Addison Phillips [wM] aphillips at webmethods.com
Thu May 1 14:42:30 CEST 2003

> It would be my understanding that Serbian is overwhelmingly
> written in Cyrillic, but that there is no overwhelming script
> for the other languages. But I might be wrong, having numbers
> would definitely be good.
Okay, that's the received wisdom I think most of us had, but just to be
sure... It turns out that we have a fair collection of Serbs and Croats here
at webMethods (alas, no Bosnians, Herzegovinians, or Montenegrins to ask,
which is where I suspect any script crossover would exist). Their opinion,
for what it matters, confirms the received wisdom and is that:

a) Croat is written in Latin and Serbian is written in Cyrillic. Neither
language is ever or rarely ever written in the other script any more, in
part as a reaction to...

b) Serbo-Croatian was an artificial merger that was written in both and
forceably maintained by the Communist regime. The two languages are not the
same and are rapidly returning to their historical roots and hence the base
writing traditions of both.

I suspect that the reason separate tags were proposed is that Microsoft, in
their infinite wisdom, has instantiated both "Serbian-Latin" and
"Serbian-Cyrillic" as language options in .NET and IE, although both flavors
are resolved in Accept-Language to "sh". It might be most useful if someone
from Microsoft could be contacted or de-lurk and explain why they chose to
make the distinction. That data would help with this process. Otherwise it
seems that Michael is correct that Serbian is really a Cyrillic scripted
language by default (at least if you ask a Serb or Croat).

And I guess I have a question here: there are *nine* proposals on the table.
Have some of these "passed over the bar"? If so, which ones and why? If
none, why not?



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