Doug Ewell dewell at
Thu Dec 7 08:19:31 CET 2006

Martin Hosken <martin underscore hosken at sil dot org> wrote:

> From my naive reading of 4646 I am under the impression that all 
> language variants like this must be registered *per language*. Do I 
> need to write some Perl to make the 7000 submissions for IPA? Or is 
> there to be a mechanism for registering script variants like this 
> (pretty please)?

Section 2.2.5 says variant subtags MAY include a Prefix field, which 
implies it might not.

Section 2.2.9 says that if a variant requires a prefix, a validating 
processor MUST make sure that the tag contains that prefix, which 
implies it might not require one.

Section 3.1 says the prefix field MUST appear only in records of type 
'variant' or 'extlang'.  It does not say all variant subtags MUST have a 

Section 3.5 says, "Variant subtags are usually registered for use with a 
particular range of language tags....  Variant registration requests 
SHOULD include at least one 'Prefix' field in the registration form." 
However, it does not say they MUST, and IPA and other phonetic 
transcription systems are rather clear exceptions to this guideline, 
since it's obvious they can be used with just about any imaginable 
spoken language.

Michael knew what he was doing by submitting these requests with no 
Prefix field.  It would be ridiculous to require 7,000 IPA 
registrations, and I'm sure you realize that.

Doug Ewell  *  Fullerton, California, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14

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