These Procedures were approved by the ARG on November 15, 2013, and are based on the previous Procedures approved by the ARG on November 1, 1995 and October 5, 2001.
The Ada Rapporteur Group (ARG) is a subgroup of ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG9, the JTC1 Working Group for Ada. The ARG has the following duties:
Serve as an advisory group for the project editors of ISO/IEC 8652, ISO/IEC 18009, and other standards as assigned by WG 9.
Support the SC22 defect and interpretation process by drafting publicly available responses to Defect Reports on ISO/IEC 8652, ISO/IEC 18009, and other standards as assigned by WG 9 .
Draft text for proposed clarifications, corrections and changes to those two standards and others as assigned by WG9.
Recommend strategies for extensions of the Ada language and libraries and prescription of conformity and optionality via the use of corrigenda, amendments, secondary standards, technical reports and informative materials.
Coordinate with other organizations to promote uniform implementation of the Ada standard and appropriate usage of Ada in other standards.
Language proposals originating in other Rapporteur Groups of WG9 will be referred to the ARG for disposition in the same manner as suggestions originating outside of WG9.
The ARG exists from meeting to meeting of WG 9, and is reappointed at each meeting of WG 9. The membership list is proposed by the Rapporteur to the convenor of WG 9. Membership entitles a person to vote during ARG discussions and to participate in ARG letter ballots.
Members are expected to attend meetings regularly, to participate in e-mail discussions, and to vote on letter ballots.
The convenor of WG 9 designates officers from the membership of the ARG. The officers are:
The ARG meets two or three times a year; location and dates will be determined as appropriate, striking a balance between meeting in Europe and the US.
Non-members may attend the meetings upon invitation; their active participation is at the discretion of the Rapporteur.
Comments on the Standard are sent to WG 9, SC 22, or preferably by electronic mail to ada-comment at ada-auth.org, following the comment format specified in the Reference Manual.
The ARG deals only with Ada commentaries, not individual comments per se. An Ada commentary contains all information relevant to the point addressed by a language comment, including any recommended action to be taken on the point, the rationale for the recommendation, all written comments relevant to the topic of the commentary, and a history of the commentary's processing. The commentary also provides summary information that can be published.
The ARG editor initially processes received comments. If the comment pertains to any existing language commentaries, the comment is associated with them. If the comment is completely irrelevant (it is an advertisement, a request for help with homework, a comment on the Americans with Disabilities Act, the American Dental Association, or any other ADA, etc.) it is discarded. Otherwise, a new commentary is created to deal with the new topic. Each new commentary is assigned a unique number for identification, and is given a provisional classification (the classes are described in Section 3).
If the Editor, in consultation with the Rapporteur, determines that a comment was satisfactorily answered by e-mail, has insufficient information, or is of interest to only a tiny minority of users, the commentary is given a status of Received No Action. Such commentaries will not be considered by the ARG. 10% of the ARG membership (minimum 2 members) may request that a Received No Action commentary be considered by the ARG, in which case the commentary is given the Received status.
Otherwise, the new commentary is given the Received status and will be considered by the ARG at an upcoming meeting.
Commentaries are developed by discussion at meetings and/or via e-mail; these usually are assigned to an author to create or update a proposed commentary. Such proposals have the Work Item status.
The outcome of the discussion of a commentary at a meeting is usually a vote on one of the following options:
Approve As Is. This changes the status of the commentary to ARG Approved.
Approve with Changes. This automatically causes an Action Item on the Editor to apply the agreed changes, as well as changes the status of the commentary to ARG Approved;
Approve Intent. An Action Item is given to an ARG member to propose amended wording for the commentary. If the revised wording is available before the end of the meeting then the commentary may be considered again at that meeting. Another vote will be required before the commentary is approved;
Keep Alive. The commentary warrants further investigation outside of the meeting. An Action Item is given to an ARG member to investigate and report back;
No Action. This changes the status of the commentary to No Action.
Straw polls (which may include non-members) may also be taken during the course of a discussion in order to obtain feedback on whether the discussion is heading in an agreed direction, but these have no binding status.
ARG consideration of a commentary has been completed when the commentary is either accepted or classified as requiring no further action. The ARG disposition of a commentary is determined by a 2/3 vote of members present at an ARG meeting; the Rapporteur and Editor each may vote.
After the ARG has approved a commentary, an ARG member may request a letter ballot (even if the commentary is approved unanimously). Letter ballots allow for further discussion and consideration of a proposed action before it is final. If a letter ballot is requested, the commentary is circulated among the ARG for consideration after the ARG meeting and a second vote is taken by mail; the commentary is approved if 2/3 of members responding to the ballot vote in favor of it. If there are any negative votes, however, those members voting negatively are given an opportunity to argue their case at the next meeting. This procedure is followed to give a maximum opportunity to achieve consensus, and to ensure that any potential errors are given appropriate attention. Disapproval of a letter ballot means the commentary is subject to further discussion and vote at the next ARG meeting.
The Rapporteur may at his/her discretion call for a letter ballot on draft commentaries prior to any discussion of the commentary at a meeting to shorten the process for issues that are either non-controversial or deemed sufficiently discussed by electronic mail exchanges. A request by any member of the ARG for discussion of such a commentary at a meeting shall be honored; in this case, the commentary shall not be forwarded to WG 9, until a vote at a meeting has taken place.
After the ARG has approved a commentary (but prior to conducting any requested letter ballot), a draft of the approved ARG position is prepared and published (on the ada-auth web site) for editorial review and comment. (At the Rapporteur's discretion, non-members may be invited to comment as well.) Editorial comments are due three weeks after the draft has been sent out for review. Comments are incorporated into the draft at the discretion of the Rapporteur. Substantive changes are recirculated for further editorial review. If new issues are raised during the editorial review, further discussion of the commentary may take place. Upon completion of the editorial review and any letter ballot, approved commentaries are forwarded to WG 9 for action. (Commentaries approved by an ARG meeting, but subject to a subsequent letter ballot may be forwarded provisionally for consideration by WG 9; such commentaries are not considered by WG 9 if they fail the letter ballot.)
If a commentary is approved by WG 9, WG 9 may request that the ARG produce a Technical Corrigendum and Defect Report in accordance with ISO format and rules for further handling by WG-9. Generally, WG 9 will request these documents for a group of commentaries at one time. Absent such a request, the approved commentary requires no further action by the ARG. If it is not approved, it is returned to the ARG for further consideration.
Language commentaries are categorized as shown below. The purpose of the classification is to distinguish among the following points: is a change to the text of the Standard desirable? Should the recommendation affect the status of validated compilers? Is the commentary one that can be deferred until the Standard is undergoing a general revision?
In addition to its classification, a language commentary is tracked according to its processing status:
Commentaries at all stages of development shall be available to all interested parties by electronic access. Since January 1, 1999, the version control system for commentaries is available on the web at