Peter_Constable at Peter_Constable at
Tue Apr 15 09:31:07 CEST 2003

John Clews wrote on 04/11/2003 05:54:46 PM:

> Michael - if RFC 3066 doesn't allow what users and developers need,
> then they will start to bypass it and find other ways around it, to
> actually serve their needs.

Mark needs to continue to push his needs, and Michael should continue to 
raise concerns. That way, we are sure issues are carefully thought 
through. There is some need for better understanding of opposing views, 
perhaps with a bit of analysis (e.g. if it *is* as I expect the three 
CultureInfo definitions related to Azeri that lie behind Mark's request, 
then it would help for him to make that clear, and then for us to examine 
the need in that light; and the ideas Mark and Addison seem to be 
promoting of being able to map to *legacy* locales need to be better 
explicated). And in the end one or both of Mark and Michael may need to 
bend in order for us to arrive at solutions. But I completely agree with 
John's concern that we find solutions to real implementation problems so 
that the landscape doesn't become completely riddled with disparate and 
non-interoperable "solutions".

> Regardless of locales, the 3-letter identifiers in ISO 639, and SIL,
> and the 3-or-more-letter identifiers in RFC 3066, provide
> different things to each other (though ISO 639-2 and SIL have more or
> less identical purposes).

In my mind, I see the relationship between these as follows: ISO 639 
should and Ethnologue does attempt to enumerate and provide identifiers 
for individual languages -- ignoring issues of sub-language varieties, and 
variations in script/writing system/orthography/spelling; and RFC3066(bis) 
should build from such sources to provide the identifiers that we need in 
general IT implementations, taking into consideration sub-language 
varieties and variations in written representations.

> There is also the need to say what various "shortest possible forms"
> are generally used for. For example, does az alone generally mean:
> (a) Azerbaijani in general, and also
> (b) Azerbaijani, in Cyrillic script, in Azerbaijan, which has been
>     its predominant use for all of the twentieth century?
> Or does it mean something else (i.e. official current use, even
> though there's still a lot published just in Cyrillic?)

It can't mean something ambiguous and subject to significant change, such 
as "official current use". 

- 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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