[Fwd]: Response to Mark's message]

Mark Davis mark.davis at jtcsv.com
Wed Apr 9 12:28:15 CEST 2003

comments below.

(مرقص بن داود)
mark.davis at jtcsv.com
IBM, MS 50-2/B11, 5600 Cottle Rd, SJ CA 95193
(408) 256-3148
fax: (408) 256-0799

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Cowan" <jcowan at reutershealth.com>
To: "Mark Davis" <mark.davis at jtcsv.com>
Cc: <aphillips at webmethods.com>; <Peter_Constable at sil.org>; "Ietf-languages"
<Ietf-languages at alvestrand.no>; <ietf-languages-bounces at alvestrand.no>
Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2003 11:00
Subject: Re: [Fwd]: Response to Mark's message]

> Mark Davis scripsit:
> > written language ID
> > country ID of residence
> > country ID of citizenship
> > country ID of bank account
> > timezone ID
> >
> > [This is actually the defintion needed by a customer I was talking to
> > yesterday.]
> OT remark: I hope the customer knows enough to use real GNU/Olson
> and not just UTC offsets, especially if they need to handle anything other
> than current times.

Yes, they do.

> > ISO-639 fails miserably as unambiguous specification of written
language. I
> > realize that the proponents of ISO-639 don't even want it to apply to
> > written language.
> Au contraire: the requirements for ISO 639 languages are precisely the
> existence of written documents in public repositories (prototypically
> libraries).  ISO 639 is basically a blessing of a MARC standard devised
> by the Library of Congress.

I stand by what I said. The same program *must* have different text
resources for simplified chinese and traditional chinese. It doesn't matter
why or how they are different, but the written forms are different. ISO 639
cannot express that difference.

> > RFC 3066 is somewhat better, but has the problems as discussed on this
> > As to the issue of whether RFC 3066bis should include SIL codes directly
> > not, technically I don't much care. I suspect it would be slightly
> > if 3066bis just included some ISO standard.
> It would, if it weren't for the massive problems with ISO 639 even as a
> standard for written languages.  There are far too many codes whose
> referents aren't really well defined.
> > A. 3066bis adds script codes, SIL codes
> What I favor.
> > B. 3066bis adds script codes, ISO adds SIL codes to ISO 639-3, (later)
> > 3066bis#2 adds ISO 639-3 codes
> That could take a looooong time.  3066ter (that's the jargon) would be
> an awful long time coming.

As I said, we can live with either one of these, since the bulk of computing
requirements do not require SIL codes immediately. What we can't live with

C. ISO adds SIL codes to ISO 639-3, (later) 3066bis adds script codes and
ISO 639-3 codes

> --
> A mosquito cried out in his pain,               John Cowan
> "A chemist has poisoned my brain!"              http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
>         The cause of his sorrow
>         Was para-dichloro-                      jcowan at reutershealth.com
> Diphenyltrichloroethane.                                (aka DDT)

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