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

JFC (Jefsey) Morfin jefsey at jefsey.com
Wed Jan 5 04:54:52 CET 2005

At 00:55 05/01/2005, Addison Phillips [wM] wrote:
>The characterization of this draft as "controversial" because two or three 
>people object to *any* change of RFC 3066, regardless of any evidence 
>presented of evolving needs and careful consideration thereof, is incorrect.

Dear Addison,
your draft is not controverted for bettering RFC 3066 but for not bettering 
it enough, in an interapplication concerted way, for the standard you want 
your draft to become. I cannot respond for John or Christian. But I will 
document for the few I represent.

>Let's let the IESG decide on that.

I am sorry. The IESG does not decide about the document, but about the 
existence of a consensus. We tried to get one. But you decided not to 
respond. So, there is *no* consensus. There are even *strong* political 
(Governmental) oppositions. I document this below.

>Asking the IESG to abandon the Last Call because you don't like the draft 
>or because you don't care for our responses to you is, frankly, odious. 
>Let the process play out.

Please do not take it that way. No one is odious. We are here to loyally 
help. And find the best solution together. What would be unfair would be to 
impose on us something. There MUST be a consensus. Also, think that no one 
has had the time to think over your Draft, during the years end period. And 
you refuse to discuss it.

We supported you. I still do provided your Draft only claim to be an 
extension of RFC 3066, for the applications wishing to use it, since 
several say it cannot be an RFC for Information. The issue and the document 
confusion and paucity are too important for the world, for the IETF and for 
my 27 years long fight for the users, for me to accept it to be an Internet 

If we live the process play out, hopefully the Last Call will be abandoned 
(actually I understand you abandoned it since you have a -09.txt none one 
has seen). If you accept to discuss the most important objection, may be we 
could reach a quick consensus. But your "I will not comment most of 
Jefsey's points" is not serious. Everyone could read them and several 
commented them positively off line.

Let understand the (several) Governments and specialized organizations 
concerns. I reported (please correct me if I was wrong) them:

1. the Internet standard process permits IAB Chartered IETF WGs to propose 
Drafts to the review of the IESG which examines them, may call on experts 
and has a Last Call before endorsing them as RFCs. It also permits groups 
of individual to propose private Draft to the IESG.

2. there is an RFC 3066 which documents languages in giving them a 
language+country-code tag. This tag is used in applications like the Web to 
know the language of a page. Special language tags can be registered with 
the ICANN's IANA. All the tags build a directory of the languages of the 
countries of the world.

3. there is a great need for a better multilingual support. A multilingual 
Internet is both a technical priority and a WSIS major priority. The IAB 
has not acknowledged this in listing its R&D funding priorities in RFC 3869.

4. a group of private specialists proposes to get accepted by the IESG a 
replacement of the RFC 3066. It adds the consideration of the scripting 
together with the language and the country. It adds more stringent 
registration rules for the language tags and wants to be the Internet 
standard to designate languages. This means that the resulting of directory 
of language will be the unique reference for the Internet.

5. the Last Call debate has shown that the authors want only to consider a 
unique language tag to be registered for the national written expression of 
a language, without adding the possibility to document their various usage 
and their documenting authorities. This means there will be a single 
Internet scripted language per country in Search Engines, Web Pages, Domain 
Names, Web Services, on-line literature, e-learning, e-commerce, 
e-government, protocols, technical translations, etc.

6. I explained that we work (AFRAC, an experimental national reference 
center) on the complimentary concepts of a Multilingualism ontology 
considering scripting and vocal language instantiations, their descriptors 
list, semantic, filtering algorithms and possible authoritative cultural 
intergovernance. That we supported the effort engaged by the author of the 
draft but found their text premature as a projected standard.

The first answers I received (we were in a vacations period) include the 
following comments/questions:

- there is at least two Internet scriptings : upper/lower case and case 
indifferent. Are they supported?
- there is different character sets: scientific language includes Greek 
characters, administrative do not. how do they address that?
- is it compatible with the IDNs tables which will already designate the 
Web page access and be used in its links?
- who is to register that unique definition of our national language?
- if this was true, this definition should result from a comprehensive law 
describing the authorized variations?
- what are the technical alternatives to this sovereignty violation?
- this kind of thing has been already attempted for IDN tables, resulting 
in their author's public apologies
- if this was a standard, its paucity will lead to patented application 
additions. Language standard must be comprehensive and free.
- scripts, cultures and dialects born and die everywhere everyday, they 
also are oral. 20.000 dialects are known. Are they supported
- our work was fully supported and the idea of a rigid language description 
tag not accepted by any correspondents so far.

>None of the comments I've seen from you or others can, in fact, be 
>characterized as other than a subjective judgment of the draft or a 
>criticism that applies to the existing draft. It *may* be true that your 
>subjective judgments are correct, but then again, it may be that yours is 
>an outlying minority view, at least once folks have reviewed the draft, 
>arguments in its favor, and responses to comments on it.

This is not a vote. This is an effort for everyone to support you. You do 
not really help.
There is no judgment. Just questions, suggestions, effort to understand the 
targets, the cons and pros and if the pros outweigh the cons.

>Let's trust in the process and the IESG to decide how to proceed: present 
>your objections and comments. Please allow for discussion as appropriate, 
>possibly on the languages list instead of on the ietf list, if you prefer.

We are on a Last Call. There is no IETF language list.

>Then, if one party or the other disagrees with the result, the aggrieved 
>can all consider the various appeals processes open to the losers.

???? There cannot be any other loser than the whole community. No one is to 
lose. We are here to help.

>  I'm sorry about the volume, but don't know how else to deal with the 
> complex arguments presented.

Just in responding them.
You have all our support until you are right.

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