Script codes in RFC 3066- hierarchy in software selection

Tex Texin tex at
Thu Apr 10 05:24:48 CEST 2003

In general, I like the proposal.

I share the concern around hierarchy as it affects software matching or
selection rules.

>>I hear this said, but when I think about the mechanism utilised by
>>RFC3066's language-range and HTTP's accept-language, I suspect that
>>implementations will not be distinguishing situations in which inferring a
>>hierarchy is appropriate from situations in which the tags should only be
>>considered opaquely.

Martin said:
>So some piece of software (if thus specified) will always make use
>of the hierarchy; it is up to creators of tags and users of tags to
>make sure that this doesn't cause problems.

I don't think you can leave it up to the users of tags. Most users (and by
this I mean software developers) are clueless about the tags, and trust that
since it's a standard, that it will serve the purpose. Either 1) hierarchies
work and should be depended on or 2) they don't and tags are atomic, or 3) we
make very clear the list of cases which are the exceptions and tell people
specifically how to program around them. (I guess the last leads to the
database idea, if there are enough exceptions).

Especially, as the number of language tags increases, we need to do a better
job of clarifying the status of hierarchies with respect to software matching
and selection rules.

Tex Texin   cell: +1 781 789 1898   mailto:Tex at
Xen Master                
Making e-Business Work Around the World

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