Effective Terminology in IETF Documents (term) Proposed WG

WG Name Effective Terminology in IETF Documents
Acronym term
Area General Area (gen)
State Proposed
Charter charter-ietf-term-00-03 External Review (Message to Community, Selected by Secretariat)
Dependencies Document dependency graph (SVG)
Personnel Area Director Lars Eggert 
Mailing list Address terminology@ietf.org
To subscribe https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/terminology
Archive https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/browse/terminology/
Jabber chat Room address xmpp:term@jabber.ietf.org?join
Logs https://jabber.ietf.org/logs/term/

Charter for proposed Working Group

The mission of the IETF as specified in BCP 95 is to produce high quality,
relevant technical documents that influence the way people design, use, and
manage the Internet. IETF documents, including RFCs and Internet-Drafts, are
most effective when they use terminology that is clear, precise, and widely
accessible to readers from varying backgrounds and cultures. This maximizes the
benefits the IETF derives from its core principles, such as its open process and
volunteer core.

In the years leading up to the chartering of this working group, there has been
discussion in the IETF, in other standards organizations, and in the technology
industry about the use of certain terms (such as "master/slave" and
"blacklist/whitelist") in technical documentation and whether those and other
terms have effects on inclusivity. While opinions vary among IETF participants
about this topic, there is general agreement that the IETF community would
benefit from informational recommendations about using effective and inclusive
terminology in IETF documents.

The TERM working group is therefore chartered to produce an Informational RFC
containing recommendations on the use of inclusive terminology in the technical
work produced by IETF participants. The RFC will express general principles for
assessing when language is inclusive or exclusive. The principles should match
the expectations from a diverse set of IETF participants. The WG will identify
and recommend an external, independently-updated resource containing examples of
potentially problematic terms and potential alternatives to IETF participants,
in order to align its efforts with broader activities by the technology
industry.

The TERM working group is a focused group aiming to produce a single
deliverable. It is designed to complement other efforts at fostering inclusivity
in the IETF and will liaise with appropriate external groups, such as other SDOs
or industry initiatives, to coordinate.

Proposed milestones

Date Milestone
1 Dec 2021 Submit informational terminology recommendations to IESG
1 Jun 2021 Adopt draft providing informational terminology recommendations