draft-phillips-langtags-08, process, sp ecifications, "stability", and extensions

John Cowan jcowan at reutershealth.com
Tue Jan 4 19:04:46 CET 2005

ned.freed at mrochek.com scripsit:

> I know of two other wrinkles in the RFC 1766 world:

Are you aware that RFC 1766 has been obsolete for four years now?

> (2) SGN- requires special handling, in that SGN-FR and SGN-EN are in fact
>    sufficiently different languages that a primary tag match should not be
>    taken to be a generic match. 

The same is true of the various registered zh-* tags.

> (a) Extension tags appear as the first subtags, and as such have to
>    be taken into account when looking for country subtags.

Finding country codes is straightforward: any non-initial subtag of two letters
(not appearing to the right of "x-" or "-x-") is a country code.
This is true in RFC 1766, RFC 3066, and the current draft.

> (b) Script tags change the complexion of the matching problem significantly,
>    in that they can interact with external factors like charset information
>    in odd ways.

Can you clarify this?  Charset information neither specifies nor necessarily
restricts (except in text/plain) the script used to write a document.

> (c) UN country numbers have been added (IMO for no good reason), requiring
>    handling similar to country codes.

They provide for supranational language varieties and for stability in
country codes which is inappropriate for ISO 3166 alphabetic codes (which
are codes for country *names*).

> The bottom line is that while I know how to write reasonable code to do RFC
> 1766 matching (and have in fact done so for widely deployed software), I
> haven't a clue how to handle this new draft competently in regards to 
> matching.

The draft describes only the RFC 1766 (3066) algorithm, without excluding
other algorithms to be defined later.

"Clear?  Huh!  Why a four-year-old child        John Cowan
could understand this report.  Run out          jcowan at reutershealth.com
and find me a four-year-old child.  I           http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
can't make head or tail out of it."             http://www.reutershealth.com
        --Rufus T. Firefly on government reports

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