ANSI C Standard
The C Progrmming Language Standard [ANSI / ISO Standard C]
In 1983, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) commissioned a committee, X3J11, to standardize the C language. After a long, arduous process, including several widespread public reviews, the committee's work was finally ratified as ANS X3.159-1989 on December 14, 1989, and published in the spring of 1990. For the most part, ANSI C standardizes existing practice, with a few additions from C++ (most notably function prototypes) and support for multinational character sets (including the controversial trigraph sequences). The ANSI C standard also formalizes the C run-time library support routines.
More recently, the Standard has been adopted as an international standard, ISO/IEC 9899:1990, and this ISO Standard replaces the earlier X3.159 even within the United States. Its sections are numbered differently (briefly, ISO sections 5 through 7 correspond roughly to the old ANSI sections 2 through 4). As an ISO Standard, it is subject to ongoing revision through the release of Technical Corrigenda and Normative Addenda.
In 1994, Technical Corrigendum 1 amended the Standard in about 40 places, most of them minor corrections or clarifications. More recently, Normative Addendum 1 added about 50 pages of new material, mostly specifying new library functions for internationalization. The production of Technical Corrigenda is an ongoing process. In addition, both ANSI and ISO require periodic review of their standards. This process begun in 1995, and has resulted in a completely revised standard (nicknamed "C9X" on the assumption of completion by 1999).
The original ANSI Standard included a "Rationale", explaining many of its decisions, and discussing a number of subtle points. (The Rationale was " not part of ANSI Standard X3.159-1989, but... included for information only," and is not included with the ISO Standard.)
Currently ISO/IEC JTC1/SC22/WG14 is the international standardization working group for the programming language C.
The current C programming language standard ISO/IEC 9899 was adopted by ISO in 1999.
Final Committee Draft of what will one day be the next C standard :
N843, the official committee document
http://www.dkuug.dk/JTC1/SC22/WG14/www/docs/n843.pdf [pdf version]
A slighly earlier version of the draft :
N794, the Official Committee document
Other Document details can be found at the folllowing URL :
The following link will lead you to the FAQ section of ANSI which makes a good read :
The ISO Site :
Re: ANSI C Standard
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