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

CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Tue Dec 19 18:56:13 CET 2006

>Peter Constable wrote:
><<The IDs "fr" and "frm" have different semantics. To create an
>implementation that assumes otherwise is to break operability, and in
>that way defeating the purpose of having a standard for language
>identifiers in the first place.>>
>ISO 639 stays the same, including the meanings of "fr" and "frm".
><<So, at the very least, if these two prefix fields are part of the
>registration for "1606Nict" then it is necessary to explain what is the
>intended semantic distinction between "fr-1606Nict" and "frm-1606Nict".>>
>As I understand it, the semantics of "fr-variantx" and "frm-variantx" would
>be that the texts so tagged belong with "fr" and "frm" respectively
>according to the ISO 639 definition of those prefixes. People who wish to
>retrieve fr but not frm, or vice versa, continue to do so.  Further, texts
>tagged with "fr-variantx" or with "frm-variantx" are identified as 
>to a particular area around the borderline between fr and frm, and can be
>targeted by a matching expression such as *-variantx (provided that subtag
>variantx is confined to the relevant prefixes, as proposed).  Both queries
>are legitimate and the tagging scheme should enable them to be supported
>(through this mechanism or some other).

This is what is hoped, it's way to go about handling the tags.  Of course 
the content author would be deciding here, but he/she decides how to tag a 
text anyway.
>In the absence of multiple prefixes for a subtag, the latter retrieval has
>to be made by an expression such as "fr-variantx or frm-varianty", where
>variantx is defined on fr only, and varianty is defined on frm only, and
>variantx and varianty are two different names for what is linguistically 
>same thing.  This makes retrieval of the borderline area less convenient,
>but still perfectly possible, so it is hard to see what is dangerous about
>allowing it to be described more conveniently.
>Isn't it likely that there will be more instances of this sort, and that
>when users have tired of retrieving areas of overlap through disjunctions
>involving differently named subtags which mean the same thing, that there
>will be a demand to make the names variantx and varianty the same?
>Ciarán Ó Duibhín

This is a can of worms, I guess. But it has to ultimately be addressed I 
think.  Maybe not all at once.

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