ISO/ IEC JTC1/SC22 N3921


Programming languages, their environments and system software interfaces

Secretariat:  U.S.A.  (ANSI)


ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC22 N3921



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
Item 8.3.  

















Sally Seitz


25 West 43rd Street

New York, NY  10036

Telephone:  (212) 642-4918

Fax:             (212) 840-2298

Email: <> 


____________________End of cover page, beginning of document_______

ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG5 N1632 


WG5 Business Plan and Convener's Report to the ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22 2005



PERIOD COVERED BY THIS REPORT: August 2004 to July 2005.








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 Programming Language Fortran - Part 1: Base language


The requirements for the 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 final publication 

was December 2004 and this was achieved slightly ahead of schedule. 

It was published on Nov 18 as ISO/IEC 1539-1:2004(E) and is in the 

ISO on-line catalogue, price CHF 340.


The final stages did not run as smoothly as we wished. The DIS, together 

with a Disposition of Comments Report from the FCD ballot was sent to 

the Secretariat on 13 May 2004 and she sent it to ISO for DIS balloting 

on 17 May, but the ballot did not commence until 12 July. It ran to 

12 September and it passed 17-0. Two further months delay then occurred

before publication, during which communication with ISO was poor. The

editor wished to make 6 purely typographical corrections and offered to 

send a new pdf file. He also wished to correct 7 differences in 

pagination between the DIS and the version with line numbers (that is 

likely to be used exclusively by the committees in preference to the ISO 

version without them). This offer was not accepted, but most of the 

requested corrections were made. However, the "hot links" that were in 

the PDF sent to ISO were not in the published version, which resulted in 

several user complaints. Later, ISO asked the editor if he could produce 

a revised PDF with the hot links, but this was impractical because the 

lack of prior coordination meant that all the editing done by ISO would 

have had to be redone in the LaTeX source used by WG5 to produce the 

hot-linked PDF. This would have led to pagination differences. Type 2 Technical Report on Enhanced Module Facilities


The TR on Enhanced Module Facilities was published on Feb 15 as 

ISO/IEC TR 19767:2005(E) and is in the ISO on-line catalogue, price 

CHF 75. The principal aims are to enable decomposing large and 

interconnected facilities into tractable units, avoid 'recompilation 

cascades' when a single module of a very large program is altered, 

assist packaging proprietary software, and ease library creation and 



Again, the final stages did not run as smoothly as we wished. It was

the subject of a DTR ballot that ran from 18 June 2004 to 18 August 2004. 

This was passed with 13 yeses without comments, 0 yeses with comments, 

0 nos, and 6 abstentions. The editor was asked to provide a new version

with some editorial changes in the Foreword and a change of fonts.

This was sent on 1 September 2004. A proof prepared from this was not

sent until 15 December 2004. We responded to this on 23 December

with a short list of substantive changes and a short list of 

non-substantive changes. The editor offered a new version with all 

these changes included, but this was not accepted. Only the substantive

changes were made. 



1.2.2 Projects Underway Programming Language Fortran - Part 1: Base language


The primary responsibility for maintenance of Fortran 2003 has been

delegated to INCITS/J3. Our procedure is that each interpretation 

request is first considered by J3. Once a response has been 

agreed at a J3 meeting, a J3 letter ballot is held, and if this is 

successful it is followed by an informal WG5 vote. A vote is deemed to 

have failed if there are any no votes with reasons that have not so far 

been considered. This gives plenty of scope for detailed analysis and 

gives the result good credibility. 


30 interpretations had passed all these stages by the end of the May 2005

meeting and the first corrigendum was prepared. Defect Report 1 for 

Fortran 2003 (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG5 N1640) contains responses to all

these and the corresponding edits are collected in the first draft

corrigendum for Fortran 2003 (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG5 N1641). They are

currently being balloted (ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC22 N3905), with due date

31 August 2005.  


At the time of writing (July 2005) there are 33 interpretations being



It was agreed at the May 2004 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. WG5 is already committed to including

the enhanced module facilities of its TR. A Repository of Requirements 

(Standing Document 5) has been established and revised several times;

the latest version is ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG5 N1626. It contains 49 items 

from USA, 6 items from the Russian Federation, and 10 items from the UK. 

They have all been allocated an integer 'severity level' (see WG5 N1594) 

that varies between 7 for a technical change likely to need more than 

2 years to develop to 3 for a very minor technical change. At the 

meeting in May 2005, all items at level 4 and above and many of those

at level 3 were considered. 16 were chosen definitely, the most 

significant of which was co-arrays for parallel processing (level 6).

17 were chosen subject to J3 time permitting, and 12 were excluded

definitely. The plan is to make a final choice at the next meeting

(Feb. 2006) Type 2 Technical Report on Enhanced Module Facilities


With the publication of the TR on Enhanced Module Facilities, 

this now enters a maintenance stage.  



22.02.02 Programming Language Fortran - Part 2: Varying Length

Character Strings


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 continues to have responsibility

for maintenance, but there have been no interpretation requests. 



22.02.03 Programming Language Fortran - Part 3: Conditional



Now that 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. WG5 continues to have responsibility for maintenance, but 

there have been no interpretation requests.



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 as well as the maintenance of Fortran 2003 (ISO/IEC

1539-1:2004(E)). 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),  ANSI INCITS/H2 

(Data base), and ANSI INCITS/J11 (C)


There are no competitive activities.






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 two 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 reports.



2.2 Achievements 


The Fortran standard has passed a significant milestone with the

publication of the Fortran 2003 standard. Similarly, the TR on enhanced 

module facilities has passed a significant milestone with its publication. 



2.3 Resources


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 compiler

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 purposes.


WG5 itself carries out much of its discussions via email, with an

annual meeting, usually during the summer, and occasional other meetings 

at critical stages in the development of the base language standard. The

meeting in May 2005 was attended by 23 members, including the Convener, 

representing 6 member bodies.





3.1 Deliverables


It is envisaged that the second corrigendum for Part 1 will be

submitted in the summer of 2006.


It is envisaged that a new work item for the revision of Part 1 will be

submitted in the summer of 2006.



3.2 Strategies


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.



3.2.1 Risks


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.



3.2.2 Opportunities


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 maintenance of the base

Fortran language Standard, ISO/IEC 1539-1:2004(E) and the consideration

of items submitted to the Repository as candidates for the next revision.






4.1  WG5 Liaisons


See Section 1.3.



4.2 Recent Meetings


2003/07/28-08/01 Dresden, Germany

2004/05/02-07    Las Vegas, USA

2005/05/9-13     Delft, Netherlands 



4.3 Future Meetings


2006/02/13-17      George Mason University,  USA 

2007/07 or 2007/08 London, UK


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.






5.1 Free availability of three TRs and a Corrigendum


WG5 requests that WG5's three Type 2 TRs be made freely available. They



ISO/IEC TR 15580:2001

ISO/IEC TR 15581:2001

ISO/IEC TR 19767:2005


It also requests that if the Technical Corrigendum that is currently being 

balloted is published that this be made freely available.



5.2 Change of editor for Part 1 of the Fortran standard


WG5 requests that Malcolm Cohen, NAG, UK, be appointed as editor of 

Part 1 in succession to Richard Maine who stepped down with the publication

of Fortran 2003.



5.3 Delays during the final stages of publication of standards


ISO has made it very clear to committee secretaries that time is of the

in standards development. Therefore WG5 requests SC22 to discuss with the

secretariat the delays that WG5 experienced in the final stages of

of both Fortran 2003 and the TR (see Section 1.2.1 of this report) and to




Sally Seitz

Program Manager


25 West 43rd Street

New York, NY 10036

Phone: (212) 642-4918

Fax: (212) 840-2298