The Tool providers that support HLL have now agreed on the content of the next published version of HLL. It will be a merge of the different dialects of HLL that exist today.
One language for all
Over the years tool providers have developed HLL in different directions in order to solve their particular needs and to compete with each other by providing the best language. The diversity is however not in the best interest of the HLL users, that become locked in with their tool provider as the HLL they use is not exactly the same as other providers support.
With the vision of enabling more users around the world to use HLL as well as making it possible for the user to pick the tools best suited to their needs, we started a project to merge the language, as I wrote in a blog post in April. A common standard language HLL will increase the credibility and usage of the language, give end users increased confidence in the language and therefore increase their will to invest in formal specifications in HLL. Tool providers will still be able to compete by developing the best tools and by offering the best services.
Last week I sent out a finished proposal, based on negotiations during the spring. It has been hard work, in a good spirit. Even though we who worked with this are competitors, we share the need to merge, and we who work with HLL do want it to be a successful formal language.
It remains to agree about a precise specification. This might be a tough step, as we need to fund a joint development of a specification and agree about a lot of details. Based on the experience so far I am confident we will manage this as well.
We plan to have our next HLL Forum meeting in October. The progress with a joint specification will be presented and we will also discuss an extended scope of the forum, such as inviting universities and promoting the language outside the railway industry.