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Alphabet Soup:

Guide to Abbreviations and Other Common Terms in Standardization

This page lists abbreviations and acronyms used by other standards developing organizations. It is currently organized as alphabetical lists for ISO, IETF and W3C. More information can be found in the Standards Developing Organizations FAQ. Other terms and abbreviations specific to the Unicode Standard may be found in the Unicode Glossary. To find suggested translations of Unicode terminology in some other languages, see About Unicode Terminology.

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Abbreviations and Other Terms

Amd (or AMD). Short for Amendment, a formally published change document that modifies the content of an International Standard.

ANSI. American National Standards Institute. The primary U.S. standardization organization. www.ansi.org

CD. Committee Draft.

COR. Technical Corrigendum.

DAM. Draft Amendment.

DCOR. Draft Technical Corrigendum.

DIS. Draft International Standard.

DTR. Draft Technical Report.

FCD. Final Committee Draft. (A document ballot category no longer in use.)

FDAM. Final Draft Amendment.

FDIS. Final Draft International Standard.

FPDAM. Final Proposed Draft Amendment. (A document ballot category no longer in use.)

IEC. International Electrotechnical Commission. www.iec.ch

INCITS. InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards. The U.S. standardization organization focussed primarily on standards in the field of information and communications technologies. Most of the U.S. TAGs for JTC1 standards are designated technical committees of INCITS. www.incits.org

IRG. Ideographic Rapporteur Group. This is a specific rapporteur group, working on Han unification issues, reporting to WG2. http://appsrv.cse.cuhk.edu.hk/~irg/

IS. International Standard. The formal name for standards published under ISO/IEC auspices.

ISO. International Organization for Standardization. www.iso.org

ITTF. ISO/IEC Information Technology Task Force. This is the coordination group that handles the relationship between JTC1 and ISO and IEC. Importantly, it is also responsible for the publication of JTC1 standards. www.iso.org/ittf

JAC. Joint Advisory Committee. A term used for the advisory committees often established to advise registrars about proposed additions to registries. (See RA.)

JTC1 (or JTC 1). Joint Technical Committee 1. This is a joint technical committee of ISO and IEC, and is responsible for most ISO and IEC standards in the area of information technology, including many ISO standards of relevance to the Unicode Standard. www.jtc1.org For a guide to JTC1, with links to the detailed information about its subcommittees, see JTC1 subcommittee organization.

L2. The INCITS technical committee for characters sets and internationalization. This committee is the U.S. TAG for JTC1 SC2, and is responsible for developing U.S. NB ballot positions on SC2 standards, including ISO/IEC 10646 and ISO/IEC 14651. Because of the considerable overlap in membership and the overriding concern about synchronization of their major standards, L2 now holds its meetings concurrently with Unicode Technical Committee (UTC) meetings. http://incits.org/committees/l2

NB. National Body. This is a term referring to the standardization agency (or other organization) officially designated by a country to represent its standardization interests into the international framework of ISO and IEC.

NP. New Work Item Proposal.

O-member. An observer member. An observer may participate in committee work, but does not vote.

OWG. Other Working Group. A working group of a subcommittee of JTC1. The administrative distinction between an OWG and a regular working group is that an OWG must be explicitly reauthorized at each meeting of the subcommittee, whereas a regular working group does not need periodic reauthorization.

OWG-SORT. Other Working Group for Sorting, reporting to JTC1 SC2. This is the working group of experts from various national bodies participating in SC2, which does the actual technical work on ISO/IEC 14651, the International String Ordering standard.

PDAM. Proposed Draft Amendment.

PDTR. Proposed Draft Technical Report.

P-member. A primary member. A primary member of JTC1 or any of its subcommittees has full voting rights and responsibilities.

RA. Registration Authority. An organization designated to maintain a registry established by a registration standard. For example, the Unicode Consortium is the registration authority for the registry of codes for the representation of the names of scripts, established by the ISO 15924 standard. The Information Technology Standards Commission of Japan (ITSCJ) is the registration authority for the international register of coded character sets to be used with escape sequences, established by the ISO 2375 standard.

RG. Rapporteur Group.

SC2. Subcommittee 2 of JTC1. This is the subcommittee formally responsible for ISO/IEC 10646, maintained in synchrony with the Unicode Standard, and for ISO/IEC 14651, International String Ordering, maintained in synchrony with UTS #10, the Unicode Collation Algorithm. SC2 at ISO.org

SDO. Standards Developing Organization. A general term for an organization which develops standards. For an excellent current list of SDOs, see: http://www.ansi.org/internet_resources/overview/overview.aspx?menuid=12

TAG. Technical Advisory Group. A TAG is a specific technical group accredited as the official group responsible for reviewing standards developed by one or more subcommittees in the ISO framework and developing ballot positions on them. ANSI is responsible for accrediting U.S. TAGs to ISO.

WD. Working draft.

WG2. Working Group 2 of JTC1 SC2. This is the working group of experts from various national bodies participating in SC2, which does the actual technical work on ISO/IEC 10646. Note that working group numbering is not unique—there are many Working Group 2's associated with various subcommittees in ISO. However, in the context of discussions about the Unicode Standard, "WG2" almost always refers specifically to Working Group 2 of JTC1 SC2. WG2 at ISO.org See also http://std.dkuug.dk/jtc1/sc2/wg2/

IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) Abbreviations and Other Terms

AD. Area Director. Area directors are members of the IESG who manage the activities of the IETF working groups.

AS. Applicability Statement. A subtype of specifications subject to the Internet Standards Process, referring to a specification of how, and under what circumstances, one or more Technical Specifications (TS) may be applied to support a particular Internet capability.

BCP. Best Current Practice. A subseries of the RFC series of documents, used to standardize conclusions about the best way to perform some operations or IETF process function.

ccTLD. Country Code Top Level Domain. Top level domains based on country codes, such as .de, .fr, .uk, .cn, .jp, and so on.

DNS. Domain Name Service.

Draft Standard. The next level maturity for a standards track specification, after Proposed Standard. A Draft Standard is a specification for which at least two independent and interoperable implementations from difference code bases have been developed, and for which sufficient successful operational experience has been obtained.

Experimental. A non-standards track specification that is part of some research or development effort.

gTLD. Generic Top Level Domain. Domains such as .com, .org, .net, and so on.

Historic. A specification that has been superseded by a more recent specification or is for any other reason considered to be obsolete.

IAB. The Internet Architecture Board. www.iab.org The administrative and technical oversight board for the activities of the Internet Society. The IAB appoints the IESG, maintains architecture oversight of the Internet, handles the Internet Standards Process and appeals, is responsible for the RFC Editor and IANA and handles internal and external liaison for ISOC. See the IAB Charter: RFC 2850.

IANA. The Internet Assigned Number Authority. www.iana.org The administering authority for various protocol parameters used by IETF protocols. Typically, this consists of maintaining lists of numbers and other identifiers. For example, IANA maintains the Internet charset registry. It also maintains the DNS Root Zone.

ID. Internet-Draft. Draft working documents published in the IETF's Internet-Drafts directory. Internet-Drafts have no formal status, and are subject to change or removal at any time. Internet-Drafts are explained and hosted at www.ietf.org/ID.html

IDN. Internationalized Domain Name.

IDNA. Internationalized Domain Names in Applications.

IESG. Internet Engineering Steering Group. The IESG is responsible for "standards actions," which consist of entering a specification into the standards track, advancing it within the standards track, or removing it from the standards track. www.ietf.org/iesg.html

IETF. Internet Engineering Task Force. www.ietf.org An international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet, open to any interested individual. The IETF, collectively, does most of the technical work on Internet Standards. See the IETF Mission Statement: RFC 3935.

Informational. A non-standards track specification that is published for the general information of the Internet community.

Internet Standard. The final level of maturity for a standards track specification. At this level, a specification has obtained significant implementation and successful operational experience. An Internet Standard is assigned a number in the STD series while retaining its RFC number.

ISOC. The Internet Society. An independent international nonprofit organization which provides leadership in Internet related standard, education, and policy around the world. It is the "organisation home" for the IETF and the IAB. www.isoc.org

Last-Call. A notification sent by the IESG to the IETF to permit a final review of a specification pending a standards action.

Proposed Standard. The entry-level maturity for a standards track specification.

RFC. Request for Comments. An archival document series of Internet standards-related specifications. RFCs are the official publication channel for Internet standards documents and other publications of the IESG, IAB and Internet community. RFC publication is the responsibility of the RFC Editor.

RFC Editor. www.rfc-editor.org The organization responsible for editorial management and publication of the RFC document series.

Standards Track. Internet specifications being developed for standardization as Internet Standards or BCPs.

STD. A subseries of the RFC series of documents, used specifically for Internet Standards.

TS. Technical Specification. A subtype of specifications subject to the Internet Standards Process, referring to any description of a protocol, service, procedure, convention, or format.

WG. Working Group. An ad hoc group chartered by the IETF to work on a particular specification. Typically a WG works via a specific email list and is dissolved when work on that specification is completed. Lists of active working groups can be found at http://www.ietf.org/wg/

W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) Abbreviations and Other Terms

AB. Advisory Board. A group which provides guidance to the Team on issues of strategy, management, legal matters, and process.

AC. Advisory Committee. This committee consists of one representative from each W3C Member organization. This committee reviews formal proposals from the W3C Director, elects the Advisory Board, and elects the majority of the participants on the Technical Architecture Group.

CR. Candidate Recommendation. A document that W3C believes has been widely reviewed and satisfies the WG's technical requirements, published to gather implementation experience. This is the stage before PR on the Recommendation Track.

IG. Interest Group. A forum for the exchange of ideas regarding the evaluation of potential Web technologies and policies.

Last Call. An announcement made by a Working Group (WG) indicating the deadline for review comments for a Working Draft, soliciting public review and indicating that the WG is planning to advance the technical report to a later maturity level (that is, Candidate Recommendation). In particular, Last Call signals that:

  • The Working Group believes that it has satisfied its relevant technical requirements (of the charter or requirements document) in the Working Draft.
  • The Working Group believes that it has satisfied significant dependencies with other groups.
  • Other groups SHOULD review the document to confirm that these dependencies have been satisfied.

PR. Proposed Recommendation. A mature technical report that, after wide review for technical soundness and implementability, W3C has sent to the W3C Advisory Committee for final endorsement.

REC. W3C Recommendation. A specification or set of guidelines that, after extensive consensus-building, has received the endorsement of W3C Members and the Director. Recommendations are similar to the standards published by other SDOs.

Recommendation Track. The development process for a document intended to be finalized as a standard. Roughly equivalent to the usage of "Standards Track" by the IETF and other SDOs.

TAG. Technical Architecture Group. The technical group responsible for stewardship of the Web architecture. In particular, the TAG is chartered:

  • to document and build consensus around principles of Web architecture and to interpret and clarify these principles when necessary
  • to resolve issues involving general Web architecture brought to the TAG
  • to help coordinate cross-technology architecture developments inside and outside W3C

W3C. The commonly used abbreviation for World Wide Web Consortium.

W3C Team. The W3C paid staff, unpaid interns and W3C Fellows.

WD. Working Draft. A document that W3C has published for review by the community.

WG. Working Group. A W3C Working Group produces deliverables, that is, Recommendations, software, test suites, and reviews.

For further explanation of W3C jargon and abbreviations, see Alan Kotok's Glossary of W3C Jargon.


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