Script codes in RFC 3066

Peter_Constable at Peter_Constable at
Mon Apr 14 13:36:02 CEST 2003

Martin Duerst wrote on 04/09/2003 12:47:21 PM:

> - Productive use of script codes: Here I think I very much disagree
>    with you. There are about 100 script codes. There are about
>    200 country/region codes, and about 500 (and increasing) language
>    codes. Creating 10,000,000 codes for a currently documented need
>    of 12 or 25 codes seems like an complete overkill.

There are already lots of language+country combinations (on the order of
100,000) that are available by generative processes sanctioned by RFC3066
but that are not particularly useful. But just because they are available
doesn't mean that they are going to be used. The fact that not all get used
is not, IMO, a problem.

>    One particular concern I have is that once there is a productive
>    pattern, the assumption that all the slots have to be filled in
>    seems to spread in an uncontrolled way. I have seen numerous examples
>    of tags such as 'ja-jp'

The single example of 'ja-jp' does not by any means suggest uncontrolled
spreading. I think the supposed problem is very much overstated.

>    Another point is that while something like az-latn/az-Cryl is very
>    good for language negotiation (e.g. HTTP Accept-Language/
>    Content-Language headers), it is really enough to mark up the
>    actual text (e.g. with xml:lang) with 'az' only, because the
>    script is self-evident from the characters used.

Whether you decide the text should be tagged "az" only or "az-Cyrl" etc.,
the fact that the latter are useful in negotiation requires that they be
available. Also, by the principle that you shouldn't provide a generic
result to a specific request, and by virtue of how accept-language works
(using left-substring parsing), "az-Cyrl" cannot be useful in negotiation
unless content is so tagged.

- Peter

Peter Constable

Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
Tel: +1 972 708 7485

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