ISO 3166 (country codes) Maintenance Agency Web pages move

Mark Davis Mark Davis" <
Mon, 25 Feb 2002 09:31:39 -0800

Even if the Free Bavarian Republic seceeds from Germany, or if the
exploited peoples of Brittany rise up against their Parisian
oppressors, or if California decides that being the 5th largest
national economy is sufficient and jettisons the rest of the United
States, it is unlikely that we would need over 17576 three-letter
codes in the foreseeable future.

And if that were the case, it would still be better to exceed the
3-letter limit, or *even* go outside of A-Z for letters, than to
gratuitously break old data.


Γνῶθι σαυτόν — Θαλῆς
[For transliteration, see]

----- Original Message -----
From: "Otto Stolz" <>
To: <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Monday, February 25, 2002 07:29
Subject: Re: ISO 3166 (country codes) Maintenance Agency Web pages

> Mark Davis had written:
> > they can minimize the problems if -- at a minimum -- they adopt a
> > public policy that:
> > a) Once established, a country code will never be reused to
designate a dif-
> >    ferent country.
> > b) If a country code is changed, the old code will remain as an
alias, per-
> >    manently.
> This policy is bound to fail, some day. As countries appear and
vanish all
> the time, ISO would run out of usable codes, sooner or later. Never
> "never", nor "permantent" :-)
> Tex Texin wrote:
> > The web page says the old code is reserved for 5 years.
> >
> This is much more reasonable; 10, or 20, years would be even more
> But any reservation beyond 50 years or so, would prove infeasable,
> sooner or later.
> Best wishes,
>    Otto Stolz