Counting Heads

Harald Tveit Alvestrand harald at
Thu May 29 19:33:19 CEST 2003

--On torsdag, mai 29, 2003 13:32:42 +0100 Misha Wolf 
<Misha.Wolf at> wrote:

> Sean Burke wrote:
>> Aren't language tags treated as atomic by most applications anyway?
>> (Thus obviating the whole separability/inseparability shtik)
> Didn't you see my mail with a reference to the HTML spec?
> If that doesn't convince you, how about that little-known
> protocol, HTTP?

why go so far from the core RFCs for this list? :-)

RFC 3066:

2.5 Language-range

   Since the publication of RFC 1766, it has become apparent that there
   is a need to define a term for a set of languages whose tags all
   begin with the same sequence of subtags.

   The following definition of language-range is derived from HTTP/1.1
   [RFC 2616].

             language-range  = language-tag / "*"

   That is, a language-range has the same syntax as a language-tag, or
   is the single character "*".

   A language-range matches a language-tag if it exactly equals the tag,
   or if it exactly equals a prefix of the tag such that the first
   character following the prefix is "-".

   The special range "*" matches any tag.  A protocol which uses
   language ranges may specify additional rules about the semantics of
   "*"; for instance, HTTP/1.1 specifies that the range "*" matches only
   languages not matched by any other range within an "Accept-Language:"

   NOTE: This use of a prefix matching rule does not imply that language
   tags are assigned to languages in such a way that it is always true
   that if a user understands a language with a certain tag, then this
   user will also understand all languages with tags for which this tag
   is a prefix.  The prefix rule simply allows the use of prefix tags if
   this is the case.

I don't think we have changed our opinions very much :-)

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