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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

1.2 Formal Standardization Process

MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) formally called Coding of Moving Picture and Audio is Working Group 11 (WG11) of Subcommittee 29 (Coding of Audio, Picture, Multimedia and Hypermedia Information) of the ISO/IEC (International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission) Joint Technical Committee 1 (JTC1) [MPEG]. JTC1's scope is standardization in the field of information technology: According to JTC1 [JTC1], information technology includes the specification, design, and development of systems and tools dealing with the capture, representation, processing, security, transfer, interchange, presentation, management, organization, storage, and retrieval of information.

Since the major objective of MPEG is to produce technical specifications, it is important to have an idea, even if brief, about the types of documents that can be produced by a group like MPEG. Through JTC1, MPEG can produce the types of documents presented in the following:7

  • International standards: These are documents with the technical specification of the standard. After the first edition of a standard, new editions may be published, notably to incorporate in one document the previous edition and all the amendments and corrigenda meanwhile issued. Whenever a new edition for a certain Part of the standard includes new technology (and thus is not just a compilation of previously approved technology), it must be approved following a process similar to amendments.

    The evolution process for an International Standard is as follows:

    • New work item Proposal (NP): 3 months ballot (with comments)

    • Working Draft (WD): no ballot

    • Committee Draft (CD): 3 months ballot (with comments)

    • Final Committee Draft (FCD): 4 months ballot (with comments)

    • Final Draft International Standard (FDIS): 2 months binary (only yes/no) ballot (failing this ballot [no vote] implies going back to WD stage)

    • International Standard (IS)

    FDIS and IS documents are copyrighted by ISO.

  • Amendments: Documents with technical additions or technical changes (but not corrections) to an International Standard; they are edited as delta documents to the standard they amend. Each amendment lists the status of all amendments and technical corrigenda to the current edition of the standard. Amendments are published as separate documents, which means the edition of the IS affected remains in print. When additions to a standard must be produced, it is decided if it is better to publish an amendment or a new edition of the IS that incorporates the additions. When a new edition is published, it includes a full revision of the previous edition, incorporating all the changes corresponding to the amendments and corrigenda meanwhile issued.

    The evolution process for an Amendment is as follows:

    • New work item Proposal (NP): 3 months ballot (with comments)

    • Working Draft (WD): no ballot

    • Proposed Draft Amendment (PDAM): 3 months ballot (with comments)

    • Final Proposed Draft Amendment (FPDAM): 4 months ballot (with comments)

    • Final Draft Amendment (FDAM): 2 months binary (only yes/no) ballot (failing this ballot [no vote] implies going back to WD stage)

    • Amendment (AMD)

    FDAM and AMD documents are copyrighted by ISO.

  • Corrigenda: These are documents issued to correct technical defects in an IS (or an Amendment).8 Technical corrigenda usually are not issued for the correction of a few editorial defects. In such cases, corrections can be incorporated in future technical corrigenda. Technical corrigenda are not issued for technical additions, which follow the Amendment procedure.

    The evolution process for a corrigendum is as follows:

    • Defect Report (DR): no ballot

    • Draft Technical Corrigendum (DCOR): 3 months ballot (with comments)

    • Technical Corrigendum (COR)

    COR documents are copyrighted by ISO.

  • Technical reports: These documents contain information of a different kind from that normally published as an IS, such as a model/framework, technical requirements and planning information, a testing criteria methodology, information obtained from surveys carried out among national bodies, information on work in other international bodies, or information on the state of the art regarding national body standards on a particular subject [JTC1].

    The evolution process for a Technical Report is as follows:

    • New Work Item Proposal (NP): 3 months ballot (with comments)

    • Working Draft (WD): no ballot

    • Proposed Draft Technical Report (PDTR): 3 months ballot (with comments)

    • Draft Technical Report (DTR): 3 months ballot (with comments)

    • Technical Report (TR)

    DTR and TR documents are copyrighted by ISO.

For all ballots involving comments, MPEG produces a Disposition of Comments (DoC) document in which all comments made by national bodies are answered. During the MPEG-4 standard development process, MPEG used all the types of documents listed. Section 1.5 presents an overview of the many documents published in the context of the standardization process for the MPEG-4 standard.

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