|Document Number:||INCITS/J13 02-001|
|Date:||10 May 2002|
|Reply To:||Steve M. Haflich, J13 Chair|
|1995 University Avenue|
|Berkeley CA 94704|
INCITS/J13 has developed the ANS for programming language Common Lisp (X3.226-1994). It now maintains that standard and is considering future revisions and extension.
J13 failed to maintain quorum during 2001 and essentially ceased functioning. The Chair has spent the recent months reestablishing quorum. It was a battle, but quite recently four entities have confirmed intention to join and are now being invoiced by INCITS (see Appendix M below). The chair considers these promises to be reliable. The expected membership consists of two vendors and two users. It may be possible to draw one or two more members over time.
Why is it so difficult to find SDO members from an active language community? Several causes can be suggested:
- J13 has no active projects. The community from time to time expresses vague interest in new standards work -- "It would be nice if..." -- but there is no momentum from which J13 can draw.
- Even large players in the computer industry are financially stressed. A number of interested former members were simply unable to obtain management approval for something with no demonstrable, short-term benefit. Further, some members of the community are independently employed, or under employed, and it is hard to justify expense of $800 in personal funds where there is no manifest financial return.
- Finally, there is competition from other forms of standardization. If you think about it, the open source movement competes with formal SDO activity. While open source is not quite the same as standardization, it fills many of the same needs: It provides a forum for negotiation of details; It provides automatic publication of the result; and achieves community conformance to a common practice. In addition, open source has the benefit of being more-easily capable of both rapid change and gradual evolution.
While there has been no progress towards new projects, there is unanimous sentiment in the community supporting for the 1994 ANS. No one considers it irrelevant or unimportant.
The IR position remained unfilled after two calls for volunteers during 2000. There is, conveniently, still no known international business pending or expected (other than the unproblematic reaffirmation of ISLISP, see below) so the matter is not urgent. If J13 enters Maintenance Status, the Chair is permitted by SD-2 to serve as IR. If J13 does not enter Maintenance Status, there is some precendent for allowing the Chair to fill the position when there is no significant international activity.
a. Project Number and Title574 - Mb. Project Milestones
Programming Language Common LispMilestone 8 (Publication) was completed in 1994.The standard was reaffirmed in 1999.c. Project DescriptionDevelopment and maintenance of X3.226-1994, the American National Standard for Information Technology -- Programming Language Lisp.d. Publications During Past Year(none)e. Statement of ProgressJ13 has no active projects, other than periodic review of 574-M.
a. Previous Year's MeetingsJ13 did not meet during 2001. The last meeting was Dec 20, 2000, by electronic chat.
b. Next Year's Planned Meetingsc. Officers -- INCITS/J13
Now that a reliable quorum has been restablished, the committee will discuss its choice of action by mailing list, then hold a meeting by electronic chat. Then, with all members having established voting status, will vote as necessary to accomplish its chosen course of action.
From private discussions in the J123 community, the obvious choices for action remain these:
It unrealistic that J13 could soon commence any broad areas for drafting new standards. A more conceivable intermediate step would to draft one or another potential Supplements that would make small but useful extensions to the existing standard language. But even this may be overreaching until J13 reestablishes some significant forward momentum.
- Vote to recommend Maintenance Status for J13.
- Restart activityby fast tracking an existing de facto standard, possibly the Metaobject Protocol. This portion of the language was drafted as if part of the adopted standardization in 1989, but the authors recommended at that time the committee delay until the community had more experience with its implementation and use. Therefore, the MOP component is already in a form ready and appropriate for fast track.
Consideration of further meetings is a standing agenda item.
Chair: Steven M. Haflich
Vice Chair: (vacant) IR: vacant since September 2000 Secretary: (rotates ad hoc) Technical Editor: vacant (no present activity) Vocabulary Representative: (vacant) Librarian: (vacant -- performed by chair)
d. Membership(see Appendix M below)e. Liaison ActivitiesThe IR is liaison to SC22/WG16 which has been inactive since completion of ISO/IEC 13816:1997 - Programming Language ISLISP. No need for IR activity is anticipated in the foreseeable future. The 5-year reconfirmation of ISO/IEC 13816:1997 is currently before the JTC (JT/02-0077 IT/02-0106). There is no question that reconfirmation should be approved (opinion of J13 Chair, who will so recommend to JTC). It will be parliamentarily impossible for J13 to take a formal vote on the matter, but they will be canvassed informally and a recommendation made to JTC.f. Administrative Matters of Noteg. Procedural Matters of Note
The chair needs to follow up on the invoices to make sure a voting quorum is properly and reliably established. Then J13 must decide whether or not to enter maintenance status.
If the committee enters Maintenance Status, the Chair can fulfill the position of IR in accordance with SD-2. If the committee for some reason declines to enter Maintenance Status, and if no member expresses interest in the IR position, the Chair will recommend that INCITS allow the Chair to exercise the position, considering that no particular international business is expected.h. Recommendations
J13 has conducted successful meetings my electronic chat, and intends to continue to do so. Current membership is evenly scattered across timezones spread 8 hours apart. While this will require some chat attendees to be present at odd hours, this is still much less of an inconvenience than international travel and jet lag.
Through informal discussion, members of the committee lean toward chat in preference to phone conference owing to the awkwardness of oral communication for non-native English speakers.(none)i. Market Impact
This section has been reviewed but is unchanged from year 2000.
Common Lisp remains a language of choice for high-end engineering and artificial intelligence applications. The positive features of the language have not decayed significantly with age, and (unlike during the AI boom of the 1980's) Lisp systems no longer require expensive, high-end hardware. The Lisp market remains stable.
As evidenced by the frequency and vehemence with which it is cited and discussed in forums such as comp.lang.lisp, the 1994 ANS remains an important work that will continue to be the standard reference for the Common Lisp community. The errors, ambiguities, and other defects in the standard are objectively few. However, the continued lack of standardization for language features areas of system interface (e.g. sockets, threading, I18N and localization, and programming-language interoperability) is unfortunate, as these have become increasingly important in recent years.
Growth continues in the use of Lisp in Web applications, including but not limited to intelligent servers for dynamic content and intelligent data mining applications. In addition to the applications themselves, the technology substrates need for Web applications are also under active development within the community. However, there does not seem to be much community feeling at this time that new standards are needed. The active developers seem to feel (correctly or incorrectly) that they are better without additional constraints at this time. Perhaps this will change as technologies mature, merge, and stabilize.
See the discussion in the Executive Summary above.
Areas which might especially warrant standardization within the next few years include libraries and interfaces supporting Web Programming. Internationalization, Localization, Database Interface, and Language Interoperability.
The current SD-4 data as revised 03/28/02 is correct. It is included here for reference:
J13/SC22/WG16 Common LISP
(Revised 03/07/01 )
INCITS Project: 574 - M
Standard Designation: X3.226:1994 [R1999]
Title: Programming Language Common Lisp
Related International Development
ISO/IEC Doc.: IS 13816:1997
JTC 1 Project: 22.23
J13 has no special Internal Procedures; Attachment 2 is omitted.
J13 operates without collecting funds from members; Attachment 3 is omitted.
Steve Haflich (P) email@example.com Franz Inc 510-548-3600 Suite 275 1995 University Ave Berkeley CA 94704 Kevin Layer (A) firstname.lastname@example.org Franz Inc 510-548-3600 1995 University Ave Berkeley CA 94704 Martin Simmons (P) email@example.com Xanalys Inc Barrington Hall Barrington Cambridge CB2 5RG United Kingdom Kevin Males (A) firstname.lastname@example.org Xanalys Inc Barrington Hall Barrington Cambridge CB2 5RG United Kingdom Raymond de Lacaze (P) email@example.com self voice 212-956-0719 230 West 55th St., Apt. #25C fax 212-956-0719 New York, NY 10019 Hisao Kuroda (P) firstname.lastname@example.org Mathematical Systems, Inc. phone +81 3-3358-1701 10F Four Seasons Bldg. fax +81 3-3358-1727 2-4-3 Shinjuku Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022 JAPAN