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[open-cobol-list] COBOL Standards (follow-on note 1 of ???)

From: Bill Klein
Subject: [open-cobol-list] COBOL Standards (follow-on note 1 of ???)
Date: Fri Dec 3 23:12:05 2004

To: comp.lang.cobol newsgroup (with various CC's)

I don't know how many notes I will (or won't) post in "response to" (or
by) current CLC threads about the "entire Standards process" (now, past,
future).  I will, however, post at least this one - and let others who
posting their general comments and concerns (or even those who haven't
their opinions in this forum) do as they wish.

  Comments on "past" problems may or may not help "vent spleen" - but I
personally see as very useful for the current situation or the future of
(in anything other than an historical aspect).

One current series of comments concern what I would call
"accountability" in the 
current process.  (This may or may not also relate to the RELEVANCE of
current process - for COBOL at least)

On the current J4 agenda at:

Is the following item:

"9.2       04-0156 - J4 Annual Report to INCITS (Schricker)"

The paper 94-0156 (Covering the Period from June 2003 to August 2004) is

available at:

If someone "interested in the COBOL standardization process" (PRO, CON,
other) felt that report either inaccurate or not reflecting issues that
think should be made known to the body to which J4 "reports", then I
would send 
a letter (possibly including a soft/email copy - but in hard copy as
well) to:

Patrick Morris
Executive Director
c/o Information Technology Industry Council
1250 Eye Street NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20005


with a copy to:

Deborah Spittle
Associate Manager, Standards Operations
c/o Information Technology Industry Council
1250 Eye Street NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20005


(She is listed as having support for TCs:  CT22, H3, J1, J3, J4, J7, J9,
J15, J16, J17, J18, L2, T3, T6, T10, T11, and T20).


In addition, I would copy:

Ronald F. Silletti
INCITS liaison (for J4)
Corporate Program Director of Standards
Intellectual Property & Licensing
IBM Corporation
North Castle Drive, Armonk, New York 10504

phone: 914-765-4373 fax: 914-765-4420
 email: address@hidden

Finally, I would copy the J4 chair at:

  Don Schricker
  4012 Nancy Margarite Ln
  Las Vegas, NV 89130-2618

  Tel:    (978) 314-6821
  Fax: (702) 515-1737


Before sending your comments, you might (or might not) want to review
information (status and otherwise) of J4's work at their "public" web
page at:

That page includes links to their planned meetings and other relevant
sites and 

To the best of my knowledge (and I could EASILY be out-of-date on this -
things might change at the meeting scheduled for next week), J4 still
plans on 
having "Public Review" periods of their current TR's (Technical Reports)
native XML support and Collection classes during next year (2005).  I
the current hope/expectation is that these will join the  Finalization
TR as 
approved (and as an official ISO TR) in 2006  and that the first either
or informal public review of the next full revision will occur in 2005.
expected completion and approval of the next full revision in 2008).

If it helps any, it should be noted that to the best of *MY*
out-of-date) knowledge:
 - no vendor currently claims to have a compiler fully conforming to the
Standard (approved two years ago this month)
 - no vendor has announced a date for having such a conforming compiler
 - several vendors have indicated that they have little or no immediate
in providing such a conforming compiler
 - those vendors that have indicated SOME interest in the 2002 Standard
(all - as far as I know) indicated that they are implementing features
"one by 
one" (or so) based on current customer demand for SPECIFIC features
(without - 
so far as they have indicated publicly) indicating that ANY vendor has
sufficient customer demand to provide a business case for EVER providing
a fully 
conforming (to the '02 Standard) compiler
 - there is no current "certification test" for the '02 Standard - nor
am I 
aware of any governmental or private body developing such a suite
(similar to 
the NIST test suite for the '85 Standard).
- there is no current US government requirement for "conformance" to the
Standard (as their was for conformance to the FIPS Standard in the '80s
 - there is no European (EUC) or Japanese (or any other that I am aware
government body requiring (or expected to require) a conforming '02

Bill Klein
 wmklein <at> 

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