Counting Heads

John Cowan cowan at
Thu May 29 09:33:20 CEST 2003

Jeremy Carroll scripsit:

> >(b) multi-subtag languages like "zh-hakka" and "en-boont" are
> >inseparable
> That looks a practical problem to me.
> Software needs to treat the normal separable use of subtags in one way 
> and these inseparable subtags in a different way.

Well, we've been lucky so far.  There are no current tags with 4-letter second
subtags except yi-latn.  So if we make it a convention that 4-letter subtags
are reserved for 15942 codes, then all is well.  *If* you really need
such parseability in the first place: I suspect that most applications
either treat codes as atomic or implement the RFC's left-partial-match

> We ought to have a lookup table saying which are the inseparable subtags.

Not maintainable.

"Do I contradict myself?                        John Cowan
Very well then, I contradict myself.            jcowan at
I am large, I contain multitudes.     
        --Walt Whitman, _Leaves of Grass_

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