Research by myself and by others has shown that there are natural programming language control structures that are impossible to describe adequately by means of Hoare axioms. Specifically, we have shown that there are control structures for which it is impossible to obtain axiom systems that are sound and relatively complete in the sense of Cook. These constructs include procedures with procedure parameters under standard ALGOL 60 scope rules and coroutines in a language with parameterless recursive procedures. A natural question to ask is whether it is possible to characterize those programming languages for which sound and complete proof systems can be obtained. For a wide class of programming languages and interpretations, it can be shown that P has a sound and relatively complete proof system for every expressive interpretation iff the halting problem for language P is decidable for all finite interpretations. Nevertheless, we are still far from a completely satisfactory characterization of the programming languages that can be axiomatized in this manner. The proof system that is generated in proving the above result does not have the property of being `syntax-directed', which is distinctive of the Hoare axioms. Moreoever, theoretical considerations suggest that good axioms for total correctness may exist for a wider spectrum of languages than for partial correctness. In this paper we discuss these questions and others that still need to be addressed before the characterization problem can be considered solved.