Sample IANA language subtag registry

Peter Constable petercon at
Thu Jul 8 19:01:58 CEST 2004

> From: Doug Ewell [mailto:dewell at]

> > There is no need to create a registry of existing ISO 639 IDs, ISO
> > 3166 IDs, or ISO 15924 IDs.
> Section 3 says there is:

This is entirely new to draft 4, and I had not yet seen it, so my
apologies for thinking this was a unilateral action on your part, Doug. 

This is a pretty major change to be making at such a late stage when I
thought the authors were looking for stability -- certainly we *should*
be stabilizing if we're trying to get this wrapped up. Apparently Mark
and Addison aren't in as much of a hurry to get this wrapped up as I

And that seriously concerns me and Microsoft: we want to see an RFC
approved as a BCP that adds to RFC 3066 the ability to use ISO 15924
IDs. At this point, all the rest is candy; some of it, we're not opposed
to, but some of it is of concern, and isn't immediately essential. The
other stuff is of some urgency, and we had hoped to see the revision
process wrapping up. Instead, we're seeing some major feature creep.
This process is *not* being handled very well, IMO.

> > We should not be providing lists that mirror the code tables for
> > standards. The *only* reason to provide a list of ISO 639 IDs or ISO
> > 3166 IDs, etc., would be if we explicitly wanted to limit the
> > values from one of those sources (such as I suggested at one point
> > that we do for ISO 639-1). If we simply mirror what is published
> > elsewhere, then we will inevitably create synchronization problems.
> But there IS a desire to limit the accepted values...

The issues you have identified pertain almost entirely to ISO 3166. If
we have problems with that standard, we should address them. What is
being done here goes rather beyond that, however.

Obviously draft 4 requires a more careful review than I had anticipated,
so I guess we'll have to give it more attention. What I've seen so far
does not make me happy, however.

Peter Constable

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