registry vs. extensions...

Peter Constable petercon at
Mon Oct 20 16:43:40 CEST 2003

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-
> bounces at] On Behalf Of John Cowan

> Unfortunately, ISO's process is not transparent.  Furthermore, ISO 639
> codes are for language _names_, not languages; there is no
> source for what is meant by a particular language name.

There's hope that this situation will improve in the coming years.
Certainly for the work on ISO 639-3, one of the issues that needs to be
addressed is what are the intended semantics of existing IDs in parts 1
and 2. There have also been discussions regarding other work that would
move things in that direction.

> Ah, I see.  You are right about x-de-DE-mySubtag, but wrong about
> de-DE at mysubtag, which is a) a syntax error, and b) matches only de,
> since @ is not a delimiter.

Addison is suggesting a revised syntax (specified by a new RFC) in which
de-DE at mysubstag would not be a syntax error.

> I think this is a genuine problem that could be fixed by allowing the
> x subtag at arbitrary points:  then de-DE-x-mySubtag would match
> de-DE in practice and would be acceptable in principle.

This would also require a revised RFC, or else each tag of the form 


would need to be registered, which is what Addison wants to avoid.

Peter Constable
Globalization Infrastructure and Font Technologies
Microsoft Windows Division

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