ADMIN: Please move (Re: What's cooking?)

Harald Tveit Alvestrand harald at
Fri Oct 7 11:10:10 CEST 2005

as sort-of-list-administrator:

These are (mostly) LTRU issues, not language tag registration issues.
Please take those to the LTRU list.

(Yes, I know that you'll be told "these are closed issues and you don't 
have a good reason for reopening them". Yes, I'm going to follow my own 
advice and shut up here on them....)


--On fredag, oktober 07, 2005 01:56:32 -0700 Tex Texin <tex at> 

> Harald,
> Thanks for this.
> What I meant by my remark about rationalization of 3066bis continuing, is
> that the answer to my question seemed to take as a premise that it should
> result in a formulation that matches the 3066bis proposal and so sounded
> contrived. (Sorry Peter. I doubt that was what you were intending or
> doing, I was just saying there should be a more compelling response.)
> Whether 3066bis is cooked or not, this group seems set on going forward
> with it. We can all agree it has been a long haul.
> The real test is whether the industry and standards that supported rfc
> 1766/3066 will see 3066bis as a beneficial successor and go forward with
> it. It also depends on when it becomes complete, the matching draft needs
> to be there as well and the new registry and some sense of versioning or
> stability for the registry must occur. And potentially the relationship
> to locales needs to be broached.
> As for whether or not I would reject pinyin over wade-giles, that depends
> on the application- If it is me reading the document, I don't care. If my
> text-to-voice reader, search, machine translation, or karaoke engines
> don't support one or the other perhaps I do need to reject.
> I am fine with the philosophy of letting people propose tags that they
> need rather than wrestle with hypotheticals.
> We have had a few people say that they saw a need during the thread. I am
> just asking whether defining transliteration tags as variants is adequate,
> as was proposed. Some of the discussion indicated (if I understood
> correctly) that transliteration tags might in fact be better placed higher
> up in the tag hierarchy. It could be argued that maybe that would be nice,
> but they can go as variants and the hierarchy can be dealt with by the
> matching algorithm. That's not an unfair response but adds complexity and
> run-time costs.
> Your comments on scripts suggested to me that you thought I might be
> disagreeing with the addition of script tags.
> We definitely needed at least some script tags. I am not a fan of where
> they are placed because of its impact on backward compatibility and the
> need for a complex matching algorithm. But of course we needed scripts
> for at least some languages.
> Others seem fine with the choices of 3066bis. I have a number of concerns
> and have difficulty recommending support for it.
> We should have either generativity or a registry. Having both seems
> wasteful and makes the requirements for registering or rejecting tags
> unclear or unnecessary. And it introduces versioning problems. (Which
> version of the registry is your software on, and what happens when we
> have a steady stream of "register the new tag I generated" requests
> causing abundant and frequent version changes?)
> We could have either position-based subtags or size-based (character
> length) subtags. We have both which also seems wasteful.
> For example, we could let script float in any position and simply agree
> any 4-letter subtag is a script tag. (There is a potential backward
> compatibility problem, but this one is less of a problem than locking
> script in second place.)
> We could have fixed some of the complexity of tags by adopting specific
> separator characters, but we insisted on keeping hyphen for compatibility
> and then broke compatibility anyway.
> We talk about the importance of stability and yet we have a steady stream
> of deprecations and renaming.
> I keep asking myself whether we are that much significantly better off
> than if we had simply registered the few tags we needed that indicate
> script in addition to language, and for super-regions that make sense for
> our industry (such as es-419) than to try to move our industry to this
> more complex scheme that generates all sorts of tags many of which I
> speculate are not needed, but may cost me in table size, translation
> costs for the large number of tags, testing costs, etc..
> Sorry, I see a half-empty glass and the water also seems kind of mucky...
> tex
> Harald Tveit Alvestrand wrote:
>> --On onsdag, oktober 05, 2005 12:24:35 -0700 Tex Texin
>> <tex at> wrote:
>> > Guys, sorry to be the odd man out yet again, but we should first run
>> > through all the use cases before deciding that transliteration can be
>> > pushed down the stack. This argument sounds to me more like a
>> > rationalization for continuing with 3066bis than to really address the
>> > question.
>> I certainly hope that 3066bis is cooked now.... no matter what else, it's
>> time to drive a stake in the ground and say "here's the starting point
>> for further work".... it's been long enough (langtags-00: December 2003).
>> > Text to voice is important for accessibility. Identification of the
>> > transliteration scheme would be a prominent requirement and perhaps
>> > therefore ru-Latn is not sufficient and should not be recommended as
>> > adequate.
>> You raise an interesting point, which is actually pertinent to LTRU's
>> remaining deliverable - the matching draft.
>> When you have a specific document in a transliterated format that you
>> want to read through text-to-speech, you need to know (or guess) what the
>> transliteration scheme is. But in searching for documents, it's less
>> obvious that you want to specify this information before knowing what's
>> available; when reading up on Chinese history sitting at an ASCII
>> terminal, would you reject a document transcribed into Wade-Giles if
>> there's no Pinyin version available?
>> But (this is a matter of 1766-era philosophy) one of the reasons why I
>> designed 1766 the way it was designed was to give people the freedom to
>> "put their money where their mouth is" - if they think a certain tag or
>> tag combination is needed, let them go through the work of deciding
>> exactly what they need, documenting that to this list and defending it -
>> and then using it, and showing the world that usage will happen. Designs
>> based on hypothetical needs is less likely to succeed than designs based
>> on experience - and the experience with 1766/3066 led to the community
>> deciding that generativity was good and script belonged in language tags
>> - 3066bis.
>> If someone thinks they (and not some abstract "someone") need
>> transliteration identifiers in language tags, let them propose them. And
>> then we can try them.
>>                      Harald
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