comments on the draft...

Peter Constable petercon at
Tue Jun 8 02:43:05 CEST 2004

> From: Addison Phillips [wM] [mailto:aphillips at]
> Sent: Monday, June 07, 2004 5:06 PM

> I believe that registered subtags may be "validly" used in any
context. Under the
> current scheme we don't always necessarily get all the potentially
useful tags ("de-
> 1904-NA", anyone?). 3066bis makes this problem a lot harder by adding
> dimensions to the tags.
> However, you appear to be saying that the generativity isn't your
problem, but rather
> the "normativity" of the registration information.

I'm concerned with the semantics. For instance, what do we say "1904"
means? Somewhere, we need to say, "the German spelling conventions
established in 1904". True, I was thinking that requires us to define
the valid scope as being something like de-*-1904. If we choose to allow
the registered subtag to be used in any situation, then we can get
"az-Arab-1904" which would mean "Azeri in Arabic script using the German
spelling conventions of 1904." That is rather worse than "fr-MN", I
think, in that there's no self-contradiction in talking about French
spoken in Mongolia, while there is in talking about writing Arabic
characters using Latin-based spelling conventions. In practical terms,
though, these are equally unuseful, and so as you suggest, we simply
need to "tag content wisely".

The bigger problem that might arise would be a case of the same subtag
being used with distinct (but parallel) semantics -- e.g. if there were
German spelling conventions established in 1904, but also Azeri
conventions established in 1904. And so presumably we'd need to specify
somewhere that de-*-1904 means one thing, while az-*-1904 means another.
But perhaps we can deal with it readily enough using subtag

Just so long as its clear to people what is sensible to combine (so we
know what it means to "tag content wisely"), and so that it's clear to
people what the interpretation of a given combination should be.

> > I still find this unclear...

> We meant the first one (see the examples section at the end). But I
note that you can
> use any of them, although the semantics differ

Would you agree it might be helpful to reword to make this clearer?

> > This makes clear what is the interpretation of the subtag...

> I believe this text was in RFC 1766, let alone RFC 3066. Mark and I
have avoided
> changing text that wasn't explicitly necessary to change.

Are you open to revising? If so, does my suggested wording seem helpful?

Peter Constable
Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies
Microsoft Windows Division

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