From:ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC22
Programming languages, their environments and system software interfaces
Secretariat: U.S.A. (ANSI)
ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC22 N3762
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
25 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036
Telephone: (212) 642-4918
Fax: (212) 840-2298
_______________________end of document, beginning of cover
ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG5 N1608
WG5 Business Plan and Convener's Report to the ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22 2004
PERIOD COVERED BY THIS REPORT: August 2003 to July 2004.
SUBMITTED BY: John Reid
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, 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 Development Body.
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
2002. Following this, the project was registered at the CD stage, a
Disposition of Comments Report was written (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC22 N3560) and
the corresponding detailed edits were constructed.
The result was the subject of an FCD ballot, 13 October 2003 to 13
February 2004. 7 National Bodies approved without comments (Czech
Republic, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea,
Netherlands), 3 approved with comments (Canada, UK, USA) 2 abstained
(France, Switzerland), and none disapproved. The detailed comments were all
suggestions for correcting minor technical or editorial errors.
WG5 and J3 met jointly in Las Vegas, May 2-7th, considered all the comments,
and agreed on how to respond to them. A Disposition of Comments Report was
written (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC22 N3739) and the corresponding detailed edits were
constructed. The result was sent to the Secretariat on 13 May and she sent
it to ISO for DIS balloting on 17 May, but the ballot did not commence until
12 July. It runs to 12 September.
In a message to ISO, Sally Seitz (Secretariat) wrote 'ISO has made it very
clear to committee secretaries that time is of the essence in standards
development (e.g. reducing the timeframe for standards development), and SC
22 has been working diligently to prepare documents in a timely manner and
this delay in ballot initiation is disappointment'. I concur entirely with
this sentiment and request that SC22 complain about the delay.
The target date for the publication of the revised standard is December
2004. We are still hopeful that this should be possible.
A new Repository of Requirements (Standing Document 5) for the next revision
has been established (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG5 N1592), with just four items,
all from the UK. Meanwhile, the US (J3) is actively considering a large
number of suggestions, but has not yet chosen which to submit to the
Repository. It was agreed at the May meeting of WG5 that the next revision
should be minor (as was Fortran 95 as a revision of Fortran 90) with a
target publication date of 2009.
All the outstanding interpretations were considered at the May meeting and
draft responses were constructed to 25 of them. These are being checked in a
J3 letter ballot. Our procedure is to follow this with a ballot of WG5
members. This gives plenty of scope for detailed analysis and gives the
result good credibility. If the process results in edits to the standard, we
plan to collect them into a Corrigendum in the summer of 2005.
22.02.01.05 Type 2 Technical Report on Enhanced Module Facilities
The TR on Enhanced Module Facilities, whose principal aim is to avoid
recompilation cascades' when a single module of a very large program is
altered, was the subject of a three-month PDTR Registration and Approval
Letter Ballot, terminating on 23 March 2004. There being no 'No' votes, both
passed. There was only one technical point raised and this was already
flagged in the draft, since an edit to Fortran 2003 was needed. Satisfactory
edits to Fortran 2003 and the TR were agreed and a Disposition of Comments
Report was written (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC22 N3737). The result is the subject of
a DTR ballot that runs from 18 June to 18 August.
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.
22.02.02 Programming Language Fortran - Part 2: Varying Length
Features of Fortran 2003 cover almost all the requirements for which Part 2
was written. However, the new standard has not yet been published and it is
likely to be several years before compilers will be widely available.
Therefore, WG5 requests that this part of the standard be renewed.
22.02.03 Programming Language Fortran - Part 3: Conditional
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 Projects Withdrawn
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). Some have begun implementing
the new features of Fortran 2003.
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 scientific 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
The next Fortran standard has passed a significant milestone with the
commencement of the DIS ballot. Similarly, the TR on enhanced module
facilities has passed a significant milestone with the commencement of its
As elsewhere in the Standardization world, it is becoming increasingly
difficult to persuade employers to provide the necessary funding for
Standards activity. The number of employers, especially among computer
vendors, continues to decline through corporate mergers and acquisitions.
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
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 meeting in May 2004 was attended by 21 members,
including the Convener, representing 5 member bodies.
3 FOCUS FOR NEXT WORK PERIOD
It is hoped that the DIS ballot for the revised Part 1 of the Standard will
lead to publication before the end of 2004.
It is hoped that the DTR ballot on the Type 2 Technical Report on Enhanced
Module Facilities will lead to publication before the end of 2004.
It is envisaged that the first corrigendum for Part 1 will be submitted in
the summer of 2005.
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 interested parties.
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.
3.2.3 Work Program Priorities
WG5's priority activities this year are the publication of the revision of
the base Fortran language Standard, ISO/IEC 1539-1:1997, the publication of
the Type 2 Technical Report on Enhanced Module Facilities, and the
consideration of items submitted to the Repository as candidates for the
4. ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION
4.1 WG5 Liaisons
See Section 1.3.
4.2 Recent Meetings
2003/03/30-04/04 Las Vegas, USA
2003/07/28-08/01 Dresden, Germany
2004/05/02-07 Las Vegas, USA
4.3 Future Meetings
2005/05/9-13 Delft, Netherlands
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.
5. SC22 PLENARY ACTIONS RELATED TO WG5
5.1 Delay to DIS ballot
WG5 requests that a complaint be made to ISO re the delay in commencing the
DIS ballot for part 1 of the Fortran standard.
5.2 Change of editor for Part 1 of the Fortran standard
The editor of Part 1, Richard Maine has indicated that he wishes to step
down once the revision has been published. He been editor since 1994 so has
been responsible for most of the editing for Fortran 95 and all of the
editing for Fortran 2003. We owe him heartfelt thanks. Malcolm Cohen, NAG,
UK, has indicated that he is willing to take over and I will propose this at
the appropriate time.
5.3 Renewal of Part 2 of the Fortran standard
Part 2 of the Fortran standard, on Varying Length Character Strings, will
become due for renewal during the year. WG5 requested that it be renewed.
25 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 642-4918
Fax: (212) 840-2298