Script codes in RFC 3066

Caoimhin O Donnaile caoimhin at
Wed Apr 9 17:07:53 CEST 2003

Mark said:

> Are you objecting to fact that language_code has structure or that
> language_subtags have structure? 3066 already has structure, and the fact
> that it does have structure is extremely important for compatibility.

I appreciate that.  My feeling, though, without being any kind of
expert on the subject, is that the long term aim should be for
a system of atomic (unstructured) codes together with an online
database giving:

  - hierarchic information for all extant codes

  - obsoleted codes together with any information on equivalent
    extant codes, and such hierarchic information as is still valid

The database would be built into browsers and other software and
an up-to-date version could be pulled in from the Internet in
standard format as often as desired.

The database would thus enable searches for "all pages/records/books
to do with Celtic languages, surviving or extinct", even though the
classifications and codes for extinct Celic languages such as
Gaulish and Leptonic may change as scholarship progresses.

It sounds as if 3-character codes for languages would probably
suffice, especially if numbers were allowed ("en1" for "Old English;
"en3" for Middle English, etc?), but the lack of room in the codespace
would mean that in many cases they would not be very mnemonic.

It seems to me that it would be a bad idea to have separate codespaces
for living and extinct languages - Otherwise you get into arguments
about whether languages such as Cornish, Manx, Classical Latin, and
Medieval Latin are extinct or alive.


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