Summary: de-DE-1996 is better than de-1996-DE

Torsten Bronger
Tue, 30 Apr 2002 01:43:10 +0200


J.Wilkes wrote:

 > On 27 Apr 2002 at 12:35, Martin Duerst wrote:
 > [...]
 > For *human* readers, the vocabulary can lead to real understanding problems. For
 > *automated* readers (software), the orthography is more important. (I went into
 > detail on this in a previous posting.)
 > Since the use of these tags is AFAICS primarily for software, which may assist
 > human readers but has to pre-select first, the software/automated point of view
 > seems more important to me.

My application is only interested in the vocabulary.  Only later
(i.e. at the LaTeX processing) orthography comes into play.  So I
think this hierarchy is artificial.

 >>>Since RFC 3066 is flawed IMHO, consistency and logic are not paramount in
 >>>defining these tags, unfortunately.
 >>Maybe what's flawed is language: It's not in general hierarchical
 >>and neatly organized. But of course trying to change it would be
 >>a very bad idea.
 > In part because it is already continously changing, without anybody trying to force
 > change.
 > But the RFC 3066 tag is hierarchically organised, so we try to fit language into it
 > somehow. For now.
 >>>>- At this time of change, the difference between the orthographies
 >>>>   receives considerable attention. In a few years, as a few years
 >>>>   ago, this difference will be mostly forgotten. The country-specific
 >>>>   differences won't disappear very soon, and won't get forgotten.
 >>>I don't think so, Unless you consider 95 years "a few".
 >>Well, I maybe wasn't clear enough. Nobody currently is asking for
 >>tags to distinguish older orthographies than 1901. That's not because
 >>they don't exist,

For German, they really don't exist (before 1871 not even a country
code ;-).  But seriously: You absolutely can't compare 1996 with any
other date in German language history.  As Johannes says, we don't
know how this will develop further.

In 2005, the official transitional period will be over, and
theoretically even I will have to use the new variant.  I certainly
won't, for mere convenience, like most of my friends and colleagues.
If something by me will be published, then in English.  It could be
like with old handwriting style: the grandfather's differs from the
grandchild's.  So at least we have to be prepared for a looong
parallel period.