Request for variant subtag fr 16th-c 17th-c

CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Sat Dec 16 18:02:09 CET 2006

>That was not our decision.  The code elements "fr" and "frm" are part of 
>ISO 639 and were automatically added to the Registry on that basis.  ISO 
>639 does not deal with variant subtags such as "moyen".
>For that matter, the dates "(ca. 1400-1600)" associated with Middle French 
>were also inherited from ISO 639, and were not invented by the 
>ietf-languages group.
Yes I see there is a lot of automatic coding by IETF; those dates and such 
are the standards and are available through Wikipedia!  And are mostly fine! 
  Nevertheless I was not taught that 16th century French was that distinct 
from Modern French (15th century French is slightly moreso of course; 
languages change over time; not in an instant).

I have no problem with the dates or the codes (though I do note that when 
the SIL languages are adopted which is going to be a bonanza in terms of 
increasing the number of language tags available probably there may be 
nevertheless a few groupings that are worth disputing; that is, you do not 
have to adopt everything exactly as it's been encoded by another body as 
some of the coding is arbitrary and merits discussion; but I'm really not 
trying to be that subversive in this case); my concern is about searching 
and search engines retrieving 16th century French and about no information 
being encoded in 17th century tags to indicate they are a variety.

I guess my one change is I want the fr coding to be available for 16th 
century French in its transition to modern French and the frm code to be 
available for 17th century French which is sometimes Middle French (and some 
documents contain elements of both.).


I'm going to try not to write again though on this to correct any further 
assumptions on your part--except if I may vote let me know; I will vote on 
one of my proposals.

Thanks for all your responses and discussions but I hope it is time to vote 
and move on.

--C. E. Whitehead
cewcathar at

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