ISO/ IEC JTC1/SC22 N2576

Date: Sat, 30 Aug 1997 17:36:10 -0400 (EDT)
From: "william c. rinehuls" <>
Subject: SC22 N2576 - SC22 Chairman's Report for JTC 1 Plenary

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Programming languages, their environments and system software interfaces
Secretariat:  U.S.A.  (ANSI)


SC22 Chairman's Report for the September 1997 ISO/IEC JTC 1 Plenary


Secretariat, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC22










Address reply to:
ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC22 Secretariat
William C. Rinehuls
9457 Rushing Creek Court
Springfield, VA 22153 USA
Telephone:  +1 (703) 912-9680
Fax:  +1 (703) 912-2973
email:  rinehuls@access.digex

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Programming languages, their environments and system software interfaces
Secretariat:  U.S.A.  (ANSI)

Subcommittee 22 Chairman's Report
on the JTC 1/SC 22 Plenary Meeting
18-22 August 1997

The tenth plenary meeting of JTC 1 Subcommittee 22 was held 18-22 August
1997 in Ottawa, Canada, eleven months after our previous plenary.  This
report will summarize the results of that meeting. 

We had a very successful meeting.  Ten National Bodies were represented. 
Eleven of our fourteen working group conveners were present although all
submitted Business Plans to the plenary.  The plenary adopted 36
resolutions, not including those expressing appreciation.  All except one
were adopted unanimously. 

SC 22 took special note of the unexpected passing of Brian Meek in July. 
Brian was a pillar of programming language standardization activity and
made many contributions to SC 22 both as a member and as head of the
United Kingdom delegation.  He will be sorely missed. 

SC 22 developed and approved a Business Plan for submission to JTC 1.  The
Business Plan includes general information on overall SC 22 scope,
strategies, risks, opportunities and work program priorities, as well as
specific work program details compiled from the Working Group Business

The plenary extended the study period for the Java Study Group until the
1998 SC 22 plenary, with Dr. Robert Mathis continuing as convener.  Since
plans for Java-related standards are not yet firm, it appeared prudent to
keep the study group in place at this time.  No meetings are currently
planned and the group will work electronically to the maximum extent
possible.  In addition, SC 22 appointed a liaison with SC 29 for
coordinating Java-related standards and a liaison with ECMA TC39 for
coordinating ECMAScript standards. 

In response to the "special action" recommendations from the Ad Hoc on
Reengineering in JTC 1 N 4504 (and previously in N 4302 Revised), SC 22
developed and approved a work program review covering all programming
languages with active development work.  The Ad Hoc referred to
"specialized, limited-use languages" but did not indicate which languages
it felt were in this category.  SC 22 therefore decided to present
information on the market relevance of all of its programming language
projects.  SC 22 was also asked to review three projects that were
originally submitted via the fast track process; this review is also
included in our response document.  In a separate document, SC 22 is
submitting comments on the "late standards" list distributed by ITTF in
JTC 1 N 4297. 

SC 22 endorsed the need for the Workshop on Cultural Adaptability and
approved a timetable for development of SC 22 positions on workshop
issues.  The plenary named three delegates to represent SC 22 at the
workshop.  We also are requesting SC 2 to add three specific individuals
to their Workshop Planning Committee as representatives from SC 22. 

SC 22 took note of the JTC 1 Policy on Electronic Document Distribution
and the associated implementation timeline.  The plenary developed and
adopted a guideline document covering details of server-based distribution
of SC 22 documents, for use by all SC 22 participants.  This will be added
to our list of SC 22 Standing Documents.  SC 22 is particularly grateful
to Mr. Keld Simonsen of Denmark and the Danish UNIX Users Group for their
support in setting up and maintaining the SC 22 World Wide Web site for SC
22 documents, with appropriate access controls where required. 

We did, however, have considerable difficulty understanding one aspect of
the JTC 1 policy.  In the JTC 1 policy document (JTC 1 N 4761), there is a
requirement in section 4.1 for JTC 1 approval where "standards documents
may be prepared which utilize other formats" than those on the acceptable
list.  While SC 22 uses a variety of tools to prepare standards documents,
in all cases SC 22 intends to produce documents in at least one of the
acceptable formats.  It was therefore unclear in what situations, if any,
JTC 1 approval needs to be sought.  A separate contribution requesting
clarification was developed for submission to the Ad Hoc on Implementation
of IT. 

SC 22 approved a request to JTC 1 to obtain permission for our working
group on the Ada language to make publicly available Technical Corrigenda
and Records of Responses documents regarding ISO/IEC 8652. 

SC 22 analyzed the new procedure for the maintenance of mature standards
proposed by SC 21 in JTC 1 N 4353.  While this procedure may be
appropriate for SC 21, we found that it was far too complex for our needs
in SC 22 and would entail considerable unnecessary overhead.  This is not
a new problem for us as we have had several cases where mature standards
were developed by working groups that have since been disbanded.  SC 22
developed and approved a short contribution to JTC 1 on this subject,
recommending that subcommittees retain the flexibility to handle this
maintenance in whatever manner is most effective for their standards. 

In order to expedite the standards development procedure in those cases
where it is warranted, SC 22 authorized our Secretariat to conduct
concurrent CD registration and CD letter ballots for three projects, and
to conduct a concurrent PDTR registration and PDTR letter ballot for one
other project.  SC 22 also withdrew three projects (previously approved by
project subdivision) as they were no longer justified. 

The PCTE project is expected to be completed during the next year.  The
term of office for the convener, Mr. Regis Minot, expired with the current
plenary; it was extended until completion of the work at which time it is
anticipated that the working group will be disbanded. 

Another convener, Mr. Jim Isaak of WG 15 on POSIX, completed his term of
office and announced that he plans to retire from that position.  He
agreed to continue until a new convener can be identified and SC 22
extended his term on that basis. 

SC 22 maintains a five year meeting schedule and is pleased to report that
we have host National Bodies identified for each year through 2002.  The
next SC 22 plenary is planned for 24-28 August 1998 in Copenhagen,
Denmark.  We are very concerned about the termination of support for the
SC 22 Secretariat on 10 July 1998 as indicated in JTC 1 N 4808.  Lack of
support for the SC 22 Secretariat and Chairman would be very detrimental
to our standards development work program. 

Robert H. Follett
Chairman, JTC 1/SC 22

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