Region subtags under 3066 and 3066bis

Frank Ellermann nobody at
Fri Feb 25 08:05:16 CET 2005

Randy Presuhn wrote:

> half-rhetorically:

It's okay, there's no general problem with regions, only with
"regions identified by frozen country codes".  The history of
ISO 3166 shows that there was never a good time to "freeze" it.

> 3) "script" is certainly a critical dimension

Yes, but not always necessary, sometimes language + charset
could determine a reasonable default.  If you'd need a Latin
transliteration of Cyrillic, then it's most probably not in
a MIME 2231 context.

> 4) the "region" dimension is at least somewhat helpful in
> identifying orthographies

Maybe.  For something like "en-US-boont" the most important
piece of information is probably "en-boont" and not "en-US".
And while "en-PN" is rather precise "en-US" is very vague.

> We've all learned both the British and American spellings of
> many words, and the only time we really care which one is
> used is when we're taking a spelling test in school,

One of my Web pages claims to be en-GB-oed, in fact it's only
"DEenglish", but I insisted on "colour" instead of "color" ;-)

> If country codes aren't the right thing to use to identify
> substantial regional variations, what would be good
> alternatives?

The UN country numbers appear to be more stable.  But as you
said natural languages change, maybe the concept of a stable
registry is wrong.  Maybe it's only wrong for the regions.

                    Bye, Frank

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