Delay in registering new ISO-based subtags [action for Scott]

McDonald, Ira imcdonald at
Sat Mar 4 22:42:25 CET 2006


Lest you miss this point, there's an action item for you
in item (1) below.

- Ira

Ira McDonald (Musician / Software Architect)
Blue Roof Music / High North Inc
PO Box 221  Grand Marais, MI  49839
phone: +1-906-494-2434
email: imcdonald at

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ietf-languages-bounces at
> [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at]On Behalf Of Doug Ewell
> Sent: Saturday, March 04, 2006 4:13 PM
> To: ietf-languages at
> Cc: Michael Everson
> Subject: Delay in registering new ISO-based subtags
> I'm trying to find out the reason for the continued delay in 
> submitting 
> the seven Language Subtag Modification forms to IANA, in 
> accordance with 
> Section 3.3 of RFC 3066bis, as described on my Web page [1].
> Each of these subtags is derived directly from an approved 
> ISO 639 code 
> element, which means that NONE of them should be subject to 
> any debate 
> or other non-trivial delay, other than necessary to determine 
> "whether 
> it conflicts with existing registry entries" (which I have already 
> pre-verified).  Six of these ISO actions (five additions and one name 
> change) were approved in November; the seventh ("zxx") in January.
> Section 3.3 says that if the Language Subtag Reviewer "does 
> not do this 
> in a timely manner," an individual may submit the request(s) in 
> accordance with Section 3.5.  I'm not sure this means the 
> individually 
> requested language subtags would have to be 5 to 8 letters 
> long, which 
> is normally the case but would be artificial here.
> There is at least one real-world user (Karen Broome) who has 
> expressed a 
> need to use at least one of these subtags ("gsw") in a real-world 
> application (tagging media content).  Although this code element is 
> already available for use with ISO 639-2, and therefore with 
> RFC 3066, 
> it is *not* available for use with RFC 3066bis until it is 
> added to the 
> registry.  I don't speak for Karen, but I believe her desire 
> was to use 
> RFC 3066bis, with its productive script, variant, and private-use 
> subtags, and not RFC 3066.
> I'd like to know if the reason for this delay is:
> 1.  Confusion over whether RFC 3066bis applies here; that is, 
> whether we 
> are in the "RFC 3066bis era" yet.
> I'd like Scott to rule on this, unequivocally.
> 2.  Confusion over whether Michael Everson is the Language Subtag 
> Reviewer responsible for this.
> IESG stated on February 21 [2] that "We also confirm that the IETF 
> language reviewer remains Michael Everson."
> Scott mentioned on February 20 [3] that the question of appointing a 
> Reviewer "will be discussed during the next IESG telechat on 2 March 
> 2006."  He added, "The IESG's decision will be announced in the usual 
> places; I will ensure that this list receives a copy."  This was last 
> Thursday; I'd like Scott to comment on the expected date by 
> which this 
> decision will be made available.
> It should be obvious that the registrations I am asking for 
> have nothing 
> to do with moderating the ietf-languages list, and should not be held 
> hostage by that debate.
> 3.  Confusion over the procedure (or workload) necessary to make this 
> happen, or the appropriateness of the subtags.
> I think Section 3.3 makes this clear.
> I have done everything necessary to allow the Reviewer to 
> copy-and-paste 
> the request forms into an e-mail that can simply be forwarded 
> to IANA. 
> This would not take long.
> 4.  Unavailability of the Reviewer.
> I think everyone knows, and I hope everyone appreciates, that 
> Michael is 
> very busy with his efforts to encode minority scripts and 
> characters in 
> Unicode.  Sometimes these efforts take him away from home and prevent 
> e-mail access for long periods of time.  However, the work of 
> reviewing 
> language subtags is important also.
> I'd like to propose that, whenever possible, Michael drop a 
> brief note 
> to this list indicating his impending unavailability and the expected 
> date when he can attend to Reviewer activities.  If his period of 
> unavailability is expected to be long, say a month or more, perhaps 
> Scott can rule on the appropriateness of appointing a 
> temporary deputy 
> in his absence.
> 5.  Refusal to perform the action, or some other problem.
> I hope and assume that this is not the case, but include this 
> item for 
> completeness.
> --
> Doug Ewell
> Fullerton, California, USA
> Notes:
> [1]
> [2] 

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