New Last Call: 'Tags for Identifying Languages' to BCP

Addison Phillips [wM] aphillips at
Tue Dec 14 18:28:18 CET 2004

Mark and I have both worked extensively with time zone issues, so we're aware of the potential problems.

RFC 3339 would be an appropriate substitute: its "full-date" production describes the ISO 8601 profile used by the draft.

I would also tend to agree that lack of a timezone would be ambiguous in most applications. However, for this use I think that:

  a) the dates indicate the date of accession of each subtag to the registry. These dates will all be in the past. Since the registry itself is versioned and has its own date record, the question of time zone is probably not important because implementations will use their registry date and not an arbitrary date to determine compatibility. That is: the dates will all be used in the same context with one another.

  b) we can safely assume (or explicitly state) the use of UTC time based on the above.

Best Regards,


Addison P. Phillips
Director, Globalization Architecture

Chair, W3C Internationalization Working Group

Internationalization is an architecture. 
It is not a feature.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ietf-languages-bounces at 
> [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at]On Behalf Of Joe Abley
> Sent: 2004年12月13日 17:51
> To: Peter Constable
> Cc: ietf at; ietf-languages at
> Subject: Re: New Last Call: 'Tags for Identifying Languages' to BCP
> On 13 Dec 2004, at 18:34, Peter Constable wrote:
> > 3. Re ISO 8601 time/date format: What is used in the registry is dates 
> > expressed in the format "YYYY-MM-DD". It was agreed that it would be 
> > better to identify the format precisely rather than make the generic 
> > reference to ISO 8601.
> Why not require dates to be formatted as per RFC 3339?
> In general, "YYYY-MM-DD" is ambiguous unless a timezone is specified.
> Joe
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