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!standard 1.1(0)          19-09-04 AC95-00318/00
!class confirmation 19-09-04
!status received no action 19-09-04
!status received 19-06-07
!subject PCTE Ada Binding

From: Jeff Cousins
Sent: Friday, June 7, 2019  3:46 AM

"ISO/IEC 13719-3_1998 Information technology -- Portable common tool environment
(PCTE) -- Part 3- Ada programming language binding" is up for its 4 yearly
systematic review.  The UK NB (BSI) is proposing to abstain due to lack of
expertise (presumably in PCTE rather than Ada).

Does anyone else know how their NBs are proposing to vote, and how would we like
them to vote?


From: Jean-Pierre Rosen
Sent: Friday, June 7, 2019  5:06 AM

I propose to freeze. Nobody implements/uses PCTE, it doesn't even have an entry
in Wikipedia (although it is refered to in the disambiguation page)!


From: Brad Moore
Sent: Friday, June 7, 2019  8:18 AM

In Canada, we had our quarterly meeting on Monday, and discussed this.
We decided to abstain for all of the PCTE related votes on the basis that we
didn't have any expertise on the subject to make an informed decision.

This seemed to be something in the area of CASE tools, and we couldn't say for
certain whether any such tools relied on this.

On the other hand, we had suspicions that nobody was using this, and even if
they were, it is unlikely that anyone would be seeking to update this, so I
think freeze would have been a reasonable choice as well.

I think whatever is done, it should probably be applied to all PCTE votes.
Freezing the Ada part may not be a good idea if the other parts are being


From: Jean-Pierre Rosen
Sent: Friday, June 7, 2019  9:07 AM

PCTE was an attempt to standardize a kind of universal abstract interface to the
operating system, but in practice to standardize UNIX. It has been preempted by

It is an ECMA standard, developped in the framework of the ESPRIT european
project that ran from 1983 to 1998.


From: Jeff Cousins
Sent: Friday, June 7, 2019  10:38 AM

Maybe more of a universal CASE  tool, but yes it was developed through the
European ESPRIT project, though it's not even listed on Wikipedia's page for the
ESPRIT project, nor in the EU's archives of the ESPRIT project.

I knew a few companies that got money out of developing tools for it, though no
one who actually used it in anger.  I think companies and universities in
Northern Europe were meant to be paired with ones in Southern Europe for
technology transfer from north to south.


From: Tucker Taft
Sent: Friday, June 7, 2019  11:14 AM

It was not a tool, it was an API, as JP Rosen explained.  It grew out of the
"CAIS" API  ("Common APSE Interface Set" -- APSE = "Ada Programming Support
Environment" -- the APSE term originated in the Pebbleman, Stoneman sequence of
requirements documents). CAIS was developed by the "KIT/KITIA" group, of which
Tuck and Erhard were members (led by Tricia Oberndorf, of NARL at the time).  It
was originally supposed to bridge the gap between the ALS and the AIE, two large
"all encompassing" Ada environments developed in the 80s.  Both the ALS and AIE
were bloated efforts, and largely subsumed by the rise of Unix/Posix/Linux.
Rich Thall from SofTech was the lead of the ALS, and yours truly was the lead of
the AIE.  Rich and I became good buddies, but the CAIS and the later PCTE were
never of great interest to anyone other than their creators.


From: Tucker Taft
Sent: Friday, June 7, 2019  11:15 AM

In any case, I would vote "stabilize" or "withdraw" on all PCTE-related


From: Jeff Cousins
Sent: Monday, June 10, 2019  6:54 AM

> It grew out of the "CAIS .......

Interesting, thanks for the info.


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