Review of draft-phillips-langtags-03

John Clews scripts20 at
Wed Jun 30 14:04:44 CEST 2004

I find Harald's concerns very convincing, and I agree with him.

Like him, "I heartily APPROVE and APPLAUD the designation of a single
pattern  for tags that include script and country variations of a

However, I have the same objections on the following in particular - these
are taken from Harald's points, from which I briefly quote directly,
underneath "Original message."

These points all need to be dealt with in any further revision, and they
are not trival points, so any revision will need to to take account of all
these points in my view.

John Clews

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: Review of draft-phillips-langtags-03
From:    "Harald Tveit Alvestrand" <harald at>
Date:    Thu, June 24, 2004 9:00 am
To:      iesg at
Cc:      ietf-languages at

1. 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.

2. generative grammars that permit "all well-formed tags" is less  useful
than a scheme that permits only tags that someone has bothered to  argue
are useful.

3. Interchanging private-use subtags is not something that should be 
absolutely outlawed ... Private-use subtags are simply useless for
information exchange without  prior arrangement.

4. Allowing/encouraging private-use "q" tags, private-use "x" tags and the
 "x-" singleton... Allowing ALL of these seem excessive.

5. Allowing registration of *any* language tag longer than 3 characters as
 the first subtag of a tag... opens the door for IANA to become "fallback
when you are rejected by ISO 639 RA" wider than the I- tag ever did.

6. The document is 35 pages long. RFC 3066 was 13 pages. Cutting out this
sort  of overspecification would help reduce the growth.


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