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International News

LISP Pointers
Volume I, Number 1
April-May 1987

International News
page 33

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The list is far less impressive for SC22: members only are

P-members    P-members    Q-members      P-members   
Austria Belgium Australia Czechoslavakia
Canada China Denmark Hungary
Finland France Ireland Pakistan
Germany, FR Italy Poland Switzerland
Japan The Netherlands      . .
Norway Sweden . .
United Kingdom      United States . .
USSR . . .

We found in it all the nations greatly involved with Lisp Standardization, that is to say US, Japan and in Europe, UK, Germany and France.

The whole story officially began in November, 1985 at the First Plenary Meeting of ISO/TC97/SC22 in Paris. France reported that it was interested by Lisp standardization. An ad-hoc group was then established in order to prepare appropriate New Work Item Proposals, suggestions for secretariats and conveners and methods for working for the standardization of Lisp, PROLOG or other Artificial Intelligence oriented languages. Dr. Robert F. Mathis was appointed to be the convener of this group. [ISO slang names convener the president of a working group. A New Work Item (or NWI) is a document proposed by the SC22 to the TC97 in order to initiate a standardization process]. This ad-hoc group delivered its conclusions at the first meeting of ISO/TC97/SC22 Advisory Group at Vienna in 1986, November. [As you saw before, SC22 is still a big group. The Advisory Group was created to provide advice to the SC22 Chairman and Secretariat where they have the authority to make a decision.]. The final report of the ad-hoc group concluded positively on the need of a Lisp standardization and recommended to establish a new working group on Lisp with a secretariat and convenor coming from AFNOR and/or ANSI. The SC22 AG recommended then that the NWI on Lisp be circulated to SC22 for approval and in the event that this work is approved by TC97 and assigned to SC22, that AFNOR be invited to supply the convenor [The two spellings can be found in ISO documents!] and secretarial support and that ANSI be invited to supply the project editor. That roughly means that the chairman of the working group is French and the writing of the standard is delegated to the ANSI.

Time Schedule
The approximate time schedule is the following
Letter ballot inside SC22 ending on March, 20
Letter ballot inside TC97 ending on July 1987
First Meeting of the Working Group : August-September 1987
First Draft Proposal for SC22 : July 1989.
It will be a hard and long way to standardize Lisp! Statistically it takes five years to get an ISO standard and two or three years more are needed to have nearly all products conform to that standard. But you must remember that the major part of the future standard will be more or less defined in 1988.


A first informal meeting of the future ISO Working Group may perhaps be held in Paris on June, 18-19 (just after the First European Conference on Object Oriented Programming) or in Milano just after the UCAI'87. More on this in the next issues...

The French Expert Group of AFNOR (Association Francaise de NORmalisation) will meet on March, 23 whilst the next Eu_Lisp group is scheduled in Paris on February, 9 and 10. On the other side of Atlantic, 7 ANSI/X3J13 will meet again on March, 16-18 in Palo Alto.

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