AXI 4.0
Ada-to-X Interface

Advanced Graphics for the Ada Developer

AXI™ is the Ada-to-X Window System™ interface that gives Ada 95 and Ada 83 programmers full use of the X Window System’s network display services and the OSF/Motif™ graphical user interface (GUI) standard. AXI makes available X and Motif application program interface (API) features that were previously available only in the C language. With AXI, experienced X, Motif and Ada programmers are not forced to learn a new syntax or tool but can become productive immediately.

Complete X Interface and Portability

AXI gives the Ada programmer access to 2,000 functions and types in the X library, extensions, and utilities, the Xt toolkit and the Motif widget set and resource manager. Events and callbacks are handled consistently and can coexist with legacy code written in C.

AXI is portable to any host that supports X11 release 5 or later and Motif 1.2 or later.

AXI supports the most widely used Ada compilers, including AdaWorld™, APEX™, ICC™, ObjectAda™, RISCAda™, SPARCompiler Ada™ and VADS™.

Ada 95 Compatible

With AXI 4.0, developers can now migrate their applications to Ada 95 with minimal changes. AXI 4.0 preserves the API of previous AXI releases, providing an Ada 95 API identical to its Ada 83 API.

New Features in AXI 4.0

UIL to Ada conversion ¾ UIL simplifies the layout of complex Motif applications. UIM/X™ and other GUI builder tools can be used to generate UIL, which can then be converted to Ada. Advantages of UIL to Ada conversion include the speedup of complex displays and the elimination of ancillary UIL files. ATC’s UIL/Trans 2.2 UIL to Ada converter is bundled with AXI 4.0. UIL/Trans is capable of generating the complete skeleton of a Motif application in Ada; the programmer needs only to code the callbacks separately.

Ada bindings to XPM ¾ X PixMap format 3 (XPM 3) is a de facto standard for handling multicolor images in X. AXI includes bindings to the entire XPM 3 API as well as XPM resource converters for Motif and the XPM 3.4h library. AXI’s Ada bindings to XPM allow the Ada programmer to specify multicolor pixmaps as Motif resources and to load and save multicolor pixmaps in AXI applications.

Varargs API ¾ All of the functions in the Xt toolkit and Motif that take variable-length argument lists have been implemented in AXI 4.0. Use of these functions eliminates much tedious and error-prone construction of argument lists. AXI also implements many ease-of-use and type-safety features that are available only through the Ada language. There is no performance penalty for the use of AXI subprograms through the varargs API.

Two APIs In One ¾ AXI comprises two major APIs, each with its own syntax: the native AXI API, which adheres to the X and Motif syntax documented in the O’Reilly X Window System Series; and the AXI STARS API, which adheres to the syntax of the STARS bindings to X. The choice of native AXI vs. STARS API may be made based on program management considerations; for example, the native AXI API adheres closely to well-known X and Motif conventions and is easier for experienced X and Motif programmers to learn, while the STARS API facilitates porting of reusable code or legacy code to AXI. There are no performance differences between the two APIs.

Widget Subclassing ¾ Sometimes an application cannot be written using just the basic Motif widget set. It may be desirable to develop additional widgets that can then be used in the application. AXI supports widget subclassing by providing complete data structures for the private data of each widget class in the Xt toolkit and Motif. Widgets created by user-defined procedures are also supported in the UIL/Trans UIL to Ada translator.

Companion Ada GUI Builders

Ada-UIM/X ¾ A GUI builder for Ada developers that is based on the award-winning UIM/X™ development tool from Bluestone, Inc. Ada-UIM/X was developed in a joint effort between ATC and Bluestone and is marketed by Bluestone. It generates Ada code compatible with the AXI bindings.

UIM/Ada ¾ A GUI builder for Ada developers that is based on Black & White Software’s market-leading version of UIM/X. Black & White Software integrated ATC’s UIL/Trans product with UIM/X to produce UIM/Ada. It generates Ada code compatible with the AXI bindings.

AXI: A Part of ATC’s Comprehensive Offering of Products and Services

ATC is a leader in providing application developers with high performance graphics environments based on the industry’s leading standards, including Graphical Kernel System (GKS), Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM), Programmer’s Hierarchical Interactive Graphics System (PHIGS), and the M.I.T. X Window System and OSF/Motif. ATC’s family of Ada bindings to graphics libraries works with leading Ada compilers and on most UNIX platforms. ATC has considerable experience in porting graphics software between platforms and in the development of custom Ada bindings and graphics solutions.


AdaWorld, ObjectAda and RISCAda are trademarks of Aonix. APEX and VADS are trademarks of Rational Software Corp. AXI and ATC are trademarks of Advanced Technology Center. OSF, OSF/Motif and Motif are trademarks of the Open Software Foundation. SPARCompiler Ada is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc. UIM/X is a trademark of Visual Edge Software Ltd. UNIX is a trademark of X/Open Company, Ltd. X Window System is a trademark of X Consortium, Inc.

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