SD-7: Mailing Procedures and How to Write Papers

Doc. No.: SD-7
Date: 2023-02-18
Reply to: Nevin Liber
Title: Mailing procedures

Note: This document is intended for WG21 committee members. If you are not a committee member, please see the How To Submit a Proposal page for public instructions about how to get started with a proposal.


This is a summary of the procedures to be used for submitting papers to PL22.16/WG21.

We are fortunate to have a very large volume of papers, but to allow everyone to make the best use of their time in reading the papers, some additional effort is needed from the authors.

  1. Please make sure the document header includes the information specified below.
  2. Non-trivial papers should include an abstract.
  3. Papers that revise earlier papers should provide a change history to allow people to focus on the changed sections of the paper.

Items (2) and (3) above are not needed for things like working drafts, papers that essentially just provide working paper changes for an issue or feature, and issue lists excerpts for reference by straw polls.

The following information should be included in the document header:

  • Document Number: Nxxxx or PxxxxRy
  • Date: yyyy-mm-dd
  • Reply-to: Name and email-address
  • Authors: (only if different than reply-to)
  • Audience: working group(s) and/or study groups to which the paper is directed, or WG21 if the full committee

This may precede or follow the document title depending on the way in which your document is formatted.

In the past, many documents included something like:

"Project:  ISO JTC1/SC22/WG21: Programming Language C++"

While you are welcome to include this, it is not necessary.

The above should only be considered as the information needed, not the formatting. People prepare documents in a variety of ways, and that is fine.

In particular, the "audience" is the piece of information most commonly not made explicit.  For the audience, you can put working group names (Core, Evolution, Library, etc.), study groups (concurrency, modules, etc.).  The group names are generally used in the document index, so you might want to use those in your document.  But if you put SG1 in your document, I will normalize that to Concurrency in the index.

Note also that a document can have more than one audience.

Meeting announcements, minutes, working drafts, editor's reports, and official document submissions (CD, PDTS, etc.), and records of response must use N numbers.

All other documents should use P numbers.

P documents will initially be published as P0xxxR0 (revision 0). The document number in the paper header should be in that format.  If you submit an updated version at some point, it will still be P0xxx, but will be revision 1.

The revision numbers only change when a document is submitted for a mailing.

Documents circulated as drafts should have D numbers (Dxxxx for N documents, and D0xxxRn for P documents).  Only documents for publication should have the N or P numbers.

To obtain a document number, send mail to vice-chair Nevin Liber.  Include as much of the document header information as is available in the document number request.

Documents must be in PDF, HTML (.html or .htm), text (.txt), or Markdown (.md) format.

For Markdown files, use UTF-8 encoding. For HTML files, make sure that the encoding is specified in the file. For text files, please use US ASCII (ISO 646) encoding.

Markdown documents should follow the following rules:

  1. Files should be usable either in their original text form or as formatted by a Markdown processor, so make sure the text form is well formatted.
  2. The document should follow the Commonmark specification

The pre-meeting mailing deadline is the Monday four weeks before the start of the meeting.

The post-meeting mailing is the Monday three weeks after the start of the meeting.

All papers must be received by the vice-chair by 14:00 UTC on the Monday of the mailing deadline.