The ISO 3166 code CS

Addison Phillips [wM] aphillips at
Tue Aug 5 09:09:35 CEST 2003

While I share Mark's alarm and concern about the reassignment of CS 
after only a very short interval, I can see why total stability may not 
be easy to achieve.

There are not quite 700 possible codes. While that is larger than the 
total number of countries, countries change name/border/status often 
enough and their meaningful names are not randomly distributed enough to 
have long term stability. Permanent lockout of code reuse will require 
something other than ISO3166 alpha-2.

The interval on CS, though, was not nearly long enough. If 
Czechoslovakia were some antique of a bygone age it would be different. 
No one, I suspect, would object to a code for the "Austro-Hungarian 
Empire" being reassigned some other use. Somewhere between five years 
and ninety years lies a more reasonable boundary. I would tentatively 
suggest 20 years.

Best Regards,


Addison P. Phillips
Director, Globalization Architecture
webMethods, Inc.

+1 408.962.5487  mailto:aphillips at
Internationalization is an architecture. It is not a feature.

Chair, W3C I18N WG Web Services Task Force

Mark Davis wrote:
> Yes. If they move quickly, they can avoid the damage.
> Mark
> __________________________________
> ►  “Eppur si muove” ◄
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Michael Everson" <everson at>
> To: <ietf-languages at>
> Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 2003 01:46
> Subject: Re: The ISO 3166 code CS
>>Marc, does this imply that the int'l community should insist that
> the
>>3166 MA *rescind* the reassignment of CS and assign something else
> to
>>Serbia and Montenegro?
>>Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *
>>Ietf-languages mailing list
>>Ietf-languages at
> _______________________________________________
> Ietf-languages mailing list
> Ietf-languages at

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