May 20, 2023
Normative refers to a set of rules, standards or guidelines that are considered as authoritative and mandatory for compliance. These rules or guidelines are designed to regulate the behavior, performance or qualities of a product, process, or service. They are used to ensure consistency, quality, and interoperability across different systems, platforms or applications.
Normative documents are used in various fields including engineering, law, medicine, and computer science. These documents define the specifications, requirements, and procedures that must be followed to achieve a certain level of performance or quality. They also provide a common language and framework for communication, evaluation, and testing.
Types of Normative Documents
There are different types of normative documents, including:
Standards are widely recognized and accepted normative documents that define the technical or quality requirements for a product, process or service. Standards are usually developed by industry associations, government agencies, or international organizations. They provide a common language and framework for communication and interoperability among different systems, platforms or applications. Examples of standards include ISO 9001 for quality management, IEEE 802.11 for wireless networking, and HTML5 for web development.
Guidelines are normative documents that provide recommendations or best practices for achieving a certain level of performance or quality. Guidelines are usually developed by experts in a particular field or industry. They provide a set of principles or procedures that can be followed to ensure consistency and quality. Guidelines are often used in areas such as web accessibility, user interface design, and software development.
Regulations are normative documents that are developed by government agencies to control or regulate the behavior of individuals or organizations. Regulations are usually based on laws or statutes and are mandatory for compliance. They define the minimum standards or requirements that must be met to ensure public safety, health, or welfare. Examples of regulations include building codes, environmental regulations, and data protection laws.
Specifications are normative documents that define the technical requirements for a product, process, or service. Specifications are usually developed by manufacturers or suppliers to ensure that their products or services meet the needs of their customers. They provide a detailed description of the features, functions, and performance characteristics of a product, process or service. Specifications are often used in areas such as automotive engineering, computer hardware, and telecommunication systems.
Normative vs. Informative
Normative documents can be contrasted with informative documents. Informative documents are designed to provide information or guidance but are not mandatory for compliance. Informative documents may provide recommendations, best practices or background information on a particular subject, but they do not define the requirements that must be met. Informative documents may be useful for education, training, or research purposes.
Examples of Normative Documents in Web Development
Normative documents play a crucial role in web development as they provide a common language and framework for designing and building web applications. Some examples of normative documents in web development include:
HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) is a normative document that defines the syntax and semantics of web documents. HTML is used to structure content on the web and define how it is displayed in a web browser. HTML is developed and maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and is widely used for web development.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a normative document that defines the presentation and layout of web documents. CSS is used to control the visual appearance of web content, such as fonts, colors, and layout. CSS is also developed and maintained by the W3C and is widely used for web development.
WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) is a normative document that provides guidelines for making web content accessible to people with disabilities. WCAG defines the requirements for making web content perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. WCAG is developed by the W3C and is widely used for web accessibility.
HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) is a normative document that defines the protocol used for transmitting data over the web. HTTP defines how web clients and servers communicate with each other and how data is exchanged. HTTP is developed and maintained by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and is widely used for web communication.