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

John Cowan jcowan at reutershealth.com
Thu Jan 6 20:45:01 CET 2005

ned.freed at mrochek.com scripsit:

> In any case, the recurring issue with country codes is simply this:
> Anyone who wants to process them as such who based their code on 3066
> and who didn't use tables wrote code that treated the second subtag
> and the second subtag only as a country code. The new specification
> changes this principle, and that breaks implementations done in good
> faith to the old specification, in the process potentially creating
> interop problems.

It never was a principle.  It was at best a heuristic, since at any time
IANA could have registered a language tag with a country code other
than in second place.  Determining anything from an RFC 3066 language tag
with more than two subtags must necessarily involve heuristics, since
the RFC makes no guarantees about any subtags after the third, nor
about any tag with a second subtag with more than two letters.

(The draft does make such guarantees: it is possible to determine from
any well-formed tag what, if anything, is a country code.)

John Cowan
        jcowan at reutershealth.com
                I am a member of a civilization. --David Brin

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