Business Plan and Convener's
JTC1/SC22/WG4 - Programming Language COBOL
August 18, 2005
July 2004 - August 2005
Don SchrickerNancy Margarite Lane
Convener, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 22/WG 4
1. Management Summary
1.1 JTC 1/SC22 WG4 Statement of Scope
Development and maintenance of ISO/IEC standards related to programming
1.2 Project Report
1.2.1 Completed Projects
22.01.07 Revision of ISO/IEC 1989:1985
This document was published in 2002.
The revision provides major new features, including: cultural adaptability,
large character set support, object orientation, exception handling, new
data-types (bit, floating point, native binary), portable arithmetic,
conditional compilation, user-defined functions, file sharing/record locking,
and improved interoperability with other programming languages.
22.01.07.01 Object finalization for programming language COBOL (Type 2
This TR was published in 2003.
1.2.2 Projects Underway
22.01.08 Native COBOL syntax for XML support (Type 2 TR)
The SC22 ballot for combined registration and approval of pdTR 24716 was approved by SC22 this year as indicated by
SC22 N3908. WG4 is developing a
response to the comments.
22.01.09 COBOL collection classes (Type 2 TR)
The SC22 ballot for combined registration and approval of pdTR 24717 was approved by SC22 this year as indicated by
SC22 N 3909. WG4 is developing a
response to the comments.
1.2.3 Projects Withdrawn
1.3 Cooperation and Competition
WG4 cooperates closely with INCITS COBOL Technical Committee J4, to whom SC22
has delegated the technical development and maintenance of COBOL.
There is no apparent direct competition with any other standards development
2. Period Review
2.1 Market Requirements
COBOL continues to be widely used for development
of programs and for enhancement and re-engineering of existing applications.
Many factors drive the market for COBOL standardization:
trend in the industry is to web-enable COBOL applications, with COBOL running
on a server interacting with a non-COBOL user interface. This gives rise to
the need for XML support in the COBOL language. The rapidly developing use of
XML and the interest on the part of users and COBOL vendors in the development
of features in COBOL for handling XML led WG4 to respond with the development
of Technical Report 24, Native COBOL syntax for XML support.
pressure for new technology led COBOL vendors to cooperate on object-oriented
design through the standardization process. Implementations of the
object-oriented features are now available and users are designing them into
new applications. However, the lack of COBOL O-O class libraries, particularly
for collection classes, is seen as hindering the use of object-oriented
features in COBOL. WG4 is
responding to this with the development of Technical Report 24717, COBOL
dynamic nature of data processing today has given rise to the need for
variable length data items and variable length tables. These will be addressed in the next
Continued evolution of the international standard for COBOL is essential to
provide the benefits of new technologies and new environments to COBOL users
approval on the Combined Registration and Approval ballot for pDTR 24716,
Native COBOL syntax for XML
approval on the Combined Registration and Approval ballot for pDTR 24717,
COBOL collection classes
approval of TC1 for the 2002 standard
approval of TC2 for the 2002 standard
on the development of a revision of ISO/IEC 1989:2002 is in progress. WG4 will assess the status of that
work at its October 2005 meeting.
WG4 received 15 defect reports in the reporting period. WG4 responded to these 15 defects in
RoR #2 (SC22 N3890) and TC #2. (SC22
N3891). WG4 has no open defect reports.
WG4 meets as needed, usually once a year, and works by electronic
correspondence between meetings. Experts from five "P" member countries
participate in meetings: Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, the UK, and the USA.
Two experts from "O" member New
Zealand participate in the most meetings.
Detailed technical development is delegated to INCITS J4. J4 has 7 members
participating in detailed technical development.
3. Focus Next Work Period
WG4 will focus on the following:
processing for ISO/IEC 1989:2002, including publishing of two Technical
Corrigenda, and development of a third
to comments on the 2 Technical Reports, one for collection classes and one for
XML support, and submitting them for ballot as a revised PDTR or a DTR,
depending on how extensive the changes are.
a revision of ISO/IEC 1989. This report requests a subdivision of the work
item for that purpose. The convener will forward a schedule to the SC22
secretariat after the October 2005 WG4 meeting.
A DTR for collection classes and a DTR for XML support
A CD for the revision
TC1 and TC2 for publication
TC3 for SC22 ballot
WG4 relies on INCITS J4 to carry out the detailed technical work and to
identify issues needing WG4 direction.
No risks are foreseen.
No opportunities have been identified beyond those noted in the Work Program
3.3 Work Program Priorities
WG4 has the following priorities:
of a TR for XML support
of a TR for collection classes
of defect reports for the revised standard and correction of defects by
of a future revision
4. Administrative Information
WG4 has liaisons with the following groups:
4.2 WG4 Meetings
4.2.1 Recent Meetings
10-13 September 2002, Nara,
26-28 June 2003, Las Vegas,
18-21 October 2004, The Hague,
4.4.2 Future Meetings
17-21 October 2005, Las Vegas,
5. SC22 Plenary Actions Related to WG4
Subdivide the work item to create a revision of the COBOL
ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 22 approves the
subdivision of project 22.01.01 for revision of ISO/IEC
Approve Charles Stevens as the convener of WG4.
Mr. Charles Stevens has the endorsement of the U.S. national
ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 22 approves
Charles Stevens as the convener of WG4.
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