draft-phillips-langtags-08, process, specifications, "stability", and extensions

Doug Ewell dewell at adelphia.net
Sun Jan 2 01:56:04 CET 2005

Bruce Lilly <blilly at erols dot com> wrote:

> RFC 1591's scope is the DNS, not language tags.  I see no
> relevance to the current discussion.

I agree completely.

> Domain names and
> language tags are different types of names, used for
> different purposes, and with different scope (largely
> non-overlapping, though one might legitimately ask how
> one is supposed to determine the language of an
> "internationalized" domain name...)

One is not.  Domain names are strings of characters; only incidentally
do they spell out one or more words in one or more languages.  I doubt
whether the names "Google," "Yahoo," and "AltaVista" can be pinned down
as belonging to one specific language.

>> 2. OSI 639 scripting fr-FR is used while RFC 1958 leads to fr-fr or
>> FR-FR or FR-fr indifferently and calls for fra-fr to avoid confusion.
> RFC 1958 states (and RFC 2277 reinforces) that fact that
> "names" (as that term is used in both documents, meaning
> tags) are case-insensitive.  That is consistent with the
> case-insensitivity aspects of the draft under discussion.
> I see nothing in RFC 1958 that would call for "fra-fr"
> rather than "fr-FR" (specifically, w.r.t. 1958 sect. 4.2
> the 2- and 3-letter ISO 639 codes are part of a single
> list of codes; w.r.t. sect. 4.4 "fr-FR" (in any combination
> of letter case) is unambiguous as a language tag).

I agree completely.  There is no ambiguity or confusion in language tags
in this regard.  Regardless of capitalization, "fr-??" means roughly
"French as used in some country," and "??-FR" means "some language as
used in France."  Position tells us this.  Whether there is ambiguity or
confusion in other standards is not relevant to this discussion.

(See, Bruce, we do agree on some things.)

-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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