An important milestone in the birth of the new standard revision, Fortran 2018 (formerly Fortran 2015) is upon us! The Draft International Standard (DIS) has been submitted for country balloting. This is one of the final steps in the long process of developing a new standard, so we’re almost there!

Before any voting takes place, there is an eight week period where National Bodies (NB) can choose to translate the DIS text into their native language (no, that doesn’t mean COBOL.) Typically, only Japan does translations, and not at the DIS stage. Each NB can choose to make comments along with their vote. If the comments require substantial technical changes, the committee would then have to create a Final Draft International Standard (FDIS) incorporating the comments. Otherwise, a choice can be made to directly publish the DIS as the approved standard.

The translation period runs to about March 6. The ballot will then open and NBs will have until about the end of May to comment and vote. WG5 is meeting in June to review the comments; if the proposal is to skip the FDIS, a 1-month “letter ballot” must be taken and 2/3 of the voting members must approve. I’m really hoping that this is what happens, as otherwise publication might slip to 2019.

If you’d like to read the DIS for yourself, head over to the WG5 web site and download document N2146. John Reid is putting the finishing touches on his “What’s New in Fortran 2018” document and, when ready, that will also be available on the WG5 web site (document number N2145 has been reserved for it.)

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