Why alpha4 codes? [was: RE: Question on ISO-639:1988]

Lee Gillam l.gillam at eim.surrey.ac.uk
Mon Jun 7 11:53:47 CEST 2004

I would suggest that making an assumption of where a specific code
of any length originates from is somewhat flawed. For the XML community
I would expect namespaces to be used for such purposes. Without
underlying reference, a two letter code may or may not belong to
ISO 639. This would also, perhaps, alleviate any ISO 639-1, 3166
possible confusion. And this may be quicker to refer to than
underlying documentation about code combinations.

Also, "shortcuts" could be created from specific combinations:

e.g. "oddshort" =

with "oddshort" acting like a URI. Not much different to en-GB-Latn I
would suggest but perhaps slightly simpler for documentation purposes?

> >The Alpha4 codes used in ISO 15924 will not be used within LS639... there
> >will be no duplication.  I'll hand over to Lee on the technical aspects...
> ISO 15924 is not static. Codes will be added to it, and ANY of the 
> available four-letter codes will be used. That's a promise.

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