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* Add wording suggesting random generation of span ids

* Update spec/

I agree that SHOULD is enough here

Co-authored-by: Yuri Shkuro <>

Co-authored-by: Daniel Khan <>
Co-authored-by: Yuri Shkuro <>

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Trace Context Specification

This repository is associated with the Trace Context specification, which specifies a distributed tracing context propagation format.

Trace Context v1 has W3C Recommendation status.

The next version of specification is being developed in this repository.

The current draft of the Trace Context Specification from this repository's master branch is published to Explanations and justification for decisions made in this specification are written down in the Rationale document.

Team Communication

See communication

We appreciate feedback and contributions. Please make sure to read rationale documents when you have a question about particular decision made in specification.


This specification defines formats to pass trace context information across systems. Our goal is to share this with the community so that various tracing and diagnostics products can operate together.

Reference Implementations

There are few open source and commercial implementations of this trace context specification available.

A simplistic regex-based implementation can be found in the test folder. This implementation has 100% compliance to the test suite.

.NET Framework will ship trace context specification support in the upcoming version. See Activity for implementation details.

A list of all currently implementations can be found here.

Why are we doing this

See Why


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