Review of draft-phillips-langtags-03

Tex Texin tex at
Thu Jul 1 03:30:01 CEST 2004

I just finished reviewing 03 and will now review 04 before making some more
detailed comments, but I have to say that I agree with the majority of Harald's

I don't see that for the majority of business applications that the generative
capabilities offer that much value. I understand that linguists need it but I
don't see why the typical usages should be burdened with the overhead.

I am particularly disturbed by the increase in choices without a corresponding
increase in the instructions for proper labeling of content. I do appreciate
that some new guidelines were presented. However, many of us that work with
these identifiers are not capable of distinguishing the correct granularity (de
vs de-CH, az-Latn vs. az vs. az-Arab etc.) to use. It requires an awareness of
all of the ways and places a language is used, which most of us don't have.

I would much prefer having an explicit list of complete tags to choose from,
where experts have determined appropriate values and added descriptions of the
situations to use them. (If you are using az, supply a script. If en, then no

The design of the tags in this specification is fine, I would like to see any
list of complete tags use that model to generate the complete identifiers to be
registered. Knowledge of the naming pattern would be helpful in designing
flexibility into the software, where the software actually provided relevant
capabilities. (e.g. deciding on scripts).
But most of the what-if (someone sends me a-b-c) issues then go away.

And content developers would have an explicit set of choices, not an
essentially unsolvable problem to name their content.


Harald Tveit Alvestrand wrote:
> it smacks of overengineering and overambitious frameworks that allow an
> extremely large number of variations that recipients must be able to handle
> in order to deal with a problem with guidelines for registration and
> responsiveness of the registration authority.

Tex Texin   cell: +1 781 789 1898   mailto:Tex at
Xen Master                
Making e-Business Work Around the World

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