A bunch of CS

Doug Ewell dewell at adelphia.net
Fri Dec 17 07:06:50 CET 2004

John Cowan <cowan at ccil dot org> wrote:

>> (1)  The current plan: use CS to refer to historic Czechoslovakia and
>> YU to refer to Serbia and Montenegro.  This is consistent with most
>> historic data, but not with the current ISO 3166 definitions.
> Well, the question is, is there any such historic data in language
> tags?  As you say, the deassignment of CS precedes RFC 1766.

It precedes the final publication date of RFC 1766.  I'm assuming that
there was at least some existing practice for gluing a language ID to a
country ID in the days before the RFC was approved.  I wasn't paying
attention at the time; were there ever "RFC 1766-style tags" before
1993, when Czechoslovakia split up?

>> (2)  An alternative plan: use CS to refer to Serbia and Montenegro
>> and 200 (the former UN M.49 code) to refer to Czechoslovakia.  This
>> protects the controversial ISO 3166 reassignment of CS, and saddles
>> historic Czechoslovakia with a numeric code nobody has ever heard of.
> 3) The "plague o' both your houses" plan:  grandfather cs-CS, sk-CS,
> and sr-CS, and remove CS from the RFC 3066bis registry in favor of
> 200 and 891.

This is interesting because it is completely, demonstrably neutral.
However, it also has the characteristic of reserving CS for the cases
where it is least needed:

- cs-CS is almost certainly identical to cs-CZ, and probably the same as
plain cs.

- sk-CS is almost certainly identical to sk-SK, and probably the same as
plain sk.

- sr-CS is probably the same as plain sk.

Meanwhile, in the more interesting cases of a language spoken outside
its "home" country (such as German in Czechoslovakia, or Italian in
Serbia and Montenegro), users would be stuck with 891 or 200.  Also, the
tags de-CS and it-CS for these cases might actually exist, but this plan
wouldn't grandfather them.

-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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