language subtag registration request: Region EU

Tex Texin tex at
Sat Jan 14 12:17:01 CET 2006

Hi Mark,

I think there are important differences between EU and US.
The boundaries of the US are relatively stable. However, the EU is changing
relatively frequently (in terms of code assignment lifetimes). When we made
the argument to ISO that codes like CS need to be stable, you were stating
that IBM had data older than 50 years that required code stability.

Also, if any other region were to undergo substantial change, we would argue
for a new code. 
A region that is known to be changing, and for which there is no clear need
for a code, should not get one.

Although the government might not have glossaries for English, there are
authoritative dictionaries.
Is there something similar for en-EU?

The fact that we can construct meaningless tags is a different issue than
creating meaningless subtags.
Although we can make meaningless tags, at least the subtag components also
contribute to some meaningful tags.
With "EU" I am not sure.

I can agree with the paragraph that there are other screwy things as well in
ISO 3166.

Mark Davis wrote:
> The same can be said for any region: the geographic area covered by the
> region may change over time. The tag en-EU is no less meaningful than
> en-US which, you will note, does not even have English as an official
> language, much less publish official glossaries, spelling and grammar
> rules for it! And it is a lot *more* meaningful than en-BV, or any
> number of similar perfectly legal and valid language tags.
> Now, what is *really* screwy is ISO 3166, with this bizarre system of 4
> classes of assignment with these oddball "reserved" codes, plus a very
> special (if you look at the site from the link Markus passed out), very
> singular status for "EU". What would make all of our lives easier is if
> they just called a horse a horse, and said that EU is just a regularly
> assigned code. After all, there are many other entities that they have
> *no* problem giving codes to that not, by any stretch of the
> imagination, "countries".
> Mark
> Tex Texin wrote:
> >For me, the question would be whether EU represents:
> >
> >1) the collection of countries at the time the tag was defined, or
> >2) the collection of countries at the time the tag is assigned to some
> >content, or
> >3) is it the collection of countries at the time I process the tag?
> >
> >If I access content with an EU subtag, what countries are represented?
> >
> >If the significance of EU is #2, then how do I know when it was assigned?
> >
> >If #3, then the definition of the content is changing after it is published
> >as the code is continuously redefined.
> >
> >If #1, then it is pretty much useless or at least outdated. We would need to
> >define some new subtags every time the EU changes.
> >Or we should only use EU with a year (or perhaps a full date) variant
> >tag....
> >
> >It probably only is meaningful if the EU were actually to publish
> >glossaries, spelling and grammar rules for some languages, so that you could
> >refer to en-EU as english as defined and legislated by the European Union.
> >
> >tex
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> >Ietf-languages at
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >

Tex Texin   cell: +1 781 789 1898   mailto:Tex at
Xen Master                
Making e-Business Work Around the World

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