3-letter tags galore (Re: Question on ISO-639:1988)

Harald Tveit Alvestrand harald at alvestrand.no
Fri Jun 11 09:27:08 CEST 2004

[apologies for the lateness of this curmudgeonly response]

--On 2. juni 2004 07:43 -0400 John Cowan <cowan at ccil.org> wrote:

> Let me see if I can summarize the new state of affairs:
> 639-3 provides 3-letter identifiers for languages.
> 639-5 provides non-overlapping 3-letter identifiers for collections of
>       languages.
> 639-2 provides a subset of the codes in 639-3 and 639-5 representing the
>       "important" languages and collections.
> 639-1 provides a subset of the codes in 693-2 representing the "very
>       important" languages (and collections?) and giving them 2-letter
>       identifiers as well.

Sigh. If I understand this right, you have a 3-letter namespace, and have 3 
different standards allocating names out of that namespace. Who administers 
the namespace?

> RFC 3066 successors should allow any 639-3 or 639-5 code except those
> which have 639-1 equivalents.

IMHO, if my understanding is correct, RFC 3066 should refer to the standard 
defining the 3-letter namespace, and ignore the difference between 639-2, 
639-3 and 639-5. A code is a code is a code is a code.

What is the name of that piece of the standard, when will it be published, 
and who administers the allocation of codes?

> All serene?


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