Language Identifier List up for comments

Tex Texin tex at
Wed Dec 15 12:38:39 CET 2004

I have made some updates to the page.

The mail volume and the fact that I get 3 copies of each, means it is going to
take me some time to sort thru.
(Feel free to take my name off the mail, I am subscribed to both lists where
the thread appears.)

My thanks to those of you that sent me private suggestions for language codes
that I can research as to whether they are different in different countries,
but I won't have time to do research. (Nor the appropriate skills.)

I noted conflicting advice on cy and whether pategonian is different from the
version in the UK.
For now both entries are in the table, and some of you can debate which is
For that matter it is not clear to me whether some of the en entries aren't
close enough to be the same.

I began the table of one-level entries.
At some point, every 639 entry should be in one or the other table.

I am glad to see all the caveats being pointed out in the thread about
dependencies on usage, context, and how significant a language difference needs
to be. To my feeble mind, if the experts don't agree on the codes to use,
either because the codes are ambiguous or because the decision process is so
complex, then surely there is no hope for the majority of the community that is
responsible for choosing language tags. Which was my point.

I still conclude that simple instructions that don't require decisions based on
information that is not generally available, is the more reliable model. It is
better for users and better for application developers.

For the applications that linguists use, where the distinctions are much more
important, the current state of the art might be reasonable. (But I wouldn't
bet on it.)



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