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ASIS New Work Item approved by SC22

From Currie Colket, Chair of ASISWG/ASISRG:

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) and IEC (the International Electrotechnical Commission) form the specialized system for world wide standardization. National Bodies that are members of ISO or IEC participate in the development of International Standards through technical committees established by the respective organization to deal with particular fields of technical activity.

ISO and IEC have established the Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC1) to address Information Technology. There are a number of Sub Committees under JTC1. SC22 is responsible for the standardization of Programming Languages, their environments and system software. A Working Group is established for the standardization of major technologies. WG9, in particular, was established to standardize the Ada programming language. Other JTC subcommittees and working group activities can be seen on the ISO/IEC JTC1 US TAG Home Page.

ASISRG was unanimously approved as the ASIS Rapporteur Group under WG9 on 28 April 1995. This was an important milestone as it formally recognized the importance of ASIS in the Ada international community. However, for the ASIS Standardization Work to be formally recognized by ISO, a New Work Item (NWI) must be approved up the chain through SC22 and JTC1.

The SC22 ballot on the ASIS NWI (N1943) must be approved by 5 Participating Members (P Members). Each national approval signifies a number of things, such as:

  1. The work is valuable and should be standardized at the international level,
  2. The work does not conflict with any ongoing work other technical committees/subcommittees.
  3. The work is best done in the identified Working Group (in this case ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22 WG9/ASISRG)
  4. The national body is willing to comment on subsequent products of the Rapporteur group.

Balloting options include:

  1. Approve without comment (this is the best we can hope for)
  2. Approve with comment (approved assuming the comment is satisfactorily dealt with)
  3. Supporting Disapproval
  4. Abstain

And of course, if the ballot was not received prior to the ballot close out date, then a "not voting" status is recorded.

The SC22 just completed their ballot on 2 February 1996. The SC22 Ballot on the ASIS NWI (N1943) closed with a tally of:

        16 P members -  approval without comment
                        (Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, 
                        Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, 
                        Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, 
                        UK, Ukraine, and USA)

        0 P members  -  approval with comment 

        0 P members  -  supporting disapproval

        1 P Member   -  abstaining (Austria) with reason "Lack of Experts"

        5 P members  -  not voting
                        (Australia, Bulgaria, China, Greece and Romania)

        1 O Member   -  approval without comment 
                        (Republic of Korea)

The ASISRG is very pleased to have 16 P members approving without comment. ISO has an Observer member (or O member) status. An O member apparently can vote, but the vote is not counted by ISO. Consequently we are very pleased that the Republic of Korea (an O member) voted for approval without comment. Their vote counts as far as I am concerned. We don't know why 5 P members did not vote. Australia is a known ASIS user. Perhaps their ballot was sent by ship.

I have been told that the SC22 Ballot is the most critical for establishing an approved NWI at ISO. However, JTC 1 will also have a ballot for the NWI. Their approval is vitally important as without their approval, there is no path to achieving an ASIS International Standard to Ada95. The JTC1 ballot close date has not been established yet, but should be about 3-4 months hence.

The first real step towards getting an international standard is to submit a Committee Draft (CD). Our latest ASIS for Ada 95 draft specification is ASIS Version 2.0.E. At our meeting on 11-12 March, we plan to identify the necessary changes to produce ASIS Version 2.0.F. One of the important outcomes of this meeting will be the agreements to build ASIS Version 2.0.F. This version will be submitted to WG9 for their approval. Dr. Bob Mathis, chair of WG9, has agreed to a WG9 ballot on 14 June 1996 (at the WG9 meeting in conjunction with Ada Europe'96), providing we can produce the draft CD for distribution to WG9 members by mid April.

After the CD is approved by WG9, it must go up for SC22 approval and JTC1 approval. Comments are incorporated into a Draft International Standard (DIS) again going up the chain with ASISRG approval, WG9 approval, SC22 approval, and JTC1 approval. If all this happens before the next Ada standard is approved, we will then have our first ASIS International Standard.

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Last update 28 February 1996. Questions, comments to Clyde Roby (CRoby@IDA.Org)