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Update on Fortran Standardization

Prepared for the BCS Fortran Specialist Group AGM, May 2000

WG5 meeting June 1999

The main decision taken, reluctantly, was to extend the schedule for the revision of the main Fortran language by two years. It is now envisaged that the first working draft of Fortran 200x will not be available to WG5 until June 2001 and that, after working its way through the various ISO processes, the revised standard will not be published until December 2004. This is because the task of working both on interpretations for Fortran 95 and on development of the revised standard is overburdening the diminishing resources available to the development body, J3. The stage-by-stage schedule is appended below and is in document WG5-N1343 in the WG5 electronic archive, ftp://ftp.nag.co.uk/sc22wg5/

The other main decision taken was to make some minor amendments to the specification of Fortran 200x, principally to improve object orientation facilities. All the various Fortran standardization projects were progressed (see below).

There was an indication from the US delegation that at this year's meeting they might propose that any future development of the Fortran standard, beyond the current revision, should be based solely on then-existing vendor extensions and not, as now, on requirements originating from ISO member bodies.

At the end of the meeting Miles Ellis announced his retirement as convenor. He had hoped to remain until publication of the revised standard, but pressures of other work combined with the change in schedule meant that he was unable to continue. He was warmly thanked for his work for WG5 and for standards more generally. John Reid, another member of the Fortran Specialist Group, has kindly agreed to serve as convenor and this appointment was formally confirmed by SC22, the parent committee of WG5, at its meeting in September 1999.

Future WG5 meetings

The next WG5 meeting will be held in Oulu, Finland on August 14-18, 2000. So far five people from the UK plus the convenor have indicated that they plan to attend. Anyone interested in going should contact the undersigned. Regrettably, no supporting funds are available - everyone has to find his or her own travel and living expenses.

Last year WG5 agreed to synchronize WG5 and J3 meetings by holding WG5 meetings during the years 2000-2002 in August. The August 2001 meeting will be held in the UK, probably in Oxford. No decision has yet been made about the location of further meetings; typically the participating countries host meetings in turn.

Progress on Fortran Standardization Projects

ISO/IEC 1539-1:1997 Fortran - Part 1: Base language

A year ago tables were shown at the FSG AGM showing progress item by item on the 'mandatory requirements' and 'minor technical enhancements' for Fortran 200x. Most items were marked 'complete'. Since then the specification of Fortran 200x was amended to remove the constructors part of constructors/destructors, to add generalization of structure constructors, to add an implicit root type, from which all extensible types are extended, to add dynamic type allocation, and to add a WITH-like construct.

Development of individual items, other than certain aspects of standardizing interoperability with C, is now essentially complete. The committee is now concentrating on resolving interpretations of Fortran 95, since it is important not to carry forward any ambiguities, and on integrating the whole document.

ISO/IEC 1539-2:1994 Fortran - Part 2: Varying length character strings

A revision to take advantage of the new features in Fortran 95, relative to Fortran 90, has passed its final ballot and will be published shortly.

ISO/IEC 1539-3:1999 Fortran - Part 3: Conditional compilation

This is now a formal, optional, standard. There are currently no plans to revise it or develop it.

ISO/IEC TR 15580:1998 Fortran - Floating-point exception handling

There is a final ballot on the revised technical report, with deadline April 26. At the previous ballot there was one minor suggested change, which was accepted, so it is anticipated that the revised report will be published later this year.

ISO/IEC TR 15581:1998 Fortran - Enhanced data type facilities

Similarly there is a final ballot on this revision with deadline April 26. At the previous ballot the only comment was to correct an obvious editorial error so again it is anticipated that the revised report will be published later this year.

References to WG5 documents are given with a view to aiding development of standards and on the understanding that these are working documents and must not be used for commercial purposes.

David Muxworthy
(Secretary, Fortran Specialist Group)
April 2000


Fortran base language revision schedule
agreed at the WG5 meeting, June 1999

J3 delivers to WG5 draft corrigendum 1 and current working draft 2000-06
WG5 approval of corrigendum 1 2000-08
WG5 provides J3 with review of F200x working draft 2000-08
Corrigendum 1 submitted for processing 2000-09
J3 delivers to WG5 draft corrigendum 2 and current working draft 2001-06
WG5 approval of corrigendum 2 2001-08
WG5 provides J3 with review of F200x working draft 2001-08
Corrigendum 2 submitted for processing 2001-09
J3 delivers proposed CD to WG5 2002-06
WG5 approval of CD 2002-08
First CD submitted for registration and approval 2002-09
First CD ballot initiated 2002-10
First CD ballot comments available 2003-02
WG5 meeting to resolve comments 2003-04
J3 delivers final CD to WG5 2003-06
WG5 review meeting 2003-08
Final CD submitted for approval 2003-09
Final CD ballot initiated 2003-10
Final CD ballot comments available 2004-03
WG5 approval of draft DIS 2004-04
DIS registered 2004-06
DIS ballot initiated 2004-07
DIS ballot results available 2004-10
Standard published 2004-12

Details of current Fortran standardization activities can be found in WG5's own World Wide Web pages.

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