ISO/ IEC JTC1/SC22/WG14 N679

					Document: ISO/WG14 N679 - J11/97-042

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


January 1997

SUBJECT:              SC22 Work Program Review

SOURCE:               Secretariat, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC22

WORK ITEM:            N/A

STATUS:               Please note that this document contains a special
                      request for information from WG3, WG4, WG5, WG9,
                      WG13, WG14, WG16, WG17, WG19, WG21, WG22 and the
                      United States Member Body.



ACTION:               To SC22 Member Bodies (except the United States)
                      for information.

                      To the United States Member Body and WG3, WG4,
                      WG5, WG9, WG13, WG14, WG16, WG17, WG19, WG21 and
                      WG22 for response to the SC22 Chairman by
                      JUNE 30, 1997.

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
_______________end of title page; beginning of text ___________________
Programming languages, their environments and system software interfaces
Secretariat:  U.S.A.  (ANSI)

January 15, 1997

To: SC22 National Bodies and Working Group Conveners

Subject: SC22 Work Program Review

The JTC1 Ad Hoc on Re-engineering in October, 1996 reviewed the work
program of the JTC1 Subcommittees and recommended cancellation of all
projects not meeting certain criteria: 

  -- are there 5 NBs actively supporting the work? 
  -- is the project resulting from a Fast-Track contribution?  (Exceptions
were made to the 5 NB participation criteria where an external commitment
such as fast tracking a standard from an outside source was the main
purpose of the project.) 
  -- is the project technology modern/current/new? 
  -- is there market demand for the project? 
  -- is there proof of functionality for the project technology

The review of SC22 resulted in no recommendations for cancellation, in
view of the work program review that we did at our last plenary.  However,
a number of "special actions" were recommended for various SCs, including
SC22.  The "special action" for SC22 states as follows: 

     "As the nature of the SC22 work program is such that a significant
number of projects relate to specialized, limited-use languages, the
continuation of these in the SC22 work program should be viewed in
accordance with the key technology directions to be established by JTC1; 
SC22 review the ITTF 'late standards' list and accelerate, cancel or
correct status as appropriate; SC22 report on its consistency with new
technology directions, especially with regard to 'special interest'
projects; SC22 review 47.n, 14977 and 15145 at the end of the current fast
track process." 

At its December plenary, JTC1 endorsed the "special actions," including
the one above, and requested a response from SC22 in time for the
September 1997 JTC1 plenary.  At the December plenary, I questioned the
meaning of "specialized, limited-use languages" since I strongly suspect
that the list of languages that some in JTC1 would include in this
category may differ significantly from the views within SC22.  Since no
one had a list of which languages were intended by this phrase, SC22 was
directed to address all of its languages. 

While this task will take a bit of effort, I believe it is a real
opportunity.  It is quite evident to me that there are many in JTC1 who do
not appreciate the importance of our language standards, or the breadth of
their usage.  Even where they are aware of wide usage, they may not
appreciate the current nature of the applications but rather look at some
of our better known languages as obsolete.  This is our chance to set the
record straight. 

At our last plenary, our WG3 convener cited a number of examples of the
relevance of the APL language to some important applications in the
business world.  This is exactly the sort of thing we need to document for
all of our languages. 

In order to answer this JTC1 request, please respond to the following
action items by 30 June 1997 so that your responses can be consolidated
into a single document for review at our plenary in August prior to
submission to JTC1.  I will distribute a separate memorandum on the
subject of the ITTF "late standards" list which has not yet been
distributed to SC22. 

1. ACTION ITEM for All Programming Language WG Conveners: 

Please document the market relevance of your standard language.  Consider
inclusion of such items as: 
  -- estimated number and types of users; 
  -- important application areas where the language is used (for example,
air traffic control; on-line banking and funds transfer; command and
control; inventory management; or whatever); 
  -- approximate financial value of any important applications, if known; 
  -- "current" technology incorporated in the language; 
  -- any other factors you believe would be relevant for your language. 

The objective is not "completeness" but rather to highlight areas that
demonstrate the importance of our language standards in today's
marketplace.  I am looking for something no longer than one page in length
per language. 

2. ACTION ITEM for the WG22 Convener: 

Please provide appropriate input on market relevance of the 47.n projects. 

3. ACTION ITEM for the WG19 Convener: 

Please provide appropriate input on market relevance of ISO/IEC 14977,
Syntactic Metalanguage - Extended BNF. 

4. ACTION ITEM for the United States National Body: 

Please provide appropriate input on market relevance of ISO/IEC 15145,

Thank you. 

Robert H. Follett 

_______________________end of SC22 N2393 _________________________