Code Changes (CC) in ISO 15924

Mark Davis mark.davis at
Thu Jan 27 19:29:04 CET 2005

The Unicode Consortium has a very clear policy on the stability of
identification codes: that even deprecated codes can maintain their original
semantics indefinitely. In particular, codes never be reused with different
semantics. In its role as the Registration Authority for ISO 15924, Unicode
Consortium maintains that policy.

If there are any cases where the above stability policy appears to have been
violated, we would like the details to be brought to our attention so that
the situation can be examined, and if necessary, addressed.

We do regret the tone of Mr. Everson's reply. It appears that he felt that
he was not replying in his official capacity as registrar on this list, but
even in such cases, as Registrar he needs to respond in a measured fashion
in on script issues.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael Everson" <everson at>
To: <ietf-languages at>
Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2005 07:45
Subject: Re: Code Changes (CC) in ISO 15924

> I will not discuss ISO 15924 on the IETF languages list. Discussion
> of ISO 15924 belongs on the Unicode list.
> John, you are being alarmist and I suggest you study the code changes
> carefully before accusing the ISO 15924 RA of crass behaviour.
> This one time only, I will answer your questions.
> Michael Everson
> Registrar
> At 15:34 +0000 2005-01-20, John Clews wrote:
> >This may be a worst case scenario, which can be easily clarified, but as
> >it stands, there seems to be some anomalies on the ISO 14924 page on the
> >Unicode site, analogous to the "CS = Serbia and Montenegro" code change
> >debacle relating to ISO 3166.
> "Seems"
> >The situation seems to be as follows:
> "Seems"
> >1. ISO 15924:2004 - Information and documentation -- Codes for the
> >representation of names of scripts, was published on 2004-02-04.
> >
> >2. According to the relevant page on the Unicode site, i.e.
> >
> >there seem to have been some actual code changes _since_then_(marked as
> >in the final column)
> >
> >3. Is this correct?
> Duh.
> >4. Were any _4-letter_ codes changed after publication?
> Look at the dates.
> >5. Why were code changes (as opposed to clarifications) made after
> >publication?
> I don't know. I don't remember. I don't know what codes you are
> worried about. Your rhetoric sucks. It is alarmist and general. If
> you had a specific comment about a specific code you should have made
> it.
> >6. Are there therefore deprecated 4-letter codes? (and deprecated 3-digit
> >codes?) None are listed in the table, though if a Code Change was made,
> >implies that there was a previous code.
> I don't know, and I'm not going to enter into discussion of this on
> the IETF languages list. It is out of scope.
> >7. What will be done about deprecated codes when they happen, and
> >which uses deprecated codes?
> *Shrugs*
> >8. Can we avoid getting into the crass situation that the ISO 3166/MA got
> >into with the CS Code Change in ISO 3166? (I hope that the answer is
> *Shrugs*. If you don't know my views on this topic by now, you've not
> been paying attention.
> >The table is shown as text below, so that date comparisons can be made,
> >and some elucidation given in relation to points 1 and 2 above.
> Unn-unh. Do the work yourself, John, if you want to do an exegesis on
> ISO 15924.
> -- 
> Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *
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> Ietf-languages at

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