IETF language tags list

Michael Everson everson at
Tue Jun 14 01:24:23 CEST 2005

I really hate to do this.

At 00:35 +0200 2005-06-14, JFC (Jefsey) Morfin wrote:
>At 18:50 13/06/2005, Michael Everson wrote:
>>For the record, I consider the attack about 
>>"layer violation" to be yet another example of 
>>the venom I referred to earlier.
>I know you are not a programer so I understand 
>you do not understand what this really means.

This insults me. "Layer violation" is an attack 
on the people who form the RFC 3066 community, 
many of whom are programmers, and whose advice I 
take when necessary.

>This is the same as saying that the Internet is an unreliable technology.

Bullshit. (Normally I would have said "bollocks" 
which is slightly gentler Hiberno-English for the 
same concept, but it is clear that you don't 
understand such subtlety. (Yes, that was an 

>This is just a description. But since you feel 
>hurt and are yourself hurting, I will explain.


>Sorry if it is technical, after all this is the 
>real core of our disagreement, may be detailing 
>it that deep will help?

Certainly not.

>When you consider a language in ISO 639-1, 2, 3 
>(what this list works on), it is a concept (we 
>both understand what it is, not a computer). 
>That concept can be documented, for explanation, 
>by one or two references (books, articles, 
>etc.). Again this is what this list does.
>Now, when you start considering a substantial 
>number of books (as advised to Karen), the 
>purpose is to verify if there are several 
>instantiation of the language, if it is a 
>dialect, etc. (please let not to confuse with 
>the application "I had a dream" quoted by Mark 
>of the Luther King's American language 

Quite honestly I think you are a complete amateur 
when it comes to linguistics. I do not need you 
to explain "American dialect" vs "real dialect" 
to me. I think you should go find another pond to 
swim in. You have nothing to offer here.

>When you directly relate concepts with values 
>you have by nature a layer violation (like if I 
>entered "Michael Family-Name" in a base). It may 
>not be very apparent when you say "one-French in 
>a Latin Script from France":

This means NOTHING in the English language. And 
indeed, thinking of it as "un-français dans 
écriture latin de la France" makes no sense 

>but if you think "French" instead of "one 
>French" it is a layer violation and sooner or 
>later attached relations will openly conflict.

This means nothing to me.

>This is the flaw in generalizing the debate on this list. I detail:
>There is  a difference of nature between English 
>in ISO 639-X (concept) and English in ISO 639-Y 

Bollocks. Neither of these entities exist.

>if are retained ISO 639-4 guidelines similar to 
>the one we retained in complying with ISO 11179 
>and ISO 12620.

I don't know, and I don't care, what ISO 11179 and ISO 12620 are.

>Why ? Because there may be many instantiations 
>of English ISO 639-X, but what is taken as 
>English in ISO 639-Y might be what has 
>positively retain by a filter saying "if there 
>are more than % 'the' tokens and % 'and' tokens 
>etc. this is English". As long as ISO 639-4 
>guidelines are not finalised we frankly do not 
>know where we go.

I have NO idea what you are talking about, but it 
certainly has nothing to do with RFC 3066.

>This means that "gsw" as future ISO 639-3 or 
>"gsw" as registered today as ISO 639-2 may turn 
>to be different by nature.

Bollocks. "gsw" is a code to represent the name of a language "Schwyzertütsch".

>This is what I translated in my mail telling 
>Peter to give a degree of liberty to the 
>installation of the language (referent) and of 
>the user's usage (style).

No idea what you are talking about.

>This degree of liberty is a different level 
>(like in the DNS) and possibly layer (because 
>the precedent level is metadata to the next one).

No idea what you are talking about. And back 
translating it into French makes no difference.

>This may look silly, but if you do not conduct 
>that analysis carefully you get yourself trapped 
>into very complex situations. The Internet 
>technology is made of many layer violations due 
>to its current use of default architecture 
>parameters (one single name system, one single 
>adressing, one single IANA, one single class, 
>one single character space, etc.).

Bollocks. It works just fine. I use the internet 
every day to access information in any number of 
languages with no difficulties. (It would be nice 
if Google supported more search tags for 

>This hides them. The complexity of a 
>Multilingual Internet broadly lies in this.

William Gibson makes more sense.

>Just consider Classes.

What the bejeezus is a "Class"? (Please don't answer.)

>One of the reasons I am tough on langtags is 
>that langtags should make Multilingual Internet 

Go away. Go to whoever it is that you think owns 
the Internet and pester them. THIS list is not 
about "multilingual internet classes". It's about 
codes that represent the names of languages.

>the DNS can support 56.000+ classes, so there is 
>room but not enough for all the langtags this 
>list _could_ register. There will also be 
>probably many demands for non-lingual classes 
>(security, priorities, public services, 
>corporate, cultures, family protection etc.). We 
>are going to negotiate class allocation: this 
>will be up to this list and we will have to take 
>into account what has been registered. A 
>possible nightmare.

This is kookery.

>Let me say I register "i-gsw". You will probably have to agree.

In a pig's eye.

>Now I will ask you its registration number, you 
>will be puzzled but I will eventually get one 
>from IANA.

RFC 3066 language tags do not have "regisstration 
numbers". Or if they do it is of no consequence. 
They are tags which can be used in quite ordinary 
metadata in order to identify language content.

>And I will then make a BCP

No idea what this is.

>informing the Internet community

No idea who these are. My dad?

>that I will run an Swiss German externet

No idea what an externet could possibly be.

>based upon that class number to avoid conflicts 
>with the Chinese externets CNNIC

No idea what CNNIC could be.

>could start using the tags you registered for Mike

Who the hell is Mike?

>(who will be worried as he may lose a bigger opportunity than he thought).

Can't imagine what you are talking about.

>Anyway, I would have carried everything 
>according to every RFC present and proposed.

Back translation does not illuminate me as to the meaning of this sentence.

>So would have others. Yet we would have created 
>a mess. Because the underlying concepts are in 
>layer violation.


>No one has considered classes,

Whatever they are.

>... yet. Except John Klensin

I know him. I suspect he will agree with me, and 
not with you, in these matters.

>(but only one for all the langtags ...) and 
>ICANN four years ago, and Bob Tréhin and Joe 
>Rinde to establish the first international 

Whatever that is.


Whatever that is.

>copied as CUGs

Whatever those are.

>and we are working on now.
>I know this is complex. But it is not hurting, 
>it is not "venom", it is the very core of this 
>list's mission

This list exists to review tags according to the 
principles outlined in RFC 3066.

>and the reason why I say that it should be 
>presented on the IANA site with the name and the 
>exposure resulting from RFC 3066. And a network 
>architect to advise you (not from the IESG as 
>for the time being they have totally overlooked 
>the problem). To better analysis this you can 

This has nothing to do with what I do.

I don't believe that you have the least idea what language tagging is about.

Michael Everson * * Everson Typography *  *

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