Programming languages, their environments and system software interfaces

Revision November 2019


  1. Introduction. 1
  2. The Use of IT. 1
  3. Officers. 1
  1. Working Groups. 3
  1. Projects without Working Groups. 24
  2. National Bodies. 25
  3. Liaisons. 25
  1. Plenaries. 25
  2. Standing Documents. 26

1. Introduction

Created in 1985, SC 22 is responsible for the standardization of programming languages, their environments and systems software interfaces. (Specialized languages or environments assigned to the program of work of another Subcommittee or Technical Committee are excluded.) [Prior to 1985, programming language standardization was handled by ISO TC97/SC5.]

2. The Use of IT

SC 22 has been using IT for its work for a long time. The SC itself started using email on 1991-10-04, and some documents were distributed this way. On 1996-02-22, SC 22 shifted to online distribution of all documents.

A number of documents from before that time have been made available also, together with the complete document register for SC 22.

The email services were initially provided on, and from 2004-05-12 by by Keld Simonsen, except for the period from 2007-10 to 2015-09, when the services were provided by ANSI.

The official SC 22 site is

An archival site that also holds many old documents is maintained at

Working Groups (WGs) of SC 22 have been using email, web and wiki, and other services for some time, some of this dating back to the early 1990’s. (See the SC 22 archival site for more on the availability of web information for each WG.) WGs are now moving their document repositories to LiveLink.

SC 22 has employed a number of document formats for preparing its standards and other output documents. These include troff, TeX with LaTeX, Microsoft Word, Word Perfect, and FrameMaker.

3. Officers

3.1 Chairman

Name Term Employer/Sponsor Last Known Contact
David Keaton Nov 2017-present Chairman US, Consultant
Rex Jaeschke Nov 2014 started his third and final 3-year term
Nov 2011–Oct 2014 Chairman
Nov 2008–Oct 2011 Chairman
Nov 2007–Oct 2008 Acting Chairman
US, Microsoft
John Hill Nov 2004–Oct 2007 Chairman
Nov 2000–Oct 2004 Chairman
Nov 1999–Oct 2000 Acting Chairman
US, Sun Microsystems
Bob Follett Nov 1992–Oct 1999 Chairman
Dec 1989–Oct 1992 Acting Chairman
US, Consultant (funded by US standards members), previously with IBM
François Genuys Sep 1989–Dec 1989 Acting Chairman FR, IBM  
Bob Kearney Oct 1985–Sep 1989 CA, Bell Canada  
  1985, SC 22 was created    

3.2 Secretariat

Name Term Employer/Sponsor Last Known Contact
Michaela Miller Jan 2017–present US, ANSI
Sally Seitz Oct 2014–Jan 2017 US, ANSI
Marisa Peacock Nov 2009– Oct 2014 US, ANSI  
Sally Seitz Jan 2004–Nov 2009 US, ANSI
Matt Deane Feb 2001–Jan 2004 US, ANSI  
Lisa Rajchel Aug 2000–Feb 2001 US, ANSI
Marisa Peacock Jan 2000–Jul 2000 US, ANSI  
Bill Rinehuls Oct 1994–Dec 1999 US, (NIST, DoD, ANSI)  
Joseph Côté 1985–Oct 1994 CA, Standards Council of Canada (SCC)
  1985, SC 22 was created    

4. Working Groups

4.1.1   WG1 – PLIP (Programming Languages for Industrial Processes) [DISBANDED]

Name Action NB
  1985, WG Disbanded  
Kees Ampt? ??? NL?
??? 1976 ??

This WG was established in 1976 by SC 22’s predecessor committee, ISO TC97/SC5, and was inherited by the new SC 22 when it started work in 1985. The remit of WG1 was to review the then current programming languages for real-time process control, and make recommendations on which would be suitable for international standardization.

The languages Coral 66, RTL/2 (both standardized in the UK by BSI) and Pearl (standardized in Germany by DIN) were all considered, but none attracted sufficient international support. The language communities for these were all believed to be well enough served by the existing national standards, so that the work involved in transposition to international standards would not be justified by the benefits. One work item proposal for a language suitable for real-time applications, Ada, did attract international support. However, Ada is a large-scale general-purpose language suitable for many kinds of applications, and SC5 therefore formed a separate working group (now SC 22/WG9) to look after its standardization.

These developments left WG1 with just one project, the transposition to an international standard of a US national standard for Industrial real-time Fortran or IRTF, a package of Fortran subroutines originally developed by the Instrument Society of America. This was published in 1985 as ISO 7846:1985, Industrial real-time Fortran. The new SC 22 decided that no further development work would be done in this area, and accordingly WG1 was dissolved. The IRTF standard was reconfirmed once, in 1990, but withdrawn after the next ISO five-year review in 1995.

The work was mainly supported by the Netherlands and Germany.

4.1.2 WG2 – Pascal [DISBANDED]

Name Action NB
  1994, WG Disbanded  
David Joslin 1992-1994 GB
Brian Wichmann 1984–1992 GB
Tony Addyman 1979–1984, WG created GB

WG2 was established by SC 22’s predecessor committee, ISO TC97/SC5, as its WG4, and was inherited by the new SC 22 when it started work in 1985.

SC5/WG4 had produced the first Pascal standard. Following the SC5 practice at the time the project was established in the late 1970s, of each language standard having a “sponsoring body”, this standard was first published in 1982 as a British standard (the UK being the sponsoring body for Pascal), though the standard was developed by SC5/WG4 rather than by the UK committee alone. The ISO standard, published the following year, was simply an endorsement of this British standard (with an equivalent French standard referenced as the French text).

The new WG2 embarked on a project to produce another standard for Extended Pascal, which was in due course published in 1991. It also produced a revised version of the original Pascal standard (now informally termed “classic Pascal”), which appeared in 1990; the changes consisted only of minor corrections. (Following the new practices of SC 22, these were first published as international standards, and on the appearance of the revised “classic Pascal” the original British standard was withdrawn in its favor.)

Apart from the publication of these standards, WG2 worked on object-oriented and other extensions to Pascal and on internationalization issues, as well as dealing with maintenance and interpretation issues on the Pascal standards and, in liaison with WG11, on Pascal bindings to the language-independent arithmetic and language-independent datatype standards.

At its 1994 plenary, when it was clear that there would be insufficient active participation to support a project to produce a Technical Report on object-oriented extensions to Pascal, SC 22 resolved that no further development work would be done in SC 22 on the Pascal standards. The US Pascal committee, X3J9, was asked to assume responsibility for maintenance of the international standards; X3J9 is also continuing work on object-oriented extensions and other projects. Enquiries should be addressed to the X3J9 chairman, Tony Hetherington.

The British Standards Institution provided a validation service using a Validation Suite produced under their auspices. Production of an Extended Pascal Validation Suite continues, the technical work being performed and coordinated by Prospero Software.

WG2 held its 20th and final meeting in April 1995 and was wound up on April 30. During the ten years 1985–95 it held 6 meetings in the USA, 5 in the UK, 3 in Germany, 2 in Bulgaria, 2 in Canada, 1 in Austria, and 1 in Holland. Approximately 45 experts participated in the work of WG2, from the UK, USA, Canada, Germany, Holland, Bulgaria, Italy, France, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. The UK held the secretariat and provided the convenor throughout the lifetimes of SC5/WG4 and SC22/WG2. The original convenor of SC5/WG4 was Tony Addyman of the University of Salford; he was succeeded by Brian Wichmann, of the National Physical Laboratory, as convenor of SC 22/WG2 until 1990, and then by David Joslin of the University of Teesside.

A history of the Pascal standardization project can be found in:

  • A.M. Addyman, Chapter 7: Pascal; pp 81-91 of I.D. Hill and B.L. Meek, Programming language standardisation, Ellis Horwood 1980
  • A.M. Addyman, Paper VII: Pascal; pp 101-106 of The current programming language standards scene, Computers and Standards Vol 2 Nos 2/3, 1983
  • D.A. Joslin, Paper 2: Pascal; pp of The programming language standards scene, ten years on, Computer Standards and Interfaces, Vol 16 Nos 5/6, 1994

Approved international specifications produced:

  • ISO/IEC 7185:1990, Pascal (confirmed 1995)
  • ISO/IEC 10206:1991, Extended Pascal (recommended to be confirmed 1996)

4.1.3  WG3 – APL [DISBANDED]

Name Action NB
  2006, WG Disbanded  
Lee Dickey 1987–2006, convenor CA
R. Tisserand 1986, convenor FR

4.1.4  WG4 – COBOL

Name Action NB
Wataru Takagi 2009–present, convenor JP
Ann Bennett 2006–2009, convenor US
Charles (Chuck) Stevens 2005–2006, convenor US
Don Schricker 2002–2005, convenor US
Ann Wallace/Bennett 1991–2002, convenor US
Ms. L. Willis 1989, convenor US
Ms. M. Vickers 1986–1988, convenor US

COBOL (COmmon Business Oriented Language) was originally designed in 1959 by Codasyl (COmmittee on DAta SYstems Languages), a joint committee of public and private users and computer manufacturers.  It was intended to be independent of any particular hardware.  The first COBOL standard, based on Codasyl’s work, was published by ANSI in 1968, and it was followed by a revision in 1974.  The first ISO standard, in 1978, was a single page cross-reference to the ANSI standard.

With the growing recognition that language standards essentially apply worldwide rather than nationally, an Experts’ Group was formed in 1978 under TC97/SC5 to promote international collaboration on development.  This became a formal Working Group, TC97/WG8, in 1983 and then JTC 1/SC 22/WG4 in the reorganization of 1985.  The elevation of status from Experts’ Group to Working Group allowed wider participation; some member bodies’ procedures did not allow for participation in experts’ groups.

WG4 delegated the detailed technical work of developing the revision of the standard and various ancillary Technical Reports, as well as dealing with defect reports, to ANSI committee [X3]J4 (later INCITS PL22.4).  This arrangement continued until 2010 when WG4 set up an Other Working Group, OWG-1, to develop the detailed specification of the next revision of the COBOL standard for acceptance by WG4. WG4 also established another Other Working Group, OWG-2, to investigate the future directions of COBOL standardization.


ANSI X3.23-1968: Programming Language COBOL ANSI X3.23-1974: Programming Language COBOL ISO 1989:1978 Programming Language – COBOL ISO 1989:1985 Programming language – COBOL ISO 1989:1985/Amd 2:1994 Correction and clarification amendment for COBOL ISO/IEC 1989:2002 Programming language – COBOL

ISO/IEC 1989:2002/Cor 1:2006, Technical corrigendum 1 ISO/IEC 1989:2002/Cor 2:2006, Technical corrigendum 2 ISO/IEC 1989:2002/Cor 3:2009, Technical corrigendum 3

ISO/IEC TR 19755:2003 Object finalization for programming language COBOL ISO/IEC TR 24716:2007 Native COBOL Syntax for XML Support ISO/IEC TR 24717:2009 Collection classes for programming language COBOL

4.1.5 WG5 – Fortran

Name Action NB
Steve Lionel 2017-present, convenor US
John Reid 1999–2017, convenor GB
Miles Ellis 1995–1999, convenor GB
Jeanne Martin 1981–1995, convenor US
Jeanne Adams 1978–1981, convenor US

Fortran was the first programming language to be standardized.  In 1961, IBM alone had eight different compilers whose language specifications were not identical, and Fortran was beginning to appear on machines from other vendors.  Work was started in 1962 “for the purpose of promoting a high degree of interchangeability of [Fortran] programs for use on a variety of data processing systems”.  This was sponsored by the American Standards Association (reconstituted as the USA Standards Institute in 1966) and the standard was formally approved by USASI in 1966.  It was adopted as an ISO standard in 1972.

A revision, informally known as Fortran 77, was approved in the US in 1978 and by ISO in 1980.

With different countries developing language standards without necessarily taking heed of the requirements of those in other countries who would use them, or even developing competing, incompatible standards, the need for a more systematized policy on programming languages was recognized at the meeting of TC97/SC5 at The Hague in November 1977.  As a result, an SC5 Fortran Experts Group was formed in 1978 and met three times before being made an official Working Group, TC97/SC5/WG9, in 1983.  After the reorganization of TC97 and the subsequent formation of JTC 1, it became JTC 1/SC 22/WG5.

The Experts Group was convened by Jeanne Adams (US) from 1978 to 1981 and by Jeanne Martin (US) from 1981 to 1983.  She was then appointed convenor at the formation of the WG in 1983 and continued to 1995.

Miles Ellis (UK) took over as acting convenor in April 1995 with his appointment being confirmed in September 1995.  He resigned in June 1999.  John Reid (UK) was formally appointed in September 1999

WG5 has very successfully adopted the working policy that it has overall responsibility for all international Fortran standardization work; that is from collecting requirements to development of language revisions, their maintenance and the issuing of corrigenda, for initiating any new Fortran-related standards or technical reports, and for relations with SC 22 and ITTF, and so on, but it delegates detailed technical work to ‘development bodies’.  For the base standard this has always in practice been ANSI committee PL22.3; for each of the various subsidiary projects WG5 has appointed a group of its individual members.

Since its formation the group has supervised the development of the main language standards informally known as Fortran 90, Fortran 95, Fortran 2003, Fortran 2008, as well as Varying length character strings (Part 2 of the Fortran standard), Conditional Compilation in Fortran (Part 3 of the Fortran standard, now discarded) and several Technical Reports.  The informal names of the standards take their years from the date of final technical development, not from the date of formal publication.

WG5 publishes all its historical documents, with no restriction on readership, on its website  The archive includes all papers issued between May 1995 and June 2014, plus minutes and resolutions from meetings from 1980 to 1995. From June 2014, all papers have been stored on LiveLink. An index is available from This has links to the available documents, be they in the historical archive or in LiveLink.

Current standards and projects are: ISO/IEC 1539-1:2010 Fortran — Part 1: Base language ISO/IEC 1539-2:2000 Fortran — Part 2: Varying length character strings; TS 29113 Further Interoperability of Fortran with C; and TS 18508 Additional Parallel Features in Fortran.

4.1.6 WG6 – Algol [DISBANDED]

Name Action NB
  1987 WG6 disbanded  
  1985 Transferred to SC 22/WG6  
  1983 Renamed to SC 5/WG10  
Johan van Wingen 1979–1986, convenor NL
  1979, Algol Experts Group created  

In 1979, an Algol Experts’ Group was established by SC 22’s predecessor committee, ISO TC97/SC 5. In 1983, that group was re-categorized as SC 5/WG10. Under the 1985 reorganization this became JTC 1/SC 22/WG6. Algol 60, along with COBOL, was one of the first programming languages for which a standardization project was undertaken by SC5 when it was founded in the early 1960s, and indeed had already been discussed by TC97 with IFIP, the International Federation for Information Processing, whose WG2.1 was responsible for the language.

An ISO Draft Recommendation (using the terminology of the time) was produced in 1967, but for a variety of technical and non-technical reasons, Algol 60 did not achieve full status as an International Standard until 1984. (A Japanese national standard had been published in 1972, and a German national standard in 1972.) As no agreement could be reached on the hardware representation of Algol 60 basic symbols, an ISO Technical report with the material was published

WG6 was also concerned with attempts to establish international standardization projects for the related languages Algol 68 and Simula 67. However, neither proposal achieved sufficient international support. (Simula became a Swedish national standard in 1987.) In consequence, WG6 was disbanded in 1987, following an SC 22 letter ballot. Its final report appears in SC 22 document N395.

At the five-year ISO review in 1989, SC 22 resolved that the Algol 60 standard should be withdrawn, and the Technical Report on hardware representation, not included in that review, was withdrawn in 1991. However, the standard was reinstated in 2003. [This action was undertaken when it became known that ISO had introduced the concept of Established Standards. JTC 1 announced this possibility in N6604. SC 22 subsequently invited its members to submit proposals to apply this new rule where opportune (N3518). The Netherlands responded by requiring this status for ISO 1538 ALGOL 60 Programming Language. This was accepted, and approved by JTC 1 (N7124). The result was communicated by SC 22 in N3660, after which it was left to ISO CS to include ISO 1538 into its list of standards, which occurred end of 2003. Thus ALGOL 60 is once again an International Standard.]

A history of the Algol 60 standardization project, including the attempts to establish projects for Algol 68 and Simula 67, can be found in:

  • I.D. Hill, Chapter 4: Algol 60; pp 47-55 of I.D. Hill and B.L. Meek, Programming language standardisation, Ellis Horwood 1980
  • I.D. Hill, Paper IV: The Algol languages, pp 85-87 of The current programming language standards scene, Computers and Standards Vol 2 Nos 2/3, 1983
  • J.W. van Wingen, Paper 6: The Algol languages, pp of The programming language standards scene, ten years on, Computer Standards and Interfaces, Vol 16 Nos 5/6, 1994

Approved international specifications produced:

  • ISO 1538:1984, Programming language Algol 60 (now withdrawn)
  • ISO TR 1672:1977, Algol 60 Hardware Representation (now withdrawn)

4.1.7 WG7 – PL/I [DISBANDED]

Name Action NB
  1985, WG Disbanded  
John Klensin 19??–19??, convenor US

PL/I was designed by IBM in the 1960s, and was intended to supersede both Cobol and Fortran.  As it was adopted by other vendors, a joint standardization project was set up in 1969 by ANSI and Ecma, which reported also to TC97/SC5.  A joint ANSI/Ecma standard was adopted for processing as an ISO standard in 1979 whereupon the Ecma PL/I committee was disbanded.  TC97/SC5 set up an Experts Group to oversee further development.  This became a formal WG, TC97/SC5/WG11, in 1983 and was allocated the number JTC 1/SC 22/WG7 under the 1985 reorganization.

WG7 was, however, disbanded at the SC 22 plenary meeting in 1985 on completion of the general-purpose subset standard, and a project editor was appointed to oversee maintenance.  The general-purpose subset standard was superseded in 1992 by adoption of a revised ANSI standard.

Approved international specifications produced:

  • ISO 6160:1979 Programming language PL/I
  • ISO 6522:1985 Programming language PL/I — General purpose subset Edition 1 (withdrawn 1992)
  • ISO/IEC 6522:1992 Programming language — PL/I general purpose subset Edition: 2

4.1.8 WG8 – Basic [DISBANDED]

Name Action NB
  1994, WG Disbanded  
Tom Kurtz 1987–1994, convenor US
B. Leroy 1985–1987, convenor FR

Basic was the first programming language specifically designed, in the mid-1960s, for interactive use.  In the early 1970s, various national bodies and international organizations were separately developing their own standardization projects and a BASIC Experts Group was formed under TC97/SC5 to coordinate these efforts to produce an ISO standard.  The group was formalized as a Working Group (TC97/SC5/WG13) in 1983 and became JTC 1/SC 22/WG8 after the reorganization in 1985.  Two standards were produced, Minimal Basic and Full Basic, the latter with a later addendum.  The working group was disbanded at the SC 22 plenary meeting on 1994, its work having been completed.

Approved international specifications produced:

ISO 6373:1984, Programming language Minimal BASIC (withdrawn 1997) ISO/IEC 10279:1991, Programming language Full BASIC ISO/IEC 10279:1991/Amd 1:1994 Modules and single character input enhancement for Full BASIC

4.1.9 WG9 – Ada

Name Action NB
Patrick Rogers 2016–present, convenor US
Joyce Tokar 2007–2016, convenor US
Jim Moore 1997–2007, convenor US
Robert Mathis ????–1997, convenor US
V. Castor 1986, convenor US
?? 1983 ??
Ada Experts Group 1981  

The Ada programming language was started as a US DoD program to replace the hundreds of specialized languages with a single language. The language was selected by an open competition. The winning language, originally called the Green Language but renamed Ada after Lady Ada Lovelace, the world’s first programmer. The Green language was developed by a team from Honeywell-Bull led by Jean Ichbiah. The first version of Ada was published as US DoD STD 1815:1981. A revised version was published in 1983 as ANSI/DoD STD 1815A:1983.  Ada was the first international programming language to introduce concurrency into the language syntax.

WG9 was formed shortly after the 1983 ANSI standard was published with the intention of making Ada an ISO IEC standard. The ANSI standard was published as ISO/IEC 8652:1987.

In 1988, the US DoD embarked on a program to update Ada for the 1990’s, with a goal of standardizing Ada by 1994. A requirements period for the new Ada language was created in 1989 and ran until late 1990. A competition was held for a design team, which was won by Intermetrics, led by Tucker Taft. To support the design team, DoD chartered a team of 25 Distinguished reviewers, 3 implementation-user teams and a formal methods team, to guide and help the design team as necessary. This update to Ada was published as ISO IEC 8652:1995.

The Ada Programming language was updated with a technical Corrigendum in 2001, and an amendment in 2007. A revision is planned for 2012-2013.

Other WG9 activities have been:

  • Ada SQL Binding was published as ISO IEC 12227:1998 (???)
  • Numerics standard
  • Complex Numbers standard
  • POSIX binding ISO IEC 14519:2001 POSIX Ada Language Interfaces – Binding for System Application Program Interface
  • Real Time binding standard
  • Ada Semantic Interface Standard ISO IEC 15291:1999
  • Ada Conformity Assessment Standard ISO IEC 18009:1999
  • ISO IEC Technical Report 15942:2001 Guidance in the use of Ada for High Integrity Systems
  • ISO IEC Technical Report 24718:2004 Guide for the use of the Ravenscar Tasking Profile in High Integrity Systems

4.1.10 WG10 – Guidelines [DISBANDED]

Name Action NB
  1986, WG Disbanded  
Brian Meek 1984–1986 GB
Tony Addyman 1983–1984 GB

WG10 was established as its WG16 by SC 22’s predecessor committee, ISO TC97/SC5, at the plenary meeting in Ottawa in 1983, and held its first meeting in January 1984. It was inherited by the new SC 22 when it started work in 1985. The remit of WG10 was to review the programming languages field to identify areas of commonality which might be suitable for standardization, to produce a report, with recommendations to the subcommittee on ways of reducing unnecessary divergence between programming language standards, including suggestions for possible new work items, and to produce a draft set of guidelines for SC5 giving advice on how to prepare programming language standards.

SC5/WG16 and its successor SC 22/WG10 held ten meetings between 1984 and 1986, and produced, as well as the draft guidelines, an interim report followed by a final report (document SC 22/N0249). These reports, among other things, recommended new work items to assist the development of commonality for datatypes and procedure calling. These work items were in due course established, assigned to WG11 for development, and eventually resulted in the two standards ISO/IEC 11404:1995 Language independent datatypes and ISO/IEC 13886:1995 Language independent procedure calling.

WG10’s final report was produced in April 1986 and, as had been resolved at the 1985 SC 22 plenary meeting in Paris, was then disbanded, having completed its assignments. Its convenor (Brian Meek, UK) remained as project editor to steer the guidelines document through its stages for publication as an ISO Technical Report, Guidelines for the preparation of programming language standards. The Technical Report was published in 1991.

Approved international specification produced:

ISO/IEC TR 10176:1991 Guidelines for the preparation of programming language standards

4.1.11  WG11 – Binding Techniques [DISBANDED]

Name Action NB
  2011, WG Disbanded  
Willem Wakker 1990–2011, convenor NL
Don Nelson 1987–1990, convenor US
Don Nelson 1986–1987 US
Madeleine Sparks 19??–1986, convenor US
WG11 Meetings
Meeting # Place Date
1 Middlesex (UK) May 5-7, 1987
2 Kansas City (US) October 27-29, 1987
3 Cleveland (UK) April 19-21, 1988
4 Amsterdam (NL) October 4-6, 1988
5 Lowell (Ma, US) April 25-27, 1989
6 London (UK) October 10-12, 1989
7 Middlesbrough (UK) May 30 – June 1, 1990
8 Amsterdam (NL) September 24-27, 1990
9 Monterey (Ca, US) January 22-24, 1991
10 Arles (FR) May 27-28, 1991
11 Vienna (AU) September 17-20, 1991
12 Baltimore (NJ, US) April 21-25, 1992
13 Tampere (FI) August 21-23, 1992
14 Paris (FR) October 12-16, 1992
15 Cambridge (Ma, US) April 26-30, 1993
16 Amsterdam (NL) July 19-23, 1993
17 London (UK) April 25-29, 1994
18 Boston (Ma, US) January 30 – February 3, 1995
19 Amsterdam (NL) May 29 – June 1, 1995
20 Gaithersburg (MD, US) September 25-27, 1995
21 Copenhagen (DK) April 15-19, 1996
22 London (UK) November 24-26, 1997
23 Amsterdam (NL) April 14-16, 1999
24 Dresden (D) March 20-22, 2000
25 Copenhagen (DK) April 27-28, 2001
26 Amsterdam (NL) April 28-29, 2005
27 New York (NY, US) October 5-6, 2005

At the time of the first (then still ISO/TC97/SC5) WG11 documents (August 1986) there was already an interim convenor (Mr. Don Nelson, USA), and work was going on Work Item 22.14 – Binding Techniques for Programming Languages, Work Item 22.16 – Specification for a Model for Common-Language Independent Procedure Calling Mechanisms and Work Item 22.17 – Specification for a Set of Common Language-Independent Data Types.

Work Item 22.14 – Binding Techniques for Programming Languages

The work on this project already started in 1984 in the US. The purpose of the document is ‘to classify language binding methods, reporting on particular instances in detail, and to produce suggested guidelines for future language binding standards‘. The initial editor was Ms. Madeleine Sparks, in 1987 Mr. Don Nelson took over that task. The TR was published in 1993 as TR 10182 – Guidelines for Language Bindings.

Work Item 22.16 – Specification for a Model for Common-Language Independent Procedure Calling Mechanisms

This project was started by the X3T2 committee in the US; it’s ISO history dates back to early 1985. The NWI proposal was approved in July 1986 (SC 22 N211). The initial project editor was David Joslin (UK), later followed by Ken Edwards (US, August 1989). A first working draft was circulated in January 1992 (SC 22 N1082). One of the key parts, common to the language-independent procedure calling mechanisms, the language-independent data types and the Remote Procedure Calling specification as developed by SC21, was the Interface Definition Notation (IDN); in other to harmonize this common part several meetings were held co-located with the SC21 RPG group. The standard was published in 1995 as ISO/IEC 13886 – Language-Independent Procedure Calling.

Work Item 22.17 – Specification for a Set of Common Language-Independent Data Types

This project was started by the X3T2 committee in the US; it’s ISO history dates back to early 1985. he NWI proposal was approved in July 1986 (SC 22 N212), the project editor was Ed Barkmeyer (US). The 1st Committee draft was approved in January 1991 (SC 22 N906), the 2nd CD was approved in May 1993 (SC 22 N1354), the DIS was approved in 1994, the standard was published in 1996 as ISO/IEC 11404 – Language Independent Datatypes.

In March 2002 the US proposed to revise ISO/IEC 11404 and to rename the document to General Purpose Datatypes; the project editor was Frank Farance (US). The 2nd edition was published in 2007 as ISO/IEC 11404 – General Purpose Datatypes. Before WG11 was disbanded in 2011, the responsibility for this document was handed over to SC32.

Work Item 22.28 – Language Compatible Arithmetic Standardization

This work was initiated by Brian Wichman (UK) and Mary Payne (US) in 1987; the work item was approved (as a sub-division of Work Item 22.17) in January 1989 (SC 22 N610). Later it was felt that the work should done as a three part standard: Part 1 on Integer and Floating Point Arithmetic (the original work item 22.18), Part 2 on Mathematical Procedure Standard (NWI proposal in SC 22 N819, approved in April 1991, project 22.33) and Part 3 on Complex Arithmetic and Procedure Standard (NWI proposal in SC 22 N818, approved in April 1991, SC 22 N952, project 22.34). The name of the project was changed from ‘Language Compatible Arithmetic Standard‘ (LCAS, LCMPS, LCCAPS) to ‘Language-Independent Arithmetic‘ standard (LIA).

The first edition of LIA part 1 was published in 1994 as ISO/IEC 10967-1 – Language Independent Arithmetic, Part 1: Integer and Floating Point Arithmetic; the first editor was Mary Payne (US), later Kent Karlsson (SE) took over. In 2008 it was decided to revise part 1 in order to align it with the more recent parts 2 and 3. This resulted in ISO/IEC 10967-1:2012.

Work Item 22.33 – Language Independent Arithmetic Part 2: Elementary Numerical Functions

This project resulted in ISO/IEC 10967-2:2001 – Language Independent Arithmetic – Part 2: Elementary Numerical Functions. Project editor was Kent Karlsson (SE).

Work Item 22.34 Language Independent Arithmetic Part 3: Complex Arithmetic

This project resulted in ISO/IEC 10967-3:2006 – Language Independent Arithmetic – Part 3: Complex integer and floating point arithmetic and complex elementary numerical functions. Project editor was Kent Karlsson (SE).

Work Item 22.46 Guidelines for the Preparation of Language Independent Service Specifications

This work item originated from the language independent POSIX work (SC 22 WG15) and was based on the TCOS work in IEEE. The New Work Item Proposal (SC 22 N1376) was approved; the project editor was Paul Rabin (US). The resulting document was published as ISO/IEC TR 14369:1999 – Guidelines for the Preparation of Language Independent Service Specifications.

4.1.12  WG12 – Conformity [DISBANDED]

Name Action NB
  1989, WG Disbanded  
J. Sidi 1985–1989, convenor FR
??? 1983 ??
Mr. Mahkorn ?? DE

WG12 was established as its WG18 by SC 22’s predecessor committee, ISO TC97/SC5, at the plenary meeting in Ottawa in 1983. It was inherited by the new SC 22 when it started work in 1985. Its remit was to study and make recommendations to the subcommittee in relation to conformity and validation issues for programming languages and language standards.

In due course SC5/WG18, later SC 22/WG12, put forward proposals for two new work items, one on methods of testing programming language processors for conformity to a language standard, and one providing guidelines on how to prepare conformity clauses for programming language standards. These work items were in due course established and assigned to WG12, resulting in the ISO Technical Reports listed below.

Having completed its work, WG12 was disbanded in 1989, its final report to SC 22 being document SC 22/N0714. Its Technical Reports remain as guidance for SC 22 and other committees concerned with standardizing programming languages.

Approved international specifications produced:

  • ISO/IEC TR 9547:1988 Test methods for programming language processors – guidelines for their development and procedures for their approval (confirmed 1993)
  • ISO/IEC TR 10034:1990 Guidelines for the preparation of conformity clauses in programming language standards (confirmed 1995)

4.1.13  WG13 – Modula-2 [DISBANDED]

Name Action NB
  2002, WG disbanded  
Martin Schönhacker 1999–2002, convenor AT
Kees Pronk 1996–1999 NL
Mark Woodman 1991–1996, convenor GB
Roger Henry 1987–1991 GB

4.1.14  WG14 – C

Name Action NB
David Keaton 2014–present, convenor US
John Benito 1999–2014, convenor US
P.J. Plauger 1987–1999, convenor US
Steve Hersey 1986–1987, WG was created US

4.1.15  WG15 – POSIX [DISBANDED]

Name Action NB
  2004, WG was disbanded  
Jim Oblinger 1998–2004, convenor US
Jim Isaak 1988–1997, convenor US
??? ??? ??

4.1.16 WG16 – ISLisp [DISBANDED]

Name Action NB
  2011, WG Disbanded  
Taiichi Yuasa 2002–2011, convenor JP
Pierre Parquier 1996–2002, convenor FR
??? ??? ??
Christian Queinnec 1987–1994+, convenor FR

4.1.17  WG17 – Prolog

Name Action NB
Ulrich Neumerkel 2014-present, acting convenor then convenor AT
Jonathan Hodgson 1999–2014, convenor US
Roger Scowen 1987–1999, convenor GB

In 2011–2012, there seemed to be an increase in using Prolog in the US, with lots of semantic data:

4.1.18  WG18 – FIMS (Form Interface Management System) [DISBANDED]

 Name Action NB
  1994, WG Disbanded  
Dan Frantz 1988–1994, convenor ??
  1988, WG was created  

4.1.19  WG19 – Formal Specification Languages [DISBANDED]

Name Action NB
  2010, WG Disbanded  
Roger Scowen 2000–2010, convenor GB
John Wordsworth 1997–2000, convenor GB
Derek Andrews 1989–1997 GB
  1989, WG was created  

4.1.20  WG20 – Internationalization [DISBANDED]

Name Action NB  
  2004, WG disbanded    
Ken Whistler 2002–2004, convenor US  
Arnold Winkler 1994–2002, convenor US  
Dick Weaver 1991–1994, convenor US  
  1991, WG was created  

WG20 was established in 1991 after a request to SC 22 from IBM to initiate a new work item on internationalization, centered around covering cultural needs in programs for different languages in a number of countries.

The two main accomplishments of the working group are the development of a prospective model (TR 11017) for internationalization of IT, applications and a worldwide-applicable sorting standard (IS 14651).

A revision on TR 10176 (Guidelines for the preparation of programming languages standards) was entertained in order to produce recommendations for internationalizing external identifiers to allow characters used by different natural languages of the world.

An international standard (IS 15897) establishing a registry of cultural elements (such as POSIX locales) has been produced by WG20, taken over from CEN. With the disbandment of WG20, the standard was moved to SC35, which has updated this international standard also to allow registration of keyboards, and opening the registration process to more submitters, among other enhancements.

Furthermore, a publication (TR 14652) has been produced to extend the POSIX localization mechanisms (locales and charmaps), although controversy about this work led to the withdrawal of the TR, even if a lot of the extensions were implemented in widespread implementations (incl. GLIBC).

Since 2002, most of the areas of work of WG20 (and more) and the ISO documents it has produced have been taken over by SC 35/WG5 (Cultural and linguistic adaptability of IT) and SC 2 (coded character sets and sorting).

Approved international specifications produced (in numerical order):

  • ISO/IEC TR 10176:1998: Guidelines for the preparation of programming language standards [amended with recommendations for external identifier internationalization – those recommendations have since been isolated and taken over by SC2/WG2 (Universal Character Set)]
  • ISO/IEC TR 11017:1998: Framework for internationalization
  • ISO/IEC 15897:1999: Procedures for registration for cultural conventions [this standard has been taken over by SC35 and was revised in 2011]
  • ISO/IEC 14651:2000: International String Ordering [this International Standard is now at its third edition, produced in 2011, and has been taken over and maintained regularly since 2003 by SC2]
  • ISO/IEC TR 14652: Specification method for Cultural Conventions. This TR has been withdrawn, but because many of its enhancements of the POSIX locale format has been implemented in particular by GLIBC, it has been reshuffled by SC35 as project 30112.

WG20 has a web site at where also most documents of the WG are available.

4.1.21 WG21 – C++

Name Action NB
Herb Sutter 2009–present, acting convenor then convenor US
P.J. Plauger 2008–2009, convenor US
Herb Sutter 2002–2008, convenor US
Tom Plum 1996-2002, convenor US
Sam Harbison 1993–1996, convenor US
Steve Carter 1990–1993 US
  1990, WG was created  

4.1.22  WG22 – PCTE [DISBANDED]

Name Action NB
  1998, WG disbanded  
Régis Minot 1994–1998, convenor FR
  1994, group created FR

Established at the SC 22 Plenary in 1994, as follows:

Resolution H:  Establishment of WG22 – PCTE

ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 22 notes with pleasure the successful outcome of the ballot resolution meeting for DIS 13719 Portable Common Tools Environment (PCTE) in Geneva, and assigns project 22.47 to a new working group, WG22 – PCTE, with the following terms of reference:

  • to maintain and develop the three parts of the ISO/IEC 13719 PCTE standard;
  • to develop further standards, complementary to that standard

and directs WG22 – PCTE to establish appropriate working relationships with other organisations involved in PCTE development, such as ECMA/TC33;  and to establish liaisons with other JTC 1 bodies that are working in related fields, such as SC21/WG3 – Database and SC7/WG11 – Software engineering data description.

ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 22 further

  • accepts the offer of France for the nomination of Mr Régis Minot as convenor of WG22 – PCTE;
  • accepts the offer of UK for the nomination of Mr John Dawes as project editor for WG22 – PCTE;
  • and, subject to endorsement by a national body, accepts the ECMA proposal to provide the secretariat of WG22 – PCTE.

Disbanded at the SC 22 Plenary in 1998, as follows:

Resolution 98-7:     Disbandment of WG22 – PCTE

Recognizing that the development activities of WG22 have been completed, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 22:

  • Authorizes the disbandment of WG22; and
  • Expresses its appreciation to Mr. John Dawes (UK) for agreeing to continue as the Project Editor for the approved WG22 standards and for agreeing to serve as the ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 22 focal point on PCTE-related issues.

4.1.23  WG23 – Vulnerabilities in Program Languages

Name Action NB
Stephen Michell 2014–present, acting convenor then convenor CA
Tom Plum 2014, acting convenor US
John Benito 2006–2014, convenor US
  2008, OWG Vulnerabilities was converted to a WG  
John Benito 2006–2008, convenor US
Jim Moore 2005–2006, convenor US
  2005, OWG Vulnerabilities created  

4.1.24  WG24 – Linux

Name Action NB
Yong Woo Lee 2018–present, convenor KR
  2018, LSI Study Group was disbanded and WG24 was created in its place  
Yong Woo Lee 2014–2018, convenor KR
  2014, Linux Standard Implementation Study Group started  

The Linux Standard Implementation Study Group was to

    1. Explore, with the Linux Foundation and other organizations as appropriate, acceptable ways that SC 22 could revise the IS 23360 series, Linux Standard Base, so that it is current with the publicly available standard.
    2. Explore, with the Linux Foundation and other organizations as appropriate, acceptable ways that SC 22 can maintain the IS 23360 series, Linux Standard Base, so that it remains current with the publicly available standard on an ongoing basis.
    3. Consider and report on substantive issues such as intellectual property rights in addition to the technical issues of maintaining the standard.

After the Linux Foundation expressed interest in contributing to the process, the LSI Study Group was disbanded and replaced with WG24.  WG24 is updating nineteen documents in the Linux series.

4.1.25  I18NRG – Internationalization Rapporteur group [DISBANDED]

Name Action NB
  2005, SC 22 Plenary resolution to have a standing item on plenary agendas for I18N failed, so group was not recreated  
John Benito 2004–2005, convenor US

4.1.26 JSG – Java Study Group [DISBANDED]

Name Action NB
  2000, Study Group’s charter was not renewed  
Robert Mathis 1998–2000, convenor US
  1998, group started  

4.1.27 PAG – POSIX Advisory Group [DISBANDED]

Name Action NB
  2011, PAG Disbanded  
Stephen Walli 2004–2011, convenor US
  2004, group created  


5. Projects without Working Groups

SC 22 itself is directly responsible for the following projects, which have no home WG (however, Ecma and the Linux Foundation maintain the projects they submit by Fast Track or PAS):

  • Most standards and TRs from disbanded WGs (some were reassigned to other SCs)
  • ISO/IEC 9496:1989 CHILL
  • ISO/IEC 11756:1992 MUMPS
  • ISO/IEC 14977:1996 Syntactic metalanguage – Extended BNF (fast-tracked proposal)
  • ISO/IEC 15145 Forth (fast-tracked proposal)
  • ISO/IEC 16262 ECMAScript (fast-tracked proposal from Ecma)
  • ISO/IEC 23270 C# programming language (fast-tracked proposal from Ecma)
  • ISO/IEC 23271 Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) platform, ISO/IEC TR 23272, ISO/IEC TR 25438 (fast-tracked proposal from Ecma)
  • ISO/IEC 25436 Eiffel programming language (fast-tracked proposal from Ecma)
  • ISO/IEC 23360 Linux Standard Base (PAS submission from the Linux Foundation)
  • ISO/IEC 30170 Ruby programming language (fast-tracked from JP)

6. National Bodies

The following NBs have been active in SC 22 itself from time to time: AT, CA, CN, DE, DK, ES, FI, FR, GB, IE, IT, JP, KR, NL, NO, SG, and US. Other NBs have been active at the WG level only.

7. Liaisons

7.1  Internal Liaisons

  • ISO TC 37, Terminology and other language and content resources
  • JTC 1/SC 2, Coded character sets
  • JTC 1/SC 7, Software and systems engineering
  • JTC 1/SC 27, IT Security techniques
  • JTC 1/SWG-Directives

7.2 External Liaisons

  • Ecma International
  • Linux Foundation

8. Plenaries

Year Host Location Region
2020 US TBD (proposed) Americas
2019 KR Seoul Asia/Pacific
2018 CA Toronto Americas
2017 GB London Europe
2016 AT Vienna Europe
2015 US Washington DC Americas
2014 ES Madrid Europe
2013 JP Tokyo Asia/Pacific
2012 IEC Geneva Europe
2011 DK Copenhagen Europe
2010 CA Ottawa Americas
2009 NL Delft Europe
2008 IT Milan Europe
2007 SG Singapore Asia/Pacific
2006 GB London Europe
2005 CA Mont Tremblant, QC Americas
2004 KR Jeju City Asia/Pacific
2003 NO Oslo Europe
2002 FI Lapland Europe
2001 US Kona, Hawaii Americas
2000 JP Nara Asia/Pacific
1999 DE Berlin Europe
1998 DK Copenhagen Europe
1997 CA Ottawa Americas
1996 GB London Europe
1995 US Annapolis, MD Americas
1994 NL The Hague Europe
1993 FR Paris Europe
1992 FI Ellivuori Europe
1991 AT Vienna Europe
1990 GB London Europe
1989 DE Berlin Europe
1988 JP Tokyo Asia/Pacific
1987 US Washington DC Americas
1986 AT Vienna Europe
1985 FR Paris Europe

9. Standing Documents

SC 22 has developed some of its own operating procedures over and above those from the JTC 1 and ISO Directives. These are recorded in SC 22/SD1.

This document is SC 22/SD2.