Is there a Needs document? [was RE: Sample IANA language subtag registry]

John Clews scripts20 at
Wed Jul 14 10:17:26 CEST 2004

Like Peter (quoted below) I too am also concerned about the current
developments in RFC 3066bis.

Could somebody point me towards a needs document which indicates why this
needs to be done now, and which urgent needs RFC 3066 and the registration
process does not permit itself now?

Thanks in advance for any needs information that you can point me towards.

John Clews

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: RE: Sample IANA language subtag registry
From:    "Peter Constable" <petercon at>
Date:    Mon, July 12, 2004 3:37 pm
To:      ietf-languages at

> From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-
bounces at] On Behalf Of Mark Davis

> The reviewer's workload would not change much, I believe, once we had
> initial list set up

And after ISO 639-3 is published and we want to incorporate that?

I will repeat that I am very concerned with this process. You guys
published an initial draft, which I guess could have been seen as the plan
of action -- i.e., "in this revision of RFC 3066, the issues that we aim
to deal with are reflected in this draft". But the scope of changes is
shifting when the thing should be stabilizing, and the design change was
made without any advance warning or discussion. And
discussion *is* needed.

For instance, as I pointed out earlier, draft 4 leaves things very unclear
as to which sources can be referenced: the code table provided as a TXT,
or the source standards themselves.

Also, the change is being made to address instability issues, but these
are almost entirely limited to ISO 3166. If we are going to change the
reference to ISO 639 from direct to indirect, then there are other issues
that should have been considered. For instance, there's the concern of an
ISO 639-1 ID being added where one previously existed in ISO 639-2 -- that
could easily be resolved for good, but is not. Also, we could be asking
whether some of the IDs in ISO 639-2 are best not used in this context,
e.g. the IDs collections of languages (it is *not* useful to declare of
content that it is in "South American Indian

Then there's the question I raised above: is the language tag reviewer
prepared to scale up processes when the day comes that we add reference to
ISO 639-3? The change in the draft appears to have been made without any
consultation with the language tag reviewer. That should not have

Peter Constable

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