draft-05: editorial comments (1)

Peter Constable petercon at microsoft.com
Wed Aug 11 07:36:29 CEST 2004

Some minor, editorial issues I've noted so far (section 5 to the end):

In section 5:

"The issue of deciding upon the rendering of characters based on the
language tag is not addressed in this memo; however, if different spans
of text are not marked with font information, it may be useful to
provide the ability to mark spans of text with language. For example, a
rendering engine may use that information in deciding which font to use
in displaying Han-based ideographs when it encounters mixed
Japanese-Chinese text that has no attached font information."

I had two reactions reading this:

- Even if spans of text are not marked wrt font, it may still be useful
to mark spans for language (one font may support alternate typographic
conventions for different languages).

- I'm somewhat inclined to say this paragraph is out of place -- that
details of language-specific are not really character set issues and are
no more needed than details of language-specific word-boundary detection
or any other tailored processing. I'll accept that wrt CJK
language-specific rendering has for many years been closely linked with
charset issues.

Both of these reactions might have been mitigated if the paragraph were
organized differently, giving the CJK context right from the outset.

In section 6: 

"It is important to be able to differentiate between written forms of
language -- for computer implementations, this is far more important
than distinguishing spoken forms."

It is certainly always more important to distinguish written form that
sub-language variety, but not necessarily more important to distinguish
written form from language. For instance, the difference between az-Latn
and az-Cyrl matters less than the difference between az-Cyrl and

In appendix C: For the registry conversion, par. 3 mentions a review
period of at least 4 weeks, but then par. 8 mentions a review period of
at least 2 weeks. Unless these refer to distinct review stages, this is
inconsistent; at best, it's confusing.

Also in appendix C: 

"Tags that contain one or more subtags that do not match the valid
registration pattern and which are not otherwise defined by this
document are marked as 'grandfathered' by this document."

In what sense does the RFC document mark tags? Do we mean that, per the
terms of the RFC, they will be marked in the registry as grandfathered?

Again, in appendix C, 2/3 of the way down: "The rules governing the
conversion of RFC 1766 and RFC 3066 registered tags are..." This and
what follows seems to be largely or entirely a repetition of what
preceded it.

Peter Constable

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