IEEE 802.3 Working Group

The following is a list of words and compound words that are either not defined in dictionaries, or have multiple acceptable spellings (zeros vs zeroes). In an attempt to improve consistency within IEEE Std 802.3 theses are the spellings that the IEEE-SA staff have, in consultation with volunteers, have decided will be used in the standard.

Compound or undefined words

intersymbol (not inter-symbol)
linear feedback shift register
peak-to-peak (in text)
Physical Layer (always capped)
pk-pk (in tables and subscripts)
pseudo-random bit sequence
signal-to-noise ratio
high-pass (when used as an adjective)
low-pass (when used as an adjective)
common-mode (when used as an adjective)

Alternative spellings

crosstalk (not cross-talk)
implementor (not implementer)
interlayer (not inter-layer)
writeable (not writable)
zeros (not zeroes)
IEEE 802.3 MAC (not CSMA/CD MAC)

Frames and packets

frame or MAC frame
packet or MAC packet
From Destination Address to Frame Check Sequence inclusive
MAC frame plus Preamble, Start Frame Delimiter and Extension
Data frame
data frame
Deprecated, renamed MAC frame
Any frame that contains data and is not control
Control frame
control frame
Frames generated by MAC Control
Any control frame
MAC Client Data
MAC client data or MAC data
The field in a frame/packet
The data received from the MAC client and inserted in the field

Capitalization of Boolean

Since Boolean is named after George Boole the capitalization Boolean should always be used (and not boolean) with the exception of the MIB clauses and annexes described below.

MBd, GBd, Mb/s, Gb/s Mbps and Gbps

The definition and use of baud and bit per second is specified in IEEE Std 260.1-2004 'IEEE Standard Letter Symbols for Units of Measurement (SI Units, Customary Inch-Pound Units, and Certain Other Units)'. This is maintained by Standards Coordinating Committee on Quantities, Units, and Letter Symbols (SCC14). The use of this is enforced by having SCC14 as a mandatory coordination at the sponsor ballot stage.

        Excerpt from table 3  Units of the SI and units used with the SI
| Unit           | Symbol   | Notes                                                      | 
| baud           | Bd       | In telecommunications, a unit of signaling speed equal to  |
|                |          | to one element per second.                                 |
| bit            | b        | In information theory, the bit is a unit of information    |
|                |          | content equal to the information content of a message,     |
|                |          | the a priori probability of which is one-half. In computer |
|                |          | science, the name bit is used as a short form of binary    |
|                |          | digit.                                                     |
| bit per second | b/s      |                                                            |

In summary baud is used to indicate the signalling rate, b/s is used to indicate rate of binary digits. For example 64B66B used for 10GBASE-R has a signalling speed of 10.3125 GBaud and a bit rate of 10Gb/s. The symbol 'bps' is not used, instead 'b/s' is used to conform to the above so only Mb/s and Gb/s should be used.

Layer diagram guidelines

  1. All capitals will be used in these diagrams - the only exception will be text in brackets such as '(Optional)'
  2. Abbreviations can be used in these diagrams - but these will not be expanded in the diagram
  3. All abbreviations used in these diagrams will be included in the abbreviation list provided below.

Clause 30 MIB exceptions

The management information base (MIB) clauses, and their associated annexes, have a number of exceptions. This is because the managed objects within IEEE Std 802.3 are defined in accordance with IEEE 802.1, ISO/IEC 10165-4:1991 Information Technology - Open Systems Interconnection - Structure of Management Information - Part 4: Guidelines for the Definition of Management Objects and IEC/ISO 8824 Information Technology - Open Systems Interconnection - Specification of Abstract Notation One (ASN.1). The MIB clauses are Clause 30 'Management' and the deprecated clauses, Clause 5, 19 and 20 and the annexes are Annex H, 30A, 30B and 30C.

Use of the spelling 'behaviour'

In IEEE Std 802.3 the spelling 'behaviour' is used throughout MIB clauses and their associated Annexes, and in any references to the behaviours defined there. Since ISO/IEC 10165-4:1991 is and ISO standard it uses the spelling 'behaviour' and to meet this externally defined template we need to use the same spelling. In all other instances the spelling 'behavior' is used.

Capitalization of keywords

Within the MIB Clauses, the subclauses defining the behaviours for the attributes, actions and notifications use a number of keywords that are capitalized as follows:




Punctuation of 'BEHAVIOUR DEFINED AS:' text

The text contained in the 'BEHAVIOUR DEFINED AS:' description must be terminated by a semi-colon, to not do so would be a syntax error. Due to this the normal punctuation rules that, for example, would place the semi-colon before a close quotation marks must not be followed.

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Last Update: 9-Apr 14

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