Code Changes (CC) in ISO 15924

Doug Ewell dewell at
Mon Feb 7 22:40:34 CET 2005

On January 28, John Clews <scripts20 at uk2 dot net> wrote:

> I did however, get a very helpful reply in detail from Doug Ewell,
> sent privately rather than on the list.
> With Doug's permission, I will send a copy of his reply to the list,
> as it thoroughly described the situation that I had originally asked
> the reviewer and original developer of ISO 15924.
> Is that OK, Doug? Feel free to send your reply to me to the list if
> this is as easy as giving me permission to copy your text to the list.

I've been asked not to perpetuate ISO 15924 discussions on the ietf-languages

However, I feel John's question deserves a SINGLE, FINAL on-list answer, for
the following reasons:

1.  John asked for it on-list.
2.  Language tagging with script information, implemented with ISO 15924
script codes, is a key topic on this list at present.
3.  The answer shows that ISO 15924 does not suffer from the alluded stability
problem, which I think is important for the list to know.

John had asked whether changes to ISO 15924 after the publication date,
indicated on the Notice of Changes page, were comparable to ISO 3166's reuse
of the code element CS, which caused major confusion and stability problems.

My response was that,

* first, no ISO 15924 codes have been reused, which was the real problem with
CS (not merely the fact that a code was changed);

* second, that only one alpha-4 code -- Mand -- has been changed (not eight as
it initially appeared);

* and third, the change appears to be a matter of correcting a typographical
error in the original publication (not a true code change).

I feel confident in the stability of ISO 15924 codes, both for language
tagging and for other purposes, and I feel confident that the ISO 15924/RA and
its Registrar share this list's concern about stability.

Please direct ALL further questions about ISO 15924 to the Unicode mailing
list (unicode at unless they are directly related to language tags.

-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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