Fwd: Re: Recent changes to i18n standards

Martin Duerst duerst@w3.org
Fri, 30 Aug 2002 14:19:40 +0900

>To: "Unicode Mailing List" <unicode@unicode.org>
>Subject: Re: Recent changes to i18n standards
>From: Peter_Constable@sil.org
>Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 22:31:44 +0200

>On 08/23/2002 04:54:58 AM "Doug Ewell" wrote:
> >For those who like to keep up on such things, there have been recent
> >changes to the code lists of two important standards related to
> >internationalization -- ISO 639 (language codes) and ISO 3166-2 (codes
> >for country subdivisions).
>In addition to the two new code elements in ISO 639-2, there's another
>development of interest in relation to language coding: ISO/TC 37 has
>begun working toward development of a new part to this standard, to be
>designated ISO 639-3, that will provide 3-letter identifiers for all known
>languages. The relationship to part 2 will be that this the
>individual-language code elements in part 2 will be a subset of part 3
>(part 2 will continue to have collective-language identifiers but part 3 will
>not). The reason for the subsetting relationship of part 2 to part 3
>(rather than just adding a bunch of things to part 2) is that some user
>communities (e.g. bibliographers) have indicated a need to restrict
>individual-language identifiers to only developed languages with
>significant bodies of literature. I'm anticipating a time frame of about
>one year for this to be completed (assuming the process goes smoothly).

Well, things always take longer than anticipated, especially in this
field. But the idea of having part 2 and part 3, while keeping everything
3-letter codes overall (and probably a system that codes could move from
part 3 to part 2 when there is 'significant bodies of literature') is
one of the better ideas I have seen recently.

I think that once this new standard exists, it would be rather
straightforward to update RFC 3066, and I'm sure that we at W3C
would try to do our best to follow the IETF.

Regards,    Martin.