Language Identifier List up for comments

John Cowan jcowan at
Tue Dec 14 17:46:52 CET 2004

John Burger scripsit:

> In general, I've always been disappointed at what I perceive to be a
> bias in the language codes toward text.

We're working on it.

> The inability to distinguish Cantonese and Mandarin 
> without pretending they are dialectal variants, is one example, and the 
> way all sign languages are lumped together is another.

Neither of these is good evidence, however: "zh" means "any Sinitic language,
or at least those called 'Chinese'", and "sgn" means "any sign language".
It's a defect of RFC 3066, which its proposed successor does not have,
that it's impossible to parse language tags in general and a priori.

John Cowan  jcowan at
The Penguin shall hunt and devour all that is crufty, gnarly and
bogacious; all code which wriggles like spaghetti, or is infested with
blighting creatures, or is bound by grave and perilous Licences shall it
capture.  And in capturing shall it replicate, and in replicating shall
it document, and in documentation shall it bring freedom, serenity and
most cool froodiness to the earth and all who code therein.  --Gospel of Tux

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