What is a technical standard/specification?
6 November 2022 (Updated 22 January 2023)
In a nutshell
A technical standard is typically a formal document (a.k.a specification) that establishes a set of requirements that must be met before something can be said to be standards-compliant or spec-complaint.
Standards are typically formed by a regulatory body of experts (e.g., W3C) and go through a standardization process before making into the standard. Standards help improve compatibility and interoperability between software, platforms, and devices. Examples of standards/specifications include:
- CSS specification – defines how each CSS property should behave. Standardization helps make the same CSS code behave the same in different browsers.
- Unicode – defines the character codes that should be used to represent different characters in many different languages and symbol systems. Standardization helps ensure that the text is rendered in the same way across different computers.