Address of ISO 3166 mailing list

Michael Everson everson at
Sun Jun 8 10:34:57 CEST 2003

At 16:15 +0100 2003-06-06, Marion Gunn wrote:

>I do think such a service would be good, to provide the same open 
>discussion forum/bug reporting/testing ground for ISO 3166 [...]

Except, of course, that the ISO 3166 Maintenance Agency is not a 
Registration Authority, but a Maintenance Agency. Its codes are 
assigned when the United Nations informs it that a code needs to be 
assigned. It would seem that a discussion list for ISO 3166 would 
therefore be of little use.

>(Some Irish lists, as you may know, were recently mercilessly 
>dive-bombed with msgs in English, trying to disrupt debates in Irish 
>about a lang-tag problem which also surfaced on the IANA and Unicode 

The "merciless dive-bombing" you refer to is obviously the necessary 
defence *I* had to mount against the alarmist hullabaloo which did 
not "surface", but which was raised needlessly by *you* on the IETF 
Language Tag list, the Unicode list, and various Irish lists, 
regarding text which you disliked in some of Apple's software that 
supports Irish cultural locales. Pooh-poohing that defence because it 
was in the English language is a poor rhetorical device at best, as 
is your continued avoidance of the use of my name in attacks such as 
the one you have made here.

The fact that the "lang-tag problem" had nothing whatsoever to do 
with language tags is known to more than a fair few of the readers of 
the lists that your "campaign" was visited upon. It is you, Marion, 
who dive-bombed the IETF and Unicode lists with blather about the 
"anticonstitutionality" of Apple's software; it is you who incited 
letter-writing campaigns -- which amounted to a form of chain-mail 
spam -- to the irritation of many people associated with Apple, NSAI, 
and other organizations. It is you who wasted the time of Ireland's 
*government* by raising the issue to a Parliamentary Question, and it 
is you who are now scurrying to reinsert yourself into the standards 
process simply because you're not happy with the answer that you got 
to that Question.

(The Minister who responded praised Apple for looking after Ireland's 
cultural interests, and acknowledged that, while the terminology 
question was not a standardization matter, Apple had asked NSAI's 
committee on Codes, Character Sets, and Internationalization -- which 
I convene -- for advice on the "controversy". This advice has been 
given, and Apple has thanked the committee for its input. What Apple 
chooses to do with the advice is -- as the Minister rightly pointed 
out -- Apple's business, and I look forward to finding out in due 
course when Apple releases its next version of OS X.)

>Oftentimes, I feel the Unicode list, or some of its members, to be 
>approachable/helpful/appreciative in areas to do with character 
>sets/groupings and cultural codetags, and how the bits and pieces 
>get cobbled together, for good or ill, to make up locales.

The Unicode list is full of participants who are, indeed, 
approachable, helpful,and appreciative of expertise regarding 
characters and character sets. What is a "character grouping" meant 
to refer to? You seem to be in a complete muddle about the difference 
between tags and codes and text. (What is a "cultural codetag"? You 
really oughtn't make things up as you go along.) You've certainly 
confused the codes for languages, countries, and airlines, and the 
function of this list and other lists with regard to 

>At other times, I feel like I just stumbled into a YMCA when its 
>inmates are restive/want a common enemy (that's when I bring to mind 
>the 3 children - or, yea, a Daniel! - and go do it anyway).

(This is certainly a remarkable piece of prose.)

As a rhetorical device, whining isn't very attractive. You have, in 
my view at least, behaved unprofessionally and offensively, making 
thinly-veiled attacks on me and my work, on discussion forums where I 
have, it seems, a good deal of credibility. You've been told to knock 
it off by people who have less patience than I. Pretending to be the 
innocent victim because you don't like the criticism you received 
doesn't fool anyone, any more than bad-mouthing me without using my 
name does.

For my part, I am rather tired of playing games like this with you. 
Frankly, it seems to me that what expertise "EGT" had in Unicode 
matters left the "company" when the Everson left it. The fact that 
you *continue* to maintain my former e-mail addresses everson at 
and everson at, and that you are known to have read mail sent 
to *me* at both of those addresses, seems to me to be the height of 
unprofessional and indeed deceitful practice. There has been no 
Everson at "EGT" for more than eighteen months. Isn't it odd that you 
won't acknowledge my existence on the Unicode and IETF lists, yet you 
continue to breach my privacy by reading my mail? As I have said to 
you many times, you should ring your ISP and discontinue the 
addresses immediately and permanently. You've no business using my 
name. You should be ashamed of yourself for doing so.

(Readers of these lists should be particularly careful not to write 
to me at either of those addresses, as sometimes occurs due to the 
presence of that address in archived online documents.)

I'm not particularly happy about having to insert discussion of 
personal matters into our technical discussions. But I don't think 
it's right to ignore such issues when clearly they are the primary 
cause of unpleasantness on our discussion forums. Perhaps being 
forthright about the facts is better than pretending that there isn't 
a problem. I should certainly like to see the end of this.
Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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