ISO/ IEC JTC1/SC22 N2227

Date: Mon, 5 Aug 1996 16:51:46 -0400 (EDT)
From: "william c. rinehuls" <>
Subject: document SC22 N2227

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



August 1996

TITLE:                   WG4 Convener's Report for the September 1996
                         JTC 1/SC22 Plenary

SOURCE:                  Secretariat, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC22

WORK ITEM:               N/A

STATUS:                  N/A


DOCUMENT TYPE:           Convener's Report

ACTION:                  To SC22 Member Bodies for information or
                         action, as applicable.

                         THEREIN WILL BE AGENDA ITEMS FOR THE
                         SEPTEMBER 1996 JTC 1/SC22 PLENARY

Address reply to:
ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC22 Secretariat
William C. Rinehuls
8457 Rushing Creek Court
Springfield, VA 22153  USA
Tel:  +1 (703) 912-9680
Fax:  +1 (703) 912-2973


                                            ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC22/WG4 N 094

Subject:       WG4 Convener's Report to JTC 1/SC22
Date:          August 2, 1996
From:          Ann Wallace, SC22/WG4 Convener

Work Scope.  WG4 has the following projects:

1.  Project 22.01.07 for the Revision  of ISO 1989, Programming language
    COBOL, as an ASC X3 "I" project with development by X3J4.

2.  Defect  handling in  accordance  with the  Synchronization Plan  for
    activities of WG4 and ASC X3 Technical Committee X3J4.

Meetings.  WG4 has met once since the last SC22 Plenary:
            May 20-24, 1996       Zaandam, The Netherlands

The following meetings are planned:
            March 17-21, 1997     California, USA (city to be confirmed)

The following countries participate in meetings:  Canada, Germany,
Japan, The Netherlands, the UK, and the US.  France participates in
correspondence but has been unable to send anyone to the last two
meetings.  The continued participation of France is in doubt.

Issues.  Project 22.01.07 is on the list of projects not reaching CD
stage within three years of NP approval.  WG4 recommends retention of
the project, and has just forwarded a document to the secretariat for
combined CD registration and CD ballot.

Project Status -- 22.01.07:   Revision of ISO 1989.  Development of this
revision began in mid-1992 with the proposal of a small and quick
revision to complete in mid-1997.  Over time, the scope of the project
has grown in response to industry emphasis on object-oriented technology
and to input received on the informal working draft review.

The major enhancements to COBOL now include

-   internationalization
-   file sharing and record locking capability
-   type declarations
-   enhanced interlanguage call
-   enhanced detection and reporting of exceptions
-   a datatype for bit handling and boolean operations
-   floating point data types
-   a national character datatype for multiple-octet coded character
-   typed and untyped pointers and the capability to acquire and free
-   extended letters in identifiers
-   increased portability of arithmetic
-   free-form source text
-   compiler directives for portable specification of processing options
-   automatically-expanded tables
-   an enhanced report writer
-   a data validation facility
-   a screen i-o facility, based on the XPG4 screen facility

The internationalization support has a dependency on POSIX for locale
specifications and on the work of WG20 for monetary formats in locales.
Extended identifiers are supported with an implementation dependency for
case mapping.  While the source code will be non-portable, users will
have the capability to express identifiers in their own language when
portability is not important.  The implementation dependency results
from the lack of a specification of attributes of characters from WG20
because the work item was not approved.

Based on experience in responding to comments for the informal review,
the schedule is revised to allow more time for modifying the document
and responding to comments.

The following are revised target dates:

   Old Date     New Date      Stage    Description

   08/96        08/96         3.1      Initiate combined CD
                                       registration and CD ballot
   05/97        11/97         4.1      Initiate 4-month DIS ballot
   12/97        08/98         5.0      IS

The document for combined CD registration/CD ballot was forwarded to the
SC22 secretariat on August 2, 1996.

Synchronization plan.  No changes are required to the synchronization

Document editing.  Difficulties continue with the word processor used to
produce the draft (WordPerfect).  It still takes a week to generate and
print the document by trial and error combinations of files.  Indexing
and automatic cross-referencing are not usable.

While this slows the work, the effort to convert to another word
processor is perceived as a big hurdle that would substantially delay
the standard, and no-one is certain which word processor would be
completely successful.  No action is planned during the current

Web page.  The WG4 web page has not yet been established; this is a
matter of time.

Liaisons.  WG4 has liaisons with the following SC22 working groups:

-   WG9 - Donald Nelson
-   WG11 - Donald Nelson
-   WG20 - Ann Wallace

Michel Dessier of France participates in WG4 as Category C Liaison from
the X/Open COBOL working group.

Defect Handling.  WG4 has not processed any defect reports in the
reporting period.

______ End of Report ___________________________________________________