Doug Ewell dewell at adelphia.net
Fri Mar 19 09:52:55 CET 2004

I finally got a chance to really READ, not just zip through, the latest
draft, and now I have a few questions.  Please, no flames if these have
already been answered.

(1) Use of UN M49 codes

In previous e-mails, Addison has stated that the draft makes it "very
clear" that UN numeric country codes are to be used *only* in cases
where the country's ISO 3166-1 code was recycled, as in the recent case
involving CS, or for indicating regions like "Eastern Africa" that have
M49 codes but not ISO 3166 codes.  But when I read the draft, it's not
really all that clear.  It looks as though the U.S., let's say, could be
represented with either US or 001.  Perhaps it should be made more
explicit in the draft.

(BTW, I now see my error in a previous post for saying that cs-CS was a
valid language tag, though unlikely to appear in real life.  While valid
in RFC 3066, it's no longer valid in the present draft.)

(2) Forbidding reassigned codes

Section 2.3, rule 7a says that M49 numeric country codes are to be used
instead of ISO 3166 alpha-2 codes "[i]n the event ISO 3166 assigns a new
meaning" to the alpha code.  The example given is that CS would forever
refer to Czechoslovakia and 891 would be used for Serbia and Montenegro.
However, the wording of the rule implies that only codes reassigned *in
the future* would fall into this category.  CS has *already* been
recycled, which seems to imply

What about *previously* reassigned country codes, such as AI for
Anguilla (previously French Afars and Issas, reassigned in the 1980s) or
SK for Slovakia (previously Sikkim, reassigned in 1993).  Would those
also be forbidden, so that users would have to use the numeric codes for
Anguilla and Slovakia as well as Serbia and Montenegro?  Or is there
some difference (probably arbitrary) between codes reassigned in 2003
and those reassigned earlier?

In short, what is the cutoff date for recycled codes not to be valid?
Is it:
- the publication date of RFC 3066 bis (i.e. CS for Serbia and
Montenegro would be OK)
- from the beginning of ISO 3166 codes (i.e. AI and SK as well as CS
would be forbidden)
- some arbitrary date in-between (AI and SK are admissible, but not CS)

(3) Registering variant subtags

As the text points out, whereas RFC 1766/3066 registrations were for an
entire tag (such as en-boont), RFC 3066 bis registrations are to be for
the subtag (boont) only.  The registration would include the country
subtag as an informative field.  Would the subtag still only be valid
with the intended language, or would there be a loophole allowing an
inappropriate combination such as fr-boont?  The document didn't make it
clear to me.


-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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