fon* variants

Doug Ewell dewell at
Fri Dec 8 16:26:33 CET 2006

Frank Ellermann <nobody at xyzzy dot claranet dot de> wrote:

> I still don't like any "generic" variants, and think that extension 
> registries are a better approach.  On the other hand it's hard to to 
> develop a proper extension from scratch, so maybe experimenting with 
> fon* variants for now is a good thing.  Until somebody has the time to 
> identify rules for a future "f" extension, deprecating the registered 
> fon* variants.

Michael is right on this one.  Variants like "western" applied to the 
"Western" version of different languages would violate Section 3.5 
("change the semantic meaning") and should not be accepted.  IPA is 
different; by design it can be applied to virtually any spoken language. 
(Note that this is not true for SAMPA, one of the many mappings of IPA 
onto ASCII; it is language-dependent.)

I've pretty much given up on extensions.  The language tag people (OK, 
John Cowan) say they are for non-linguistic information, but it seems 
unlikely to me that the non-language tag people will go to the effort of 
writing an RFC and getting it through IETF, and setting up a mailing 
list.  They'll probably do what they have always done, create their own 
syntax.  Even ICU has create the ersatz variants "revised" and "posix" 
instead of trying to register the former as a variant or create an 
extension for the latter.

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

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