ISO 639 name change: Songhai languages
dewell at adelphia.net
Sat Jan 6 18:32:25 CET 2007
> These changes are initiated by changes to a core ISO standard, so
> there's no need for anyone to provide input, unless they can show some
> conflict within the Registry that would result from adding them.
> "Conflict" in this case means a drastic error such as two identical
> subtags, or two different subtags with the same meaning, not something
> subjective like "I don't agree with the way ISO defines languages."
> This is different from the procedure for evaluating user-requested
> subtags, such as the ones CE proposed for Late Middle and Early Modern
> French. In that case, the Reviewer makes a decision and may take the
> view of other list members into consideration.
Actually, I think this is likely to be another frequently misunderstood
point, one which bears reiterating.
We have long, often high-profile debates about variants proposed by
users. Sometimes, as in the case of Reşat Sabiq and his Central Asian
orthographies, the debates can go on for months. But when an ISO
standard adds or changes a language, script, or country code element, we
automatically make the corresponding changes to the Registry, without
any debate or review period. We presume the ISO people have adequately
reviewed their own action, and we do not wish to introduce any
unnecessary deviations in the Registry.
The only exception to the automatic approval of an ISO-based subtag is
if it "conflicts with existing registry entries" (Section 3.3). Here
are three hypothetical examples:
1. ISO 3166/MA approves code element "UK" with the exact same meaning
as "GB", and does not withdraw "GB".
2. ISO 3166/MA approves code element "M2" for the
soon-to-be-independent Sint-Maarten, conflicting with the "language"
production in the RFC 4646 ABNF.
3. ISO 3166/MA approves code element "CS" for yet another entity.
Note that none of these exceptions has anything to do with the ISO MA's
judgment of whether the entity deserves a code element. This is
important. We may choose, as individuals, to protest to the relevant
ISO agency if we don't like their judgments, but we do not manipulate
the Registry to reflect those protests. We do not omit ISO-based
subtags because we don't like them, and we do not add "ISO-like" subtags
that aren't in the core standard because we feel they should be there.
In the latter case, what we do is add variants.
Doug Ewell * Fullerton, California, USA * RFC 4645 * UTN #14
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