I attended the SC22 Plenary Meeting in my role as convener of WG9. Of the 45 resolutions resulting from the meeting, a few should be of particular interest to WG9.
I will first describe the most relevant resolutions in detail and then will provide a brief summary of a few others.
SC22 unanimously approved our requests for Category C Liaison with Ada-Europe and with ACM SIGAda. As you already know, both items must also be approved by JTC1. Nevertheless, as I advised WG9 as its most recent meeting, I intend to proceed with implementation of the liaison arrangements in anticipation of approval by JTC1. The resolution of approval is shown below:
Resolution 02-06: Approval of WG 9 Liaison Requests
JTC 1/SC 22 approves the request from WG 9 for Category C Liaison with Ada-Europe and directs the SC22 Secretariat to forward this request to JTC 1 for approval, along with the rationale contained in SC 22 N3425.
JTC 1/SC 22 approves the request from WG 9 for Category C Liaison with the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Ada (SIGAda) and directs the SC22 Secretariat to forward this request to JTC 1 for approval, along with the rationale contained in SC 22 N3426.
SC22 approved the administrative action to add Pascal Leroy as an editor of the planned Amendment of the Ada language standard. The resolution of approval is excerpted below:
Resolution 02-27: Appointment of Project Editors
JTC 1/SC 22 approves the following appointments as SC 22 Project Editors: ... Mr. Pascal Leroy and Mr. Randall Brukardt for 1.22.10.01.01 -- Amendments to ISO/IEC 8652:1995.
You may remember that WG9's request for free availability of TR 15942 was delayed for 8 months as a result of unnecessary balloting at the SC22 level. In my convener's report, I took SC22 to task for the delay. (One participant remarked that I "spanked" SC22.) As a result, SC22 approved a resolution that provides for immediate administrative approval in clear-cut cases. (It should be noted, though, that the resolution removes only one delay in the required chain of approvals.) The resolution appears below:
Resolution 02-05: Authorization to SC 22 Secretariat Regarding Free Availability of Technical Reports and Technical Corrigenda
JTC 1/SC 22 authorizes the SC 22 Secretariat to administratively grant SC 22's endorsement of requests for free availability of SC 22 Technical Reports and Technical Corrigenda and to send such requests directly to the JTC 1 Secretariat per the JTC 1 policy on the free availability of Technical Reports (see JTC1 Sendai Resolution 32 and JTC 1 N 5165).
The procedure for this action is as follows:
Any SC 22 Working Group may request the SC 22 Secretariat to propose free availability for a document maintained by the Working Group. The WG request must identify the document and provide answers to the following questions:
If the answer to any of these questions is "Yes", the Secretariat will verify the correctness of the answer, approve the request on behalf of SC 22, and forward the request to JTC1 for further processing noting that it meets the criteria of Sendai Resolution 32. If the answer to all of these questions is "No", then the Secretariat will reject the request for administrative submission. If the WG believes that a rejected document qualifies for free availability under the terms of JTC1 N 5165, it may request free availability under this criterion via the traditional SC 22 balloting process.
The choice of formats for processing documents is always a controversial subject. Recently ISO mandated a controversial choice for the format of balloting comments. The response from SC22, developed at the request of the UK, is contained in the following resolution:
Resolution 02-15: NB Comment Template
JTC 1/SC 22 notes that the recent ISO requirement that NB comments on ballots be in specified formats fails to provide for preparing such comments using non proprietary software. SC 22 directs its Secretariat to contact JTC 1 with the request that JTC 1 asks ITTF for an open systems template (such as HTML) for preparing these NB comments.
Recently JTC1 approved a new process for the development of documents in a "workshop" setting. (I provided a preview of this process at the Minneapolis meeting of WG9. At that time, some participants raised concerns that participants in such workshops might be surrendering their intellectual property rights to ISO. The Chairman of SC22 assured me that workshop arrangements may specify the treatment of intellectual property.) SC22 endorsed the use of such workshops in the following resolution. I anticipate that participants in WG9 will propose the use of this mechanism.
Resolution 02-22: Utilization of JTC 1 International Workshop Agreements
JTC 1/SC 22 encourages its WG Convenors to consider using the JTC 1 International Workshop Agreement for the development of new work items with a view towards involving additional interested parties who are currently not participating in SC 22. It may also serve as a possible method of improving current standardization practices and the external perception thereof.
SC 22 further encourages its Chair and WG Convenors to seek additional opportunities to initiate workshops with possible interested parties who are not currently SC 22 participants.
As the 1995 revision of Ada provided a more general treatment of character sets than is provided by most languages, I have been ignoring the ongoing work of SC22/WG20 on this subject. This work has generated continuing controversy. However, other languages, such as C and C++, are considering revisions that will extend their treatment of characters. To maintain interoperability, Ada will be forced to consider corresponding changes. Hence, the time has come for us to begin paying attention to this work. Amid continuing disagreement from some National Bodies, SC22 approved two resolutions on this subject:
Resolution 02-24: Recommendation on Coded Character Sets Support
JTC 1/SC 22 believes that programming languages should offer the appropriate support for ISO/IEC 10646, and the Unicode character set where appropriate.
Resolution 02-25: Guidance to SC 22/WG 20
JTC 1/SC 22 instructs SC 22/WG 20, and encourages the Unicode Consortium and SC 2/WG 2, to work together in a harmonious and constructive way. SC 22 believes that it is very important to programming languages that these three groups cooperate closely.