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Metanorma: the standard for standards

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Metanorma is dedicated to harmonizing standard documents produced by different standard-setting bodies in a manner that maintains correct semantics while allowing each standard publisher to define appropriate semantic extensions.

Simply put, it allows standards bodies or any other organization to create their own standard or specification document in a best practices manner.

Metanorma is composed of a number of specifications and software implementations. The Metanorma document model is based on the SecureDoc document model.

For more on Metanorma and who uses it, refer to

Installation on supported platforms

Installing individual components

The Metanorma workflow can be utilized via the metanorma-cli Ruby gem.

gem install metanorma-cli


Threaded execution

Metanorma has threaded execution, to generate output documents from the same Presentation XML input more quickly. Similar to relaton, the METANORMA_PARALLEL environment variable can be used to override the default number of parallel fetches used.

Origin of name

Meta- is a prefix of Greek origin ("μετα") for “with” “after”. In English, it has ended up meaning "about (its own category)"; e.g. meta-discussion (a discussion about discussion). (For the roundabout way it ended up with that meaning, see

Norma is Latin for “rule” and “standard”; hence English norm, but also German Norm "standard".

The Metanorma project is for setting a standard for standard documents created by standards-setting organizations (which is a meta thing to do); hence this name.

Metanorma seeks to embrace all standards documents standards, but not possess any: it can give rise to many "standard" standards, but not limit the extension of any of those standards.

The motto of the project is Aequitate verum, "Truth through equity". Dealing with all standards fairly (aequitate), we seek not an abstract virtue (veritas), but a practical reality on the ground (verum), that can be used by stakeholders of multiple standards.