declaring language in html/xhtml

John Cowan jcowan at
Mon Dec 13 14:33:38 CET 2004

Tex Texin scripsit:

> I think probably putting our energies into this debate is going to be
> less productive than if we (and others) were to create a list suggesting
> which languages are adequately described by a simple language-only tag,
> and which require more.
> If I am sent suggestions (privately preferred), I will create a page
> listing them.  I'll post the same suggestion to the ietf-lang list
> where they are discussing the next update of 3066.

I have such a list, have had it for years, and have never been able
to get anyone to review it.  Specifically it is a list of xx-yy and
xxx-yy combinations that reflect the Ethnologue's information on
"national and official" languages of particular countries.  

I have excluded languages that are only national/official in a single
country: thus Swedish is on the list (it is official in both Sweden
and Finland, and in fact takes sharply divergent forms in the two
countries), but Danish is not (official only in Denmark).

I realize the list is probably overspecified, but it also probably
omits cases that should be present but were overlooked by Ethnologue
(I have already added en-us, though English is not an official
language of the U.S.)

Crossposted to ietf-languages; the list sent privately to Tex.

John Cowan <jcowan at>
Micropayment advocates mistakenly believe that efficient allocation of
resources is the purpose of markets.  Efficiency is a byproduct of market
systems, not their goal.  The reasons markets work are not because users
have embraced efficiency but because markets are the best place to allow
users to maximize their preferences, and very often their preferences are
not for conservation of cheap resources.  --Clay Shirkey

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