ISO 3166 (country codes) Maintenance Agency Web pages move

Elliotte Rusty Harold
Mon, 25 Feb 2002 14:05:56 -0500

At 4:29 PM +0100 2/25/02, Otto Stolz wrote:

>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 say
>"never", nor "permantent" :-)

I see your point. However, I suspect there are cases where a country 
code is relevant even if the country is defunct. For example, I might 
want to indicate that a certain law was on the books of the USSR, 
back when there was a USSR, even though there no longer is one today.

I agree that even three-letter codes are going to be insufficient for 
this purpose if we want them to have any plausible relationship to 
the country they designate. I wonder if we need a combination of 
number and year; e.g. YUG-2001 might designate the same entity as 
YUG-2002 but a very different entity than YUG-1984. Of course this 
assumes that countries don't change faster than annually. That might 
be a faulty assumption in the long run.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | | Writer/Programmer |
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