From:ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC22
Programming languages, their environments and system software interfaces
Secretariat: U.S.A. (ANSI)
ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC22 N3605
SC 22/WG 5 Business Plan/Convener's Report
SC 22/WG 5 Convenor (J. Reid)
Other document (Open)
This document will be reviewed at the upcoming SC 22 Plenary under Agenda
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ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG5 N1538
WG5 Business Plan and Convener's Report to the ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22 2003
PERIOD COVERED BY THIS REPORT: August 2002 to August 2003.
SUBMITTED BY: Dr John Reid (Convener of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG5)
JKR Associates, 24 Oxford Road, Benson, Wallingford,
Oxon OX10 6LX, UK.
Phone: +44 1235 446493, Fax: +44 1235 446626,
1 MANAGEMENT SUMMARY
1.1 JTC1/SC22/WG5 Statement of Scope
The development and maintenance of ISO/IEC Fortran programming language
1.2 Project Report
1.2.1 Completed Projects
None in this period.
1.2.2 Projects Underway
22.02.01.01 Programming Language Fortran - Part 1: Base language
The requirements for the next revision of the base Fortran Standard
(IS 1539-1:1997), referred to informally as Fortran 2003 (formerly Fortran
2000), were agreed by WG5 at its meeting in Las Vegas, USA, in February
1997. In accordance with WG5's agreed strategic policy, the development of
the draft standard was delegated to INCITS/J3, acting as WG5's Primary
After rescheduling in 1999, the target date for the first CD ballot was
October 2002 and this was achieved slightly ahead of schedule. The ballot
was a Concurrent Registration and Approval Ballot and closed on 27 December.
13 member countries supported registration, 1 (Germany) did not, 1 (France)
abstained and 9 countries did not vote. The project was therefore
registered at the CD stage.
On the CD itself, 10 member countries supported approval without
comments, 3 (Japan, UK, USA) supported approval with comments, 1
(Germany) did not support approval, 1 (France) abstained and 9
countries did not vote.
WG5 and J3 met jointly in Las Vegas, 30 March to 4 April, considered
all the comments, and agreed on how to respond to them. A Disposition
of Comments Report was written (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC22 N3560, alias
ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG5 N1520) and the corresponding detailed edits were
constructed. The result was considered at another meeting of WG5 in
Dresden, 28 July to 1 August) and will be considered at another
meeting of J3 (August 18-22).
The intention is that only editorial changes or very minor technical
changes made from now on. In effect, the content of the new standard
has been chosen. It was therefore decided at the Dresden meeting to
change the informal name to Fortran 2003, since previous Fortran
standards have been named after the year in which the technical
content was chosen. It is hoped to submit a Final Committee Draft for
ballot at the end of October. We hope that this will enable
balloting to commence in November. The target date for the publication
of the revised standard is December 2004.
The repository of requirements (Standing Document 5) is old (1996). A
new repository will be established during the coming year. Items from
the old repository will be transferred only by WG5 itself or at the
request of countries.
WG5 and its Primary Development Body, J3, have continued to
collaborate actively by email. The joint meeting in Las Vegas also
permitted good collaboration.
The processing of interpretations continues, but there are relatively
few outstanding defect reports and no further corrigenda are planned.
22.02.01.05 Type 2 Technical Report on Enhanced Module Facilities
Full consideration of the TR on Enhanced Module Facilities has been
delayed because of the need to give priority to work on the new
standard. However, WG5 remains convinced that this is very important
in order to avoid 'recompilation cascades' when a single module of a
very large program is altered. Good progress was made on this at the
Dresden meeting of WG5 and the resulting draft will be polished by J3
at its meetings in August and November. It is hoped that a PDTR will be
submitted for balloting in December.
The TR does not specify the detailed relationship of its facilities to
ISO/IEC 1539-1:1997 (Fortran 95), but the language facilities described
are not dependent on new language features introduced in Fortran 2003.
22.02.03 Programming Language Fortran - Part 3: Conditional
Defect processing has started and suggested edits are collected in
document WG5 N1519, which was prepared at the meeting in Las Vegas
(March 2003). All changes are minor so WG5 proposes not to prepare a
corrigendum unless serious defects are found, in which case the
changes in N1519 will be included.
We anticipate that after the revision of the base language has been
published, a minor revision of this part may be appropriate, but work
on this has not commenced.
1.2.3 Cancelled Projects
1.3 Cooperation and Competition
WG5 cooperates closely with the ANSI INCITS/J3 Fortran Technical
Committee, to whom it has delegated the technical development of
Fortran 2003 as well as the maintenance of Fortran 95 (ISO/IEC
1539-1:1997). There is also close contact with the industry-driven HPF
and OpenMP Architecture Review Board, with several members of the Board
also being members of J3 and/or WG5. For example, the OpenMP board has
aligned the OpenMP 2.0 Release with Fortran 95. Many of those
responsible for the development of commercial Fortran compilers are
members of J3 and/or WG5.
Other important liaisons are those with IFIP WG2.5 (Numerical
Software), IEEE 754 (Floating-point hardware), and ANSI INCITS/H2
There are no competitive activities.
2 PERIOD REVIEW
2.1 Market Requirements
Fortran is the language of choice for much scientific, engineering,
and economic programming, particularly for very large programs that
have evolved over many years. The long delay between the release of
Fortran 77 and the availability of Fortran 90 compilers, at a time
when other languages, such as C and C++, were evolving rapidly, had a
significant impact on the use of Fortran, but there are now clear
signs that the facilities available in Fortran 90 and Fortran 95 are
causing a growing number of scientific and technological users to move
towards these latest versions of Fortran. Vendors have upgraded
their Fortran 90 compilers to Fortran 95, most of them have
incorporated the extensions of TR 15581 (allocatable array
extensions), and some have incorporated the extensions of TR 15580
(exception handling and support of IEEE floating-point arithmetic).
Most major Fortran compiler vendors are represented either on WG5 or
its Primary Development Body, INCITS/J3, as are many of the major
research establishments that rely on Fortran for their numerical
computing. In addition to vendor-supplied and specific mailing lists,
there is an active email list and an active usenet newsgroup for users
of Fortran, which provide valuable feedback from users. All these
diverse sources are being used to guide the development of the
language, both through revisions to the base language Standard, and
through other related standards and technical reports.
The next Fortran standard has passed a significant milestone with the
completion of the CD ballot and responses to all the comments.
SC22 may wish to note that in response to comments from the UK, the
draft now provides additional support for ISO 10646 on those
processors that implement it:
- allow the file format to be specified (to be UTF-8).
- reading/writing numeric data to 10646 variables.
- reading default character or ASCII data into 10646 variables.
- assignment of default character or ASCII variables to 10646
As elsewhere in the Standardization world, it is becoming increasingly
difficult to persuade employers to provide the necessary funding for
Standards activity. WG5 delegates most of the technical work involved
in developing Standards and Technical Reports to 'development bodies'
which are either based on a national Fortran committee, as in the case
of INCITS/J3, or consist of a (small) multinational group under
the leadership of the relevant project editor. WG5 currently
has one such active development body (the primary development body)
developing standards, and four development bodies monitoring published
standards and technical reports for maintenance purposes.
WG5 itself carries out much of its discussions via email, with an
annual meeting during the summer, and occasional other meetings at
critical stages in the development of the base language standard. The
meeting in March 2003 was attended by 22 members, including the
Convener, representing 4 countries; and that in July 2003 was attended
by 15 members from 6 countries.
3 FOCUS FOR NEXT WORK PERIOD
It is hoped that the final CD ballot for the revised Part 1 of the
Standard will start in November 2003. A joint meeting of WG5 and J3 in
Las Vegas, May 2-7 2004, will resolve the ballot comments and it is
hoped to deliver a DIS to SC22 for balloting in July 2004.
Work on the Type 2 Technical Report on Enhanced Module Facilities with
Project Editor Van Snyder will continue in parallel. It is hoped that
a PDTR will be submitted for approval in December 2003
and a Draft TR will be delivered to SC22 for balloting in July 2004.
WG5 operates under a strategic plan described in WG5 Standing Document
4, the latest version of which is WG5 N1349. In particular, the
revision of the base Standard, IS 1539-1, is delegated to ANSI
INCITS/J3 operating as WG5's Primary Development Body, while the other
projects for which WG5 is responsible are handled by other Development
Bodies, which liaise with the Primary Development Body as required.
As far as possible, WG5 tries to anticipate technical comments during
international ballots by holding informal ballots of its members
before any documents are submitted for ballot. Nevertheless,
unexpected technical comments can always delay the planned schedule.
WG5 has made extensive use of email for over a decade to speed up
technical development. Since 1995 most documents have been distributed
via an official file server in the UK; all documents have been
distributed in this way since 1997. An open web site is also used to
provide non-technical, and other publicly available, information to
In addition to speeding up the distribution of documents, the use of
electronic distribution and communication systems also provides many
other benefits, such as the ability to rapidly carry out informal
ballots of the members for various reasons.
3.3 Work Program Priorities
WG5's priority activities this year are the development of the
revision of the base Fortran language Standard, ISO/IEC 1539-1:1997
and the Type 2 Technical Report on Enhanced Module Facilities.
4 OTHER ITEMS
4.1 Action Requested at the Forthcoming SC22 Plenary
WG5 requests that final CD balloting of the revised Part 1 of the
Standard be commenced in November 2003 and that PDTR balloting of the TR
commence in December 2003.
4.2 Email Reflector
WG5 had continuing problems with the SC22 email reflector system
during the year, but the system has been changed to specify a
separate list of approved senders. Anything not from an approved
sender is refused and is not entered in the index, but is forwarded to
the convener. Attempts to use other systems were not successful. At the
time of writing, mail from one WG5 member is being refused and the
convener has to forward his mail to the list.
4.3 Recent Meetings
2002/08/11-16 Las Vegas, USA
2003/03/30-04/04 Las Vegas, USA
2003/07/28-08/01 Dresden, Germany
4.4 Future Meetings
2004/05/2-7 Las Vegas, USA (Final CD ballot resolution)
Note that WG5 normally meets annually, with extra meetings being held
as/when necessary to process ballot comments or other high priority
activities that do not accord with the regular meeting schedule.
WG5's Primary Development Body, INCITS/J3, meets quarterly. Other
work is carried out via email.