Windows have an integrated Make suited for a Windows CLI. Being completely makefile- and script- driven, SweetAda is completely configurable and has many hooks which allow an easy integration in a GUI environment such as, e.g., Eclipse, KDE Kate or Visual Studio Code. Insight debugger is also available.

SweetAda comes with high-quality GNU toolchains based on modern official FSF Binutils/GCC/GDB releases, unpatched and compiled with strictly controlled options. The emulators are mainly based on the latest QEMU™ official release, augmented with the IOEMU physical I/O system, which allows software code to interact with a visual environment.

To make SweetAda generic and, at the same time, reliable, it is regularly tested against an heterogeneous set of machines which are able to successfully execute the system code, e.g.: - PC-style PIIX3/PIIX4 motherboards (ROM-boot) - DECstation 5000/133 MIPS R3000 (ROM-boot) - Memec FX12 Virtex-4 PPC405 (JTAG-boot) - DigiNS7520 board ARM7TDMI (JTAG-boot) - Terasic DE10-Lite Nios®II softcore (JTAG-boot) - MVME1600-011 PPC603 VME board (JTAG-boot) - Force SPARC®/CPU-3CE VME board (ROM-boot) - M5235BCC ColdFire development board (ROM-boot) - SPARCstation™ 5 (ROM-boot) - Spartan 3E MicroBlaze softcore (JTAG-boot) - Raspberry Pi™ 3 ARMv8 (microSD-boot)

The SweetAda software code is compiled by a build machinery which enforces a very high severity level. Usefulness, simplicity and expandability rather than extreme or obscure optimizations are the key features behind the project. Nevertheless, SweetAda grants the possibility of employ appropriate customizations, down to machine code level, to satisfy specific needs.

SweetAda is in a state of steady growth. BSPs, device drivers, a TLSF memory allocator, TCP/IP basic functionalities, as well as low-level CAN primitives are under heavy development. More target machines and additional feautures/modules such as intrinsic floating point support and expanded SFP runtimes are scheduled in future releases, as well as language tools and system utilities, like ASIS.

Please note that the platform-specific code included in SweetAda is given as an example. The emphasis of SweetAda is not about operating system design, but rather on exploiting the Ada language everywhere.

SweetAda is distributed under the terms of the MIT license.


Photo of Gabriele Galeotti Gabriele Galeotti