RFC3066bis: looking ahead

jcowan at reutershealth.com jcowan at reutershealth.com
Tue Jan 20 22:20:09 CET 2004

Michael Everson scripsit:

> At 15:16 -0500 2004-01-20, jcowan at reutershealth.com wrote:
> >Except that the current MA doesn't think that's within their remit.  ISO 
> >3166
> >is a set of codes for the *names* of countries, and not for the countries
> >themselves.  New name, new code.
> I don't think they have SAID this.

Which part?  The cover page tells us that 3166 codes for names; the
behavior of the MA shows that they will assign new codes when they have
new names, or even when they don't.

I feel more strongly about the 3-digit 3166/UNSD codes all the time.
Saying sr-891 for Serbian of Serbia & Montenegro, vs. sr-ba for Serbian
of Bosnia, is not mnemonic, but it is terse, unambiguous, and stable.
That frees up forms like zh-yue to mean Cantonese.  No IANA registry of
countries required.

This scheme also has the advantage that supranational regions also have
3-digit UNSD codes which don't overlap: New World Spanish would be es-019.

Of course, we should continue to use the 2-letter alphas of 3166-1
whenever possible: en-840 would be forbidden in favor of en-us.

John Cowan                              <jcowan at reutershealth.com>
http://www.reutershealth.com            http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
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