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Austin Group Status Update

by Andrew Josey

Andrew Josey is the director, server platforms, for The Open Group in Reading, England, and the chair of the Austin Group.

This article contains a brief status update for the Austin Group, the joint technical working group established to consider the matter of a common revision of ISO/IEC 9945-1, ISO/IEC 9945-2, IEEE Std 1003.1, IEEE Std 1003.2, and the appropriate parts of the Single UNIX Specification.

There are now 245 participants in the Austin Group from a wide mix of interest groups.

The fifth meeting of the joint technical working group was held at the Open Group offices in Reading on May 15—19, 2000. The objective of this meeting was to review the Draft 3 specifications.

Over 1140 change requests were processed at the five-day meeting, at an average of 43 requests per hour. This was down slightly from 47 requests per hour at the previous plenary in Montreal.

Summary status is as follows:

  • Draft 1 published June 1999.
  • Draft 2 published October 1999.
  • Draft 3 published February 2000. (3196 pages).

Draft 3 was the result of much teamwork, with many members working around the clock for several weeks to get the draft out on time. Altogether, over 1,100 editorial "aardvarks" (aardvark is the commenting mechanism used by the group) were submitted by the team to enable the merge of the new documents.


The IEEE ballot invitation has gone out.

At the ISO/IEC level, it has been approved for concurrent CD registration and final CD ballot by WG15, but this has to be forwarded to SC22 for approval.

Of the over 1,100 aardvark comments received against Draft 3, many were for C99 alignment. It was observed that the quality of the aardvarks submitted by some reviewers could be improved and that future plenary meetings would have to reject malformed (such as wrong line numbers, and missing or incomplete actions) requests as nonresponsive. The next draft (Draft 4) will be produced at the end of July and will fold in the changes identified by the review of Draft 3, fold in 1003.1q, and produce the rationale volume (XRAT). Draft 4 will be feature-complete — no new features are expected to be added after that point. Draft 4 is scheduled for August 1, 2000, and will be available for an eight-week review period closing September 26, 2000. The formal review period for Draft 4 will include concurrent IEEE and ISO/IEC balloting. The next plenary meeting will be October 9—13, 2000, to review aardvarks arising from Draft 4. This meeting will be held in the USA at a location to be confirmed. To participate in the revision, see <>.


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Last changed: 22 Dec. 2000 ah
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