(response to) comments on the draft...

Addison Phillips [wM] aphillips at webmethods.com
Fri Jun 11 21:38:16 CEST 2004

Hi Peter,

Mark and I have consider the comments in the email below. Some changes have been made to the editor's draft (see http://www.inter-locale.com/ID/draft-phillips-langtags-04.html) and the status of each issue updated in our issues-list. Draft-04 is not final yet, but will be submitted to the IETF shortly.

Our responses to the individual issues are inter-linear below.

Thanks again for your comments.


Addison P. Phillips
Director, Globalization Architecture
webMethods | Delivering Global Business Visibility
Chair, W3C Internationalization (I18N) Working Group
Chair, W3C-I18N-WG, Web Services Task Force

Internationalization is an architecture. 
It is not a feature.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ietf-languages-bounces at alvestrand.no 
> [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at alvestrand.no]On Behalf Of Peter Constable
> Sent: 2004年6月7日 14:13
> To: ietf-languages at alvestrand.no
> Subject: Some comments on the draft (was RE: New draft-langtags 
> (akaRFC3066bis) published...)
> > From: ietf-languages-bounces at alvestrand.no [mailto:ietf-languages-
> > bounces at alvestrand.no] On Behalf Of Addison Phillips [wM]
> > In addition, some of the confusion surrounding "extended
> > language" tags has (hopefully) been removed. Peter Constable and John
> Cowan's
> > suggestion that we eliminate the singleton subtag "-s-" was included 
> Very glad to see that.
> Not a huge issue, but I still have doubts about registration of subtags
> rather than registration of entire tags. The supposed benefit is to
> reduce the number of registrations necessary, but does it really same
> much? If I registered "1904", the registration would still have to
> document that it can only be used with "de" and its combinations. If
> someone later wants to use "1904" for different semantics, e.g., a
> completely unrelated spelling reform for Martian, then all of the
> details still need to be spelled out (no pun intended) in a revision to
> the registration. And note that the details as to which *tags* are
> permitted is buried in the registration rather than having them
> enumerated in the directory, where it's more useful. I could see the
> value if we were looking at having to register tags that included script
> IDs one-by-one. But when we start getting into variants, I don't think
> we're really saving anything.
This is most a comment, which I have previously addressed. With regard to making the registration information normative, we have rejected this comment for the reasons I previously enumerated in my original, personal, response to this message, to wit: the "tag content wisely" rule is more practical here than requiring additional levels of checking. We're also concerned with the necessary level of contemplation require to enumerate exactly which variant subtags work with which collections of tags.

In an ideal world very few variants get registered. As noted previously, RFC3066bis will start life with just eight of them.
> Some comments on details in the draft: 
> Section 2.2:
> <quote>
>    o  ISO639-2 reserves for private use codes the range 'qaa' through
>       'qtz'. These codes should be used for non-registered language
>       subtags.
> </quote>
> I still find this unclear. If I want to tag content as "Martian", can I
> use "qaa", or would it have to be "x-qaa", or can I use "x-martian"?
> (I'd suggest alternate wording, but I'm really not sure what is
> intended.) Same for the comparable paragraph in relation to ISO 15924.

We have accepted this comment and modified the wording in an attempt to be as clear as possible. We mean, of course, 'qaa', not 'x-qaa'...

> Next paragraph change "IANA registered primary..." to "IANA-registered
> primary..."

> <quote>
>    o  All 2-character subtags following the primary subtag denote the
>       region or area to which this language variant relates, and are
>       interpreted according to assignments found in ISO 3166...
> </quote>
> This makes clear what is the interpretation of the subtag. Regarding how
> the subtag affects the semantics of the tag as a whole, though, does it
> strike anyone else that "denote[s] the region or area to which this
> language variant relates" is kind of vague? For instance, given a tag
> (say) "fi-US", what would it mean to say that Finnish "relates to the
> US"? Surely we can be clearer about this. Perhaps the following:

We have partially accepted this comment. We tightened the sentence up, but not included the large block of text that you suggested (removed here for brevity), since we feel that it may not be possible to enumerate exactly what a regional variation means. We do agree that the previous wording is a bit unclear, since it implies that the language *tag* is somehow related to an area (ie. that the United States owns the tag en-US, for example). The new text is:

# The region subtag defines language variations used in a 
specific region, geographic, or political area. 
> All for the moment. Some further comments may be forthcoming.
> Peter
> Peter Constable
> Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies
> Microsoft Windows Division
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