German as used in Liechtenstein (was: Re: Language Identifier List up for comments)

JFC (Jefsey) Morfin jefsey at
Tue Dec 21 14:57:33 CET 2004

Dear Martin,
I am sorry to object. Tagging means to deliver the users (end user, 
developper, application) with an exact information grid. IMHO exact means 
independent from subjective and accidental external information and 
complete. The identification is about "". There are 239 
country codes in ISO-3166 and 6000 or so languages in ISO 639, this means 
that there are 239x6000 tags.

Now, you can come with equivalence tables from your own expertise or from 
authoritative concerned bodies. These tables will be subject to changes 
(for example if a law changes on the way to spell some words) and may be 
subject to some additional tag elements such as:

- legal
- common use
- accepted international
- academic
- historic
- etc.

These for example could be maintained as a semantic web application using 
the RFC 3066bis taging as it workframe, concerned academic authoritative 
sources providing updated correspondance evaluations and comments. Word 
processors, OS, etc. manufacturers could then indicate if they support it 
or not, etc.

So, you may be fully right, but this should be addressed in an equivalence 
table or matrix or web. In a nutshell: we discuss a tag, then this tag can 
be differently used in different frameworks.

Or am I wrong?

At 07:10 21/12/2004, Martin Duerst wrote:

>At 00:30 04/12/21, Mark Davis wrote:
> >
> >It was some time ago that I lived near there (about 5km away), of course,
> >but my memory is that Swiss conventions were followed in Liechtenstein when
> >writing Standard German.
>Ok, then we agree here.
> >The broader point I was trying to make is that I think the criterion for
> >inclusion in the list is a crucial question. In some sense, one can *always"
> >find some difference between xx-AA and xx-BB; the question is whether that
> >difference is significant with respect to given goal.
>My understanding is that the main goal is to give advice on tagging
>Web pages and other content. So the other important question is whether
>the difference is actually apparent in the content that you're tagging.
>Let's take Liechtenstein as an example. Assume for a moment that they
>would use mostly the same conventions as in Switzerland, but that they
>spelled three rarely used words differently. The question would then
>be: Should any content originating in Liechtenstein be tagged de-LI
>to be prepared just in case one of these words showed up, or should
>content generally be tagged de-CH, and de-LI only be used when there
>is at least some chance that one of these three words will show up.
>In my opinion,generally, de-CH should be used in such a case.
> >If you don't have some
> >reasonable clear idea of the criterion, (a) you don't know what qualifies
> >for the list, and (b) nobody can use it. To avoid misleading people that
> >happen upon the Language Identifier ist page, it is best to make clear (a)
> >that the list is not complete, (b) that the criterion is not final.
>I think it would be very good if the list said something like that it
>was intended for tagging Web content and similar content.
> >And one has to be very careful about saying that something like "de-LI is
> >not recommended". If you have a reasonable criterion for the list, it will
> >form a set of equivalence classes among all countries that have a
> >significant population of speakers, say:
> >
> >{de-AT}
> >{de-CH, de-LI)
> >{de-DE, de-BE, de-DK, de-LU}
>I'm not sure which hyphen you have used. Please, please everybody
>use the correct, simple hyphen. People do copy-paste these things,
>and just having a note somewhere that they shouldn't won't hold them
>It is very good to use these equivalence classes, but maybe we
>should also make clearer that the first entries are supposed to
>be used as representatives, e.g.:
>de-AT {de-AT}
>de-CH {de-CH, de-LI)
>de-DE {de-DE, de-BE, de-DK, de-LU}
>Regards,    Martin.
>Ietf-languages mailing list
>Ietf-languages at

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