...Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going...

J15 ANNUAL REPORT 2006/2007
Programming Language PL/B
Projects 662-M and 1049-D
Covering the Period from April 26, 2006 to April 25,2007

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­­­­­­Annual Report for: J15


Covering the Period from April 26, 2006 to April 25, 2007

Title of INCITS Subgroup:  Programming Language PL/B



                     J15 web site:  http://www.sysmaker.com/infopro/x3j15/

                    Executive summary

                    INCITS page for J15:  http://www.incits.org/tc_home/j15.htm

                    Significant accomplishments

                    Significant challenges

                    Expected challenges

                    Previous year’s meetings

                    Next year’s meetings

                    Liaison activities

                    Membership and Officers

                    Future Trends

                    Other administrative information


Informal Description of Work:

The J15 committee is engaged in the process of maintaining the X3.238:1994 ANSI Standard for the Programming Language PL/B (Projects 662-M). PL/B is a modern business programming language, suitable for on-line interactive business processing in both stand-alone and networked environments. The PL/B Programming Language is currently in use on a wide variety of operating systems and hardware platforms, and is supported by many compiler companies, tool companies, and application programming consultants.


1. Executive Summary

J15 is in maintenance mode and has not conducted any meetings during the period of time covered by this annual report.  The committee is not considering any revisions to this standard at this time.

2. Significant Accomplishments

Since issuance by ANSI of the Standard for PL/B, X3.238:1994, the J15 Committee has not received any requests to interpret the Standard and has not discovered any items which require clarification or amendment in the Standard.

3. Significant Challenges


4. Expected Challenges


5. Committee Activities

a. Previous Year’s Meetings:

Meeting Number






b. Next Year’s Planned Meetings:

Meeting Number






6. Liaison Activities


7. Membership and Officers

a. Officers:

Position (and training date)

Name and organization represented

Chair (trained 7/14/1997)

Gary Raymond, Infopro Inc.

630-978-9231 / gary@sysmaker.com

Vice Chair

Steve White, Sunbelt Computer Systems

903-881-0400 / sales@sunbelt-plb.com



International Representative


Vocabulary Representative


b. Membership:

There are currently four active J15 committee members:



8. Future Trends and Related Technical Activities

The J15 committee has identified and discussed a number of trends which will impact business software languages and standards development. Some of these trends have been partially addressed through enhancements already incorporated in our draft standard document for the PL/B Programming Language. Most trends listed here remain to be addressed in the future, subsequent to our present work in developing a first standard for PL/B.


GRAPHIC, WEB ORIENTED INTERFACE: Business software has become more graphic and web oriented. Most software users will expect programs to use web enabled technology, graphical icons, pull-down (or pop-up) menus, and pointing device (mouse, track-ball, touch-screen, etc.).


SHARING COMMON RESOURCES OVER INTERNET AND PRIVATE INTRANETS: The age of web computing come upon us. Software languages will need to provide better facilities to support common data access among disparate users attempting simultaneous access over “inter” (public) and “intra” (private) TCP/IP networks.  Ability to access and update data and perform coordinated transactions over the internet needs to be supported by all future business languages.


UTILIZATION OF SQL: Business software languages and application programs will be required to interface to various databases through SQL. Without SQL, although programs may be portable between hardware environments, it is doubtful that they will be compatible with other programs written in different languages, or accessing other databases. In the business world, compatibility is far more important for a single data processing installation and user of business software than portability (which tends to be more important for software providers). SQL is rapidly gaining popularity as a vehicle for providing both desired features.


PARALLEL PROCESSING: Tremendous opportunity exists within the near future to harness the power of multiple processor computers. Currently, no ANSI business programming language provides substantial means to make use of parallel processing power within an individual program. Programming techniques, and language constructs to support these techniques, need to be developed to address this issue.


INTERNATIONAL MARKET: Business software languages need to support greatly expanded character sets, expanded keyboard interactivity, and greater control over keyin and echo back of characters.  All computer languages need to fully support 16-bit UNICODE, in addition to their historic 8-bit language sets.  This has important implications for character comparison, sorting, and indexing operations.


DYNAMIC SOFTWARE MODULARITY: With increasing sophistication of software and object orientation, it is important for compiled languages to dynamically link to other compiled software modules (perhaps written in different languages), passing parameters and returning with values. Dynamic linking would be performed at run time, not compile or link time. Software modules (or objects) would become useful without need for users to have compilation and linking programs. Software modules could be written in the most appropriate programming language (adapted for dynamic linking) and would contain information about passing parameters accessible to other programs and modules at run time. Speed of dynamic linking would need to be optimized to make this process fast.


CLIENT / SERVER: Modern computer software has been oriented toward a graphic user interface and toward a either a client/server or web-client/server model of computing. These trends facilitate easier training of personnel to accomplish sophisticated tasks, and facilitate home office and remote computing. Programming languages will need to provide better facilities to write effective server facilities and graphical client programs. Future programmers should not be required to rely on proprietary vendor products, but should be able to utilize ANSI standard languages to quickly and efficiently program portable client/server systems.


INTERNET: Most new business computer software development is now developed with built-in Internet compatibility in addition to stand-alone operability. The committee has recognized this trend and feels that it is important

9. Other Administrative Information


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