The Concepts & Terminology Working Group (CTWG) helps ToIP members explain things clearly so everyone can understand, no matter their background or expertise.

This matters because ToIP members come from many different places and contexts. Often they do not speak English as their first language. They might know a lot about non-tech things that matter to ToIP. Everyone needs to understand each other at least a little. Sometimes a basic explanation is enough. Other times, like with IT engineers or lawyers, you need to go deeper.

We expect some mix-ups with words, where people might misunderstand each other. The CTWG tries to fix these issues. Sometimes, looking up words in a dictionary helps. Other times, especially in legal or technical work, a deeper understanding is necessary.


The Concepts & Terminology Working Group (CTWG) supports ToIP Working Groups and Task Forces by helping them developing the terms and concepts needed for their projects. Our work includes tools for defining, editing and understanding these terms, including term wikis and glossaries. The data we work within include detailed models of concepts, their relationships, and rules across various fields. While CTWG maintains a central repository of this information for everyone in ToIP to use, individual groups can also create their own specialized glossaries. These resources continuously improve as they receive input from various sources within the industry.



Meetings are bi-weekly, every second Monday from 10:00-11:00 PT / 17:00-18:00 UTC. See the ToIP Calendar for full meeting details including Zoom links.

See our Meeting Pages for agendas, notes, and links to recordings of all meetings.


The table below lists all CTWG deliverables that have been approved to move beyond Pre-Draft status.

Name of DeliverableDeliverable TypeLink to
Draft Deliverable
Task ForceStatus
Main ToIP GlossaryGlossaryCTWGGenerated document: 

ToIP Concepts and Terminology Guide



Generated document:

Specification Template



Generated document:

The overall scope of the CTWG includes the following activities:

  1. Develop and maintain a high-quality terminology that covers the needs of the ToIP community.
  2. Develop a process whereby this terminology can be:
    1. Curated, based on evidence and using expert opinion, such that concepts, relations between concepts and constraints can e.g. be
      1. carefully defined,
      2. assigned an identifier (name/number/label) to be distinguished,
      3. mapped onto terms that are defined and/or commonly accepted in various relevant domains/contexts,
      4. their usage documented,
      5. their status reported e.g. 'working', 'preferred', 'accepted', 'superseded' and 'deprecated'.
    2. Enhanced in a collaborative, open, and fair manner by interested community members.
    3. Versioned in the environment.
    4. Published in different ways (e.g. as a glossary, concept map, use-case stories ...), for specific purposes (e.g. education, reference, , ...) by different means (e.g. a PDF, a website, presentations/webinars, ...) and as needed by different audiences/stakeholders or domains (e.g. business domains, architectural domains, ...)
    5. Promoted as a valuable public resource and an influence for convergence and excellence.
  3. Train and organize volunteers so the initiative develops sustainable long-term momentum.
  4. Spread the word about our work across ToIP WGs and other relevant audiences.

Chairs / Leads

How to Join

Trust Over IP members can join this WG by signing up for the Foundation mailing list at Our mailing list is

Members as well as observers are welcome (see the caveat below).


For the protection of all Members, participation in working groups, meetings and events is limited to members of the Trust over IP Foundation (including their employees) who have signed the membership documents and thus agreed to the intellectual property rules governing participation. If you or your employer are not a member, we ask that you not participate in meetings by verbal contribution or otherwise take any action beyond observing.  To join the Trust Over IP Foundation visit our ToIP join page and fill out the membership agreement. 

Intellectual Property Rights (Copyright, Patent, Source Code)

The WG inherits the IPR terms from the JDF Charter. These include:

Next steps

Deep dive into the Core Concepts of our work, study the history of Meeting Reports, or join us for the next Concepts & Terminology work group (CTWG) meeting.


  1. On 21 May, before this WG was proposed and before the WG/TF WIki submission process was outlined -- I had submitted a Glossary WG Proposal. The MM&T proposal seems very theoretical and minimally a larger effort that will take some time to get off the ground. Reading it forces me to reflect on the 1879 endeavor to compile the Oxford English Dictionary

    We (the ToIP) community needs to establish a working and living glossary with a simple yet governed process asap. My proposal focuses on HOW we can do that NOW!

    My questions for the backers of this proposal:

    a) How do your differentiate the two proposals?

    b) Can you take on this endeavor without minimizing the goals / requirements of my proposal under goal "1.f" above?

    c) Is there value in keeping the two proposals separate? If so I will formally submit  it under this new Wiki submission process.

    Maybe we should have a discussion before this is brought to the SC...

  2. I have made an attempt to integrate your proposal into this one. The particular changes I made have to do with the difference between 'glossary' (a list of words and explanations (OED)) vs. 'mental/conceptual model' (a set of carefully designed concepts, relations between them and constraints, designed to enable logical reasoning and arguing in groups of people). Does it make sense to you?

    I'm not trying to be theoretical, but I do think that what we do has to be theoretically sound. I've not seen glossaries being helpful in resolving discussions where the meaning of a term caused conflicts/misunderstandings (lots of evidence in e.g. W3C/DIF/ISO mailing lists, issues, etc.), whereas I did see mental/conceptual models being very helpful there. Perhaps that's the main difference...

    Let's see if we can talk this through before the SC. 

  3. For purposes of actually approving a WG charter, which would ideally be done at the 2020-06-10 ToIP Steering Committee meeting, the section titled "Working Group Charter" should ideally be condensed further as it currently contains a greater level of detail than most JDF WG charters. I'm happy to help with this but the WG conveners may wish to have a first go at it.

  4. Is it possible to address the Working Group Charter from an Agile perspective? Maybe something like an Epic Story to illustrate the problem we're trying to solve and its scope? We could write User Stories to depict how the community will derive value from a hypothetical solution we deliver.

    If so, then we don't have to commit to any execution details in the charter to get started. We could focus our energies on delivering a Minimum Viable Product, in this case, a Minimum Viable Glossary, so people could start contributing to it and referencing it in their own initiatives.

    One option is using a Confluence Glossary Plug-in. While it does not meet all the requirements described above, it will enable us to deliver a quick win. I already confirmed with Todd that we could use it. Also, we can export its data so it's disposable.

    Consider it an experiment to help us:

    1. Enable Users to start benefiting from a Glossary
    2. Gather their feedback and assess their priorities
    3. Further document our Requirements
    4. Iterate over possible solutions 
    5. Get some traction and start building momentum

  5. I've quickly updated some of the information that was most obviously outdated in 2024. But there still some work to do in his perspective.