JTC1/SC22/WG5


International Standards Terminology



International Standardization uses a number of terms which may not be familiar to the average reader. Some of the more important of these are explained here, in the context of the standardization work carried out in the field of Information Technology through the auspices of JTC1.


Committee Draft (CD)

This is the first public form of a proposed international standard. A Working Draft must first be formally registered as a Committee Draft, as a result of a 3-month letter ballot amongst the Participating Member Bodies of the Sub-Committee to whom the Working Group that has produced the document is responsible. In the case of Programming Language standards this is JTC1/SC22.

Once a Committee Draft has been registered it must be approved by a further 3-month letter ballot amongst the Participating Member Bodies of the Sub-Committee. If any countries vote against approval then attempts must be made to modify the document in such a way as to satisfy the objections of the negative voters. Successive CD approval ballots will be held until either consensus has been reached or, if this is not possible, a majority of countries, according to the rules laid down in the JTC1 Directives, are in favour. Approval of the Final Committee Draft requires a slightly longer, 4-month, ballot, as this is the last time that any changes may be made to the document.

It is permissible for both the registration and approval ballots to be carried out simultaneously, and this is the approach that is normally used with Programming Language standards.


Final Committee Draft (CD)

This is the final public form of the Committee Draft of a proposed international standard, and must be identified as such before being submitted for a 4-month approval ballot amongst the Participating Member Bodies of the Sub-Committee.

Once a Final Committee Draft has been approved it is submitted to JTC1 for a 2-month Final Draft International Standard approval ballot.


Final Draft International Standard (FDIS)

This is the final form of a proposed standard before it is adopted as an International Standard. An approved Final Committee Draft, modified as necessary to accomodate comments submitted by National Bodies during, or after, the approval ballot, is first be registered as a Final Draft International Standard, and then submitted to a two-month letter ballot amongst Participating Member Bodies of JTC1.

Votes in the FDIS approval ballot may only be Approve or Disapprove.

If the FDIS is approved then it is published as an International Standard. However, if it is not approved then it must return to the Committee Draft stage and be approved by one or more CD ballots, including an FCD ballot, before being resubmitted for FDIS approval.


International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)

This is a non-governmental federation of national committees from around 50 countries, representing all the industrial countries in the world. It was established in 1906 to "promote international cooperation on all questions of standardization and related matters in the fields of electrical and electronic engineering and thus to promote international understanding."

To accomplish its task IEC publishes International Standards and Technical Reports.

Further information about IEC may be found in its own pages on the World Wide Web.

In 1976 IEC and ISO signed an agreement of cooperation, particularly in the field of Information Technology where a Joint Technical Committee (JTC1) was established to oversee all work in this area.


International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

This is a non-governmental, world-wide federation of national standards bodies from some 100 countries, one per country, which was established in 1947 to "promote the development of standardization and related activities in the world with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services, and to developing cooperation in the spheres of intelectual, scientific, technological and economic activity."

ISO's work results in international agreements which are published as International Standards.

Further information about ISO may be found in its own pages on the World Wide Web.

In 1976 ISO and IEC signed an agreement of cooperation, particularly in the field of Information Technology where a Joint Technical Committee (JTC1) was established to oversee all work in this area.


Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC1)

A technical committee set up jointly by ISO and IEC to oversee all international standardization activities in the field of information technology.

A full list of its Sub-Committees, and other relevant information, can be found in the ISO pages on the World Wide Web.


National Member Body (NB)

Every country that participates in the work of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) nominates a single body which will represent it within ISO and those of its various sub-committees and working groups that it wishes to be involved with. These national member bodies may choose to participate in any, or all, of the various fields of standardization that are the responsibility of ISO by becoming either a Participting Member or an Observer Member.

A similar process applies for countries participating in the work of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

A country may only nominate a single NB for membership of JTC1.


New Work Item Proposal (NP)

Before any technical work may start on developing an International Standard, an NP for the work must be approved by JTC1 and the work allocated to the appropriate Sub-Committee. In order for the NP to be approved it must be supported by a majority of P-members, with at least five P-members of the relevant Sub-Committee committing themselves to active participation in the associated work.


Observing Member (O-member)

Any NB may elect to be an O-member of JTC1 or of any of its Sub-Committees. O-members may attend meetings, make contributions and receive documents, but are not eligible to vote.


Participating Member (P-member)

Any NB may elect to be a P-member of JTC1 or of any of its Sub-Committees. P-members have an obligation to take an active part in the work of JTC1 or of the SC, and to attend meetings; they also have an obligation to vote on all questions submitted for voting.


JTC1/SC22

The Sub-Committee of JTC1 which has the responsibility for the development of International Standards in the area of "programming languages, their environments and system software interfaces."

A full list of its Working Groups, and other relevant information, can be found in SC22's own pages on the World Wide Web.


Working Draft (WD)

This is the first stage that a document goes through, during which it is still a purely internal document to the Working Group that is responsible for it. It is actually the third of six possible stages in the production of an International Standard:




Important Disclaimer



Comments on this page should be sent by email to the WebMaster, John.Reid at stfc.ac.uk.

2010-01-17