(j3.2006) (SC22WG5.5744) Units of measure

John Reid John.Reid
Sun Jul 3 04:58:35 EDT 2016

Van Snyder wrote:
> I don't understand how the paragraph quoted from the ISO directives
> precludes the possibility of publishing a TS that does not promise to
> incorporate the feature in a future standard.  Not promising to
> incorporate is not the same as promising not to incorporate.

Yes, we could have written it this way, but when proposing it as a TS 
work item, we would have had to say that we intended to include it in a 
future standard.



> Bill and others have argued that units support ought to be provided by a
> preprocessor, no matter how unpalatable that is, especially if one has
> several users and several developers of the software.  If a TS were
> published, at least preprocessor vendors could claim compliance to that,
> and would hopefully all provide the same features, in the same way.
> I also don't understand the argument that we shouldn't be ambitious
> because vendors found some features of 2003 difficult to implement.  If
> we had postponed incorporating them until 2015, nobody would have given
> any thought to how to implement them until now, and they would thereby
> not be available until 2025.  I don't see any advantage in that.
> Indeed, it seems to be a distinct disadvantage.  I'm very pleased that
> 2003 features are becoming available now, instead of appearing ten years
> after my retirement.
> I've spend my entire half-century career working in an organization
> whose motto is "Dare Mighty Things" so perhaps I can be forgiven for
> having more ambitions for Fortran than other members seem to have.
> Reliability is extremely important to my organization.  We built two
> machines that have operated unattended in the harsh deep-space
> environment for forty years, and show all signs of lasting at least
> another decade.  We promised NASA that the Spirit and Opportunity rovers
> would last ninety days on Mars.  Opportunity is still working twelve
> years after landing.  The Spirit rover lasted "only" six years.
> Reliability doesn't come without great effort, and every tool to improve
> it is welcome.  Is reliability not important to anybody else, or is
> everybody who cares about it eager to achieve it without the best tools
> possible?
> JPL is a Federally Funded Research and Development Center, operated by
> Caltech.  Unlike at least a few government civil-service organizations,
> JPL and Caltech are very careful with taxpayers' money, so labor cost is
> important to us.  Reliability doesn't come for free, and every tool that
> helps to reduce the cost of achieving it is welcome.  Is labor cost not
> important to anybody else?
> On Sat, 2016-07-02 at 11:50 +0100, John Reid wrote:
>> WG5,
>> N.M. Maclaren wrote:
>>> On Jun 29 2016, Bill Long wrote:
>>>>> Van asks
>>>>> 2. Did you ask whether my offer to remove the promise to incorporate the
>>>>> specification into a future revision of the standard made a difference
>>>>> in their positions?
>>>>> For all those that attended the London meeting, I would appreciate your
>>>>> thoughts on this.
>>>>> I think I should perhaps add a paragraph on 2. I think the sentiment
>>>>> was that it would obviate the whole point of a TS - to define a feature
>>>>> that WG5 intended eventually to include in the standard.
>>>> I agree with John that this is the operational norm for WG5 and making an
>>>> exception here weakens the norm for other proposals.
>>> While that is true, there were people who felt that using TSs solely for
>>> that purpose was a mistake.
>> We have to work within the ISO/IEC JTC 1 rules. The latest directives say
>> "When the subject in question is still under development or where for
>> any other reason there is the future but not immediate possibility of an
>> agreement to publish an International Standard, the technical committee
>> or subcommittee may decide, by following the procedure set out in 2.3,
>> that the publication of a Technical Specification would be appropriate."
>> I have added a paragraph that includes this quotation at the end. I have
>> also split the first paragraph to add a sentence explaining that this
>> was proposed as a TS.
>> Does this document now give a fair summary of why we made the decision
>> in London?
>> John.
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