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

Peter Constable petercon at
Thu Dec 16 20:36:34 CET 2004

> From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-
> bounces at] On Behalf Of Bruce Lilly

> > > The point is that under RFC 3066,
> > > the bilingual ISO language and country code lists are
> > > considered definitive.
> >
> > That is nowhere stated or even suggested in RFC 3066.
> RFC 3066 section 2.2 states, in part:
>    - All 2-letter subtags are interpreted according to assignments
>      in ISO standard 639, "Code for the representation of names of
>      languages" [ISO 639], or assignments subsequently made by the ISO
>      639 part 1 maintenance agency or governing standardization
> and has a similar statement regarding ISO 3166.
> "interpreted according to assignments found in" certainly
> sounds as if the ISO lists are considered definitive for
> their respective categories of subtags, since their
> interpretation is specified as that given in those lists.
> I don't see how the RFC 3066 text can be interpreted
> otherwise.

You're now quoting things so far removed from their context that they
are no longer being evaluated fairly. I believed we were talking about
the specific strings, as you had made reference to implementers of
bilingual products not having access to that data. Perhaps I
misunderstood you, but whether or not, the relevant facts are that RFC
3066 referred to ISO source standards to establish the denotation of
identifiers drawn from those standards, and the proposed revision does
the same.

Peter Constable
Microsoft Corporation

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