The Fortran 2015 standard is almost here, for larger values of “almost”. The technical content is locked down and, at this point, only minor editorial changes are being allowed. A Committee Draft is currently out for ballot, with the results to be available in time for the next US committee (J3 or INCITS PL22.3) meeting in October 2017. International committee (WG5) members get to make comments and suggest editorial changes, but technical changes are not allowed.
After the comments have been processed, a Draft International Standard (DIS) will be created and a ballot on that will be initiated in November 2017. The current schedule calls for any revisions to the DIS to be made available in May 2018 and the standard published in August 2018.
It has been a long process, and some of the new features took much more time and effort to nail down than we would have liked, but the end is in sight. Compilers are already picking up new features from the standard – for example, Intel Fortran supports all of the “Further Interoperability with C” features from Fortran 2015, and gfortran has been working on the new coarray features. John Reid has created a detailed document The new features of Fortran 2015 which is well worth a read.
So what’s next? Recognizing that drawn-out standards development hurts both users and compiler implementors, WG5, at the recent meeting in Garching, Germany, generally agreed that the next revision, which we are calling Fortran 2020 for now, will be limited in scope, with the goal to get the standard published in a much shorter time than earlier versions and to allow the implementors to catch up. As part of this effort, WG5 has opened a survey on its new web site, wg5-fortran.org, to ask Fortran users what they need and what their priorities are. Check it out! [The survey is now closed – results are in N2147.]
And on a related note, John Reid, who has been the Convenor of WG5 since 1999, has decided to step down from that role and he asked me if I’d be interested in filling that position. It was an honor to be asked and I agreed to be nominated for the role. Given that I don’t know of anyone else who has expressed an interest, it is probable that I will be confirmed as WG5 Convenor by the end of John’s term in September.