ISO/ IEC C - Contributing

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Contributing to WG14

WG14 serves a broad community of programmers, tooling and hardware vendors, book authors, teachers, and others. In order to better serve our constituencies, this page focuses on how best to interact with the committee for some common activities, such as reporting a bug in the standard or proposing a new feature for inclusion in the standard.

Submitting a Clarification Request

Ensuring a technical document is precise and readable is a difficult job, and we don't always get it right on the first try. If you've found a particular phrasing difficult to understand, you can potentially seek clarification on the committee reflector. If that does not produce a satisfactory answer, or you are not subscribed to the WG14 committee reflector, you can write a paper to file a Clarification Request, which is a request for the intended interpretation of a portion of text of the standard that may appear to be unclear, ambiguous, or contradictory. The paper should sufficiently describe the questions or concerns raised. It can suggest a desired resolution or interpretation, but is not required to do so. Once the request has been discussed by the committee and the committee has determined a response, the original submitter will be notified of the change in status. You are not obligated to attend a meeting or find a champion for discussions about clarification requests, though your direct participation is appreciated when possible.

Submitting a Change Request

All proposals for new features, bug fixes, or other normative changes to the C Standard must be submitted to the committee in the form of a paper. Papers submitted before a meeting's mailing deadline will be discussed at the meeting. Others will be discussed at the subsequent meeting. Please see the current WG14 charter for the expectations the committee has for proposed changes to the C standard. After a paper has been discussed, the committee will inform each author whether the committee has accepted the proposal as-is, requires a further revision of the paper, or rejects the proposal. Proposals not submitted in the form of a paper will not be considered for inclusion in the standard.

We require all proposals to have a champion in attendance at meetings where the proposal is scheduled to be discussed to help ensure that the committee sentiment is appropriately relayed to the paper author. While the champion and the paper author will ideally be the same individual, we recognize that it is not always possible to attend a meeting in person. To help with this, each WG14 face-to-face meeting also has a teleconferencing option for people who are only able to participate remotely. If face-to-face and teleconferencing are not an option, please reach out on the committee reflector (or, as a last resort, directly to the committee convener at for help finding a champion.

To obtain a document number for your paper, submit the title of the paper to the committee secretariat at requesting a document number and an appropriate number will be returned to you shortly thereafter. Once the content for the paper is complete, submit the content along with the paper number to the committee secretariat. Typically, the content for the document should be ready before the next meeting mailing deadline after requesting the document number. All documents are collected after the meeting mailing deadline for possible inclusion in the next meeting agenda and are scheduled at the convener's pleasure (every effort is made to schedule all papers included in the meeting mailing).

The content of your paper should include:

WG14 N2480 and WG14 N2430 are examples of papers that can be used as a template.

We strongly recommend paper authors solicit design review feedback for their proposals on the WG14 reflector in between meetings, when possible. The committee has a limited amount of time to discuss each paper during meetings and primarily focuses on the technical details of the paper in order to ensure that proposal authors have clear technical guidance on the next steps to take with the paper.

Joining the Committee

While we wish we could encourage all members of the broader C community to participate in the standardization process, we are an ISO working group and subject to their requirements. Contributors who are making sustained contributions should join their local national body to officially become a WG14 expert. For more information on joining a National Body, please see ISO.

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