02 November 2006

Some Computing Standards

This is a list that is updated whenever I feel the need to add something.

802.11W S O: the IEEE standard for all wireless local area networks (WLANs); also known as Wi-Fi . All the 802.11 specifications use the Ethernet protocol and Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA) for path sharing.

CDMAW S: Code Division Multiple Access; mobile phone technology for multiplexing, from which several cellular protocols have evolved. Developed by Qualcomm (a PCS) and today managed by the TIA. CDMA-based standards are used mainly in North America and Asia; they compete with GSM (see "CDMA and GSM: What's the difference?" SearchTelecom.org).

CGIW: Common Gateway Interface; standard of API's for browser-access, server-resident computer applications. Standard is maintained by the NSCA.

CSSW: Cascading Style Sheets; an international standard for specifying tags within the context of a domain-specific markup language. Maintained by the W3C.

GSMW S: originally from Groupe Sp├ęcial Mobile, but now Global System for Mobile [communications]; an international standard for mobile phones (RNL&A) that competes with various forms of CDMA. GSM is based on TDMA multiplexing. Maintained by the ETSI. The standard is virtually mandatory in EU member states (see "CDMA and GSM: What's the difference?" SearchTelecom.org).

OSI ModelW: developed by ISO for standardized network architecture. Defines seven layers of network architecture: media(1-physical, 2-data link, 3-network, 4-transport) and host(5-session, 6-presentation, 7-application). Each of these seven layers describes different technical components of a digitally networked system. There are several different suites, or sets of mutually-compatible families of standards. For example, there is UMTS, a mobile telephone standard; SS7 (public switched telephone networks); and TCP/IP (the Internet protocol). Taking the latter as a familiar example: TCP/IP has a set of at least 9 internationally-recognized standards for physical transmission of data, 2 standards for the data link layer, and so on.

In the OSI Model, not all "suites" or modes of networked communication actually occupy all seven layers; for example, TCP/IP doesn't specify a session or presentation layer. See main article.

POSIXW: a body of standards developed by the IEEE for universal portability of Unix operating systems. POSIX was first published in 1988 as IEEE Std 1003.1-1988, and intended to establish the minimal requirements of what was, and was not, Unix. However, the POSIX standards are also used by OpenVMSW, a once-proprietary operating system originally developed for DEC VAXW minicomputers.

TETRAW O: terrestrial trunk radio; a mobile communications standard developed by ETSI and now maintained by its own organization. TETRA is targeted primarily at the mobile radio needs of public safety groups (such as police and fire departments), utility companies, and other enterprises that provide voice and data communications services [Whatis].

UMTSW S: Universal Mobile Telecommunications System; 3rd generation broadband developed to supersede GSM. Once UMTS is fully available, computer and phone users can be constantly attached to the Internet wherever they travel and, as they roam, will have the same set of capabilities. Developed and maintained by 3GPP, which includes ETSI, TTC/ARIB, and CT1 (ATIS).

XMLW: extensible markup language; an international standard for specifying domain-specific markup languages. Maintained by the W3C.

XSLW: extensible stylesheet language; an international standard for defining the meaning of XML tags; unlike CSS, designed specifically for XML. Maintained by the W3C.

Sources & Additional Reading: Wikipedia post on each item indicated with a superscript W; SearchTelecom.org entry indicated with a superscript S; organization website indicated with a superscript O.

Cisco Systems, "Internetworking Basics"

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