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

JFC (Jefsey) Morfin jefsey at
Tue Dec 28 01:38:12 CET 2004

On 20:04 27/12/2004, Peter Constable said:
>I agree it would be better if we didn't use alpha-2 lanuage IDs from ISO
>639-1. Unfortunately, that horse left the barn a long time ago. It is
>far too late to change the widespread use of alpha-2 language IDs from
>ISO 639-1 in Internet and other applications, and attempting to make
>that change would create much more instability than the mixture of ISO
>639-1 and ISO 639-2 has caused.

Dear Peter,
I do not think this is a problem is anyway. When the application uses
mixed 2 and 3 letters codes this does not prevent formated presentations
to use 2 letters and a space of a "*".
When ISO 639-2 is in full operation you will not prevent new applications
to use 3 letters codes. May be related to 3 digits ISO geographical codes
for stability?

> > Please understand I am a users side rep. My points are for users
> > simpler and easier usage.
>Language tags as defined by RFC 1766/3066/successors are meant to be
>used in implementations, but are not intended to be exposed to users.

When I say I am on the "user" side, I mean users of IETF deliverables.
When I say "customer" it is also confusing. The main problem I face in
being interested in applicative usage and operationnal management
usage aspects for 26 years is the lack of dialog. The increasing problem
(that IETF documents very well by its very existence) is that users
have become standardizers too and developpers. This makes the
standardization process more complex. The Internet standard process
shows it very well too: not all the RFC become standards.

>The best way to make things simple and free of confusion for a user is
>to present human-readable labels/descriptions in the user's language.

Yes. This is what I documented in another mail. But this means that
a glyph semantic to discover to represent 7250 langages in 300
geographical area in one to three (four?) scripts.

Does someone know where to find a free copy of ISO 7000 (the
initial part and some icons ?).

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list