A brief listing of computer related standards setting organizations. This list gout out of hand very quickly. For an excellent list of standards setting organizations, see Diffuse.org and A Concise Guide to the Major Internet Bodies [2005-03-08].


'an industry association founded in 1961 and dedicated to the standardization of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Systems.'

'Before 1994 it was known as ECMA - European Computer Manufacturers Association.'

Index of Ecma Standards.
ICANN.org. Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

ICANN is "the non-profit corporation that was formed to assume responsibility for the IP address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server system management functions previously performed under U.S. Government contract by IANA and other entities." [Ref ICANN 2003/05/30]
IEEE.org. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

"The IEEE (Eye-triple-E) is a non-profit, technical professional association of more than 380,000 individual members in 150 countries. The full name is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., although the organization is most popularly known and referred to by the letters I-E-E-E." [Ref IEEE 2003/05/30]
A U.S. organization that issues protocols and standards for electrical and electronic devices, telecommunications, and network communications.

A significant subset of their standards is the 802 group:
  • 802.1 Internetworking.
  • 802.2 LLC (Logical Link Control).
  • 802.3 Ethernet LANs (Local Area Network), i.e. CSMA/CD (Carrier-Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection) or 10BASE-T.
    • 802.3z 1000BASE-T or gigabit Ethernet.
  • 802.4 Token Bus LAN.
  • 802.5 Token Ring LAN.
  • 802.6 MAN (Metropolitan Area Network).
  • 802.7 Broadband Technical Advisory Group.
  • 802.8 Fiber Optic Technical Advisory Group.
  • 802.9 Integrated Voice and Data Networks.
  • 802.10 Network Security.
  • 802.11 Wireless LANs. 1 or 2 Mb/s transmission in the 2.4 GHz band using either FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) or DSS (Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum). 802.11 and its descendents (802.11a, etc.) are aka Wi-Fi.
    • 802.11a. Up to 54 Mb/s in the 5.5 GHz band. 802.11a uses an orthogonal frequency division multiplexing encoding scheme rather than FHSS or DSSS.
    • 802.11b. Aka 802.11 High Rate. Up to 11 Mb/s transmission (with a fallback to 5.5, 2 and 1 Mb/s) in the 2.4 GHz band. 802.11b uses only DSSS.
    • 802.11g. Up to 54 Mb/s in the 2.4 GHz band. This standard should be approved by 2003/07.
    • 802.11n (135-540 Mb/s at 20-40 MHz)
  • 802.12 Demand Priority Access LAN, 100
  • 802.16 Broadband Wireless Access. WiMax for MANs.
There are of course other IEEE standards such as IEEE 1394 (firewire)
IETF.org. Internet Engineering Task Force.

The IETF is "a large open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet. It is open to any interested individual.

The actual technical work of the IETF is done in its working groups, which are organized by topic into several areas (EG: Routing, transport, security, etc.). Much of the work is handled via mailing lists. The IETF holds meetings three times per year.

The IETF working groups are grouped into areas, and managed by Area Directors, or ADs. The ADs are members of the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG.org). Providing architectural oversight is the Internet Architecture Board, (IAB.org). The IAB also adjudicates appeals when someone complains that the IESG has failed. The IAB and IESG are chartered by the Internet Society (ISOC.org) for these purposes. The General Area Director also serves as the chair of the IESG and of the IETF, and is an ex-officio member of the IAB.

The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA.org) is the central coordinator for the assignment of unique parameter values for Internet protocols. The IANA is chartered by the Internet Society (ISOC.org) to act as the clearinghouse to assign and coordinate the use of numerous Internet protocol parameters. "

IETF originated from ARPA. They try to set standards for the Internet. The IETF is composed of network designers, operators, vendors, researchers, manufacturers, and anyone who has anything to say about the Internet. They maintain the RFC file (RFC-Editor.org and IRTF.org). The IANA.org functions in the US are handled by ICANN.org.
InterNIC.net. Internet Network Information Center. A quasi-government organization that provides its users with information about services available on its network. It was developed by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1993. It has become the default assigner of IP addresses, domain names, and TLDs, assuring that each web site has a unique address.
Competitive organizations are developing, EGs: RIPE.net Europe and APNIC.net for the Pacific rim.
ISO.ch. International Organization for Standardization. Established in 1947, ISO is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from some 140 countries, one from each country. "ISO" is derived from the Greek work isos which means equal and is a play on the name of the organization.

'Not "what", but "who"! Our standards are often highly technical - and they need to be - but they're developed for people by people. So who we are is a network of the national standards institutes of some 140 countries, with a central office in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system and publishes the finished standards. ' [Ref ISO 2003-05-30]

Of their 13,000 international standards, here are offsite links to their most widely used standards [Ref 2003-07]:

ITU.int. International Telecommunication Union. Aka ITTCC. Formerly CCITT. An international organization founded in 1865 and has operated as a UN agency since 1974. The ITU sets telecommunications standards.
Protocol  Max. Rate (b/s) Duplex Mode
Bell 103 300 Full
CCITT V.21 300 Full
Bell 212A 1200 Full
ITU V.22 1200 Half
ITU V.22bis 2400 Full
ITU V.29 9600 Half
ITU V.32 9600 Full
ITU V.32bis 14400 Full
ITU V.34 28800 Full
ITU V.90 56600 Full
Linux Online

"The linux.org domain was registered in May, 1994 by Michael McLagan to fulfill a need for information about the growing Linux movement. Our web site is designed to act as a central source of Linux information and as a voice for the promotion and advocacy of the Linux operating system. Our main goal is to inform the public about every company, project and group that uses the Linux operating system and to report on the hard work of countless developers, programmers and individuals who strive everyday to improve on the Linux offerings in the marketplace. Operating as a not-for-profit business (not to be confused with a registered non-profit corporation), Linux Online is located in Ogdensburg, New York, USA. " [Ref Linux.org 2003/05/30]
OASIS-Open.org. Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards.

OASIS is a "not-for-profit, global consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of e-business standards. Members themselves set the OASIS technical agenda, using a lightweight, open process expressly designed to promote industry consensus and unite disparate efforts. OASIS produces worldwide standards for security, Web services, XML conformance, business transactions, electronic publishing, topic maps and interoperability within and between marketplaces." [Ref OASIS 2003/05/30.]

They operate XML.org and UDDI.org.
OMG.org. [W]. Object Management Group. OMG is a consortium of software companies that champion object oriented and interoperability ideas such as CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture, in 1991), UML (Unified Modeling Language in 1997), OMA (Object Management Architecture), MOF (Meta Object Facility) and MDA (Model Driven Architecture, a consolidation of UML, MOF, OMA, XMI, and CWM). Their specs are available for free!
OpenSource.org. Open Source Initiative.

OSI is "a non-profit corporation dedicated to managing and promoting the Open Source Definition for the good of the community, specifically through the OSI Certified Open Source Software certification mark and program. You can read about successful software products that have these properties, and about our certification mark and program, which allow you to be confident that software really is "Open Source." We also make copies of approved open source licenses here.

The basic idea behind open source is very simple: When programmers can read, redistribute, and modify the source code for a piece of software, the software evolves. People improve it, people adapt it, people fix bugs. And this can happen at a speed that, if one is used to the slow pace of conventional software development, seems astonishing.

We in the open source community have learned that this rapid evolutionary process produces better software than the traditional closed model, in which only a very few programmers can see the source and everybody else must blindly use an opaque block of bits."  [Ref OSI 2003/05/30.]
TPC.org. The Transaction Processing Performance Council.

TPC is a "non-profit corporation founded to define transaction processing and database benchmarks and to disseminate objective, verifiable TPC performance data to the industry". [Ref TPC 2003/05/30]

Used by Intel, AMD, Oracle, MS SQL Server, etc.
W3C.org. World Wide Web Consortium. An organization founded in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the WWW. It is generally accepted as the standard setter for the Web, HTML, and HTTP.

"The World Wide Web Consortium was created in October 1994 to lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. W3C has around 450 Member organizations from all over the world and has earned international recognition for its contributions to the growth of the Web." [Ref W3C 2003/05/30.]

The 7 key points of the W3C. [Ref W3C 2003/05]
  1. Universal Access
  2. Semantic Web. Stuff like RDF, XML, XML Schema, and XML signatures.
  3. Trust
  4. Interoperability
  5. Evolvability
  6. Decentralization
  7. Cooler Media. Stuff like SVG and SMIL.

'W3C organizes the work necessary for the development or evolution of a Web technology into Activities. Each Activity has its own structure, but an Activity typically consists of a Working Group, Interest Group, and Coordination Group. Within the framework of an Activity, these groups generally produce Recommendations and other technical reports [§] as well as sample code[§]. Important to every W3C Activity is Quality Assurance (QA). To manage related Activities, the W3C Team groups them into four "domains": Architecture, Interaction, Technology and Society, and the Web Accessibility Initiative.' [WC3 2004-08]

Here are the W3C Activities grouped into their 4 domains [WC3 2004-08].
  1. Architecture
    • DOM. See also my DOM Links.
    • Internationalization
    • URI
    • Web Services. Includes SOAP.
    • XML. Includes 'XML schemas, namespaces, XSL and XSLT, query languages, linking and other core XML technologies'. See also my XML links.
  2. Interaction
    • Device Independence
    • Graphics. Includes PNG, WebCGM, and SVG.
    • HTML. Includes XHTML. See also my HTML links
    • Math. Esp. MathML.
    • Multimodal Interaction
    • Style. Esp. CSS. See also my CSS links.
    • Synchronized Multimedia. Includes SMIL.
    • Voice Browser
    • XForms
  3. Technology and Society
    • Patent Policy
    • Privacy
    • Semantic Web
    • XML Key Management
  4. Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
    • WAI International Program Office
    • WAI Technical Activity

The "W3C Recommendation Track Process". [W3C 2004-08]
  • 'Working Draft (WD) A Working Draft is a document that W3C has published for review by the community, including W3C Members, the public, and other technical organizations.
  • Candidate Recommendation (CR) A Candidate Recommendation is a document that W3C believes has been widely reviewed and satisfies the Working Group's technical requirements. W3C publishes a Candidate Recommendation to gather implementation experience.
  • Proposed Recommendation (PR) A Proposed Recommendation is a mature technical report that, after wide review for technical soundness and implementability, W3C has sent to the W3C Advisory Committee for final endorsement.
  • W3C Recommendation (REC) A W3C Recommendation is a specification or set of guidelines that, after extensive consensus-building, has received the endorsement of W3C Members and the Director. W3C recommends the wide deployment of its Recommendations. Note: W3C Recommendations are similar to the standards published by other organizations.'

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