Delay in registering new ISO-based subtags

Doug Ewell dewell at
Sun Mar 5 01:47:48 CET 2006

Michael Everson <everson at evertype dot com> wrote:

> Doug, whom are you asking?

Some questions were directed to Scott, some to you, and some are a sort 
of wishy-washy combination.  Whoever is in a position to answer: that's 
whom I'm really asking.

>> 1.  Confusion over whether RFC 3066bis applies here; that is, whether 
>> we are in the "RFC 3066bis era" yet.
> I thought that the registry was cancelled and nothing could be added
> to it.

That is true of the RFC 3066 *tag* registry.  My question (to Scott) was 
whether we are now in the RFC 3066bis era, where we can start adding 
things to the RFC 3066bis *subtag* registry.

>> 2.  Confusion over whether Michael Everson is the Language Subtag 
>> Reviewer responsible for this.
> I don't know. I have not resigned (though I have been tempted, mostly 
> due to receipt of mail from a particular loon). Several people have 
> asked me specifically NOT to resign.
>> IESG stated on February 21 [2] that "We also confirm that the IETF 
>> language reviewer remains Michael Everson."
> No one told me. Is it true?

It was the last sentence of IESG's response to Morfin's third appeal (in 
a series of five so far).  I don't blame you in the least for not having 
followed that saga.

>> 3.  Confusion over the procedure (or workload) necessary to make this 
>> happen, or the appropriateness of the subtags.
> I am happy to admit of confusion.

Over what: the procedure, the workload, or the appropriateness?

The procedure is that the Reviewer:

* finds out about new or changed code elements from ISO 639-1 and -2, 
ISO 3166-1, ISO 15924, and UN M.49 (I have done this);

* evaluates them to see if they conflict with anything already in the 
registry (I have done this; they don't);

* creates a Language Subtag Modification form for each proposed new or 
changed subtag (I have done this);

* submits them to IANA (only you can do this).

(I'm not sure whether Addison was suggesting there should also be a 
two-week review period for these subtags.  I personally don't believe 
there is anything controversial or debatable about them; even the one 
that requests a change in description is entirely based on an ISO 

The workload, as you can see, is extremely minimal.  I have done all the 
drudge work of tracking the standards and creating the forms.  You just 
have to decide whether you agree that they don't conflict with anything 
in the registry, and if you agree, send them to Michelle (or whomever).

The appropriateness is stated as: they are proposed subtags 
corresponding to new ISO 639 code elements.  Most are newly added 
languages.  The existing code element for "Frisian" is being changed to 
"Western Frisian" to avoid overlapping with the new "Northern Frisian" 
and "Eastern Frisian."  A new code element for "No linguistic content" 
was also added; though not a language per se, several participants on 
ietf-languages have expressed a desire for such a subtag.  So they seem 
completely appropriate to me, but this is your call (as the Reviewer) 
and the list's.  I don't see where any IETF-wide consensus could 
possibly be necessary.

>> 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.
> No, it wouldn't. Am I the Reviewer?

That's why I've asked Scott to clarify this.  Unless stated otherwise, I 
assume you are.

>> 4.  Unavailability of the Reviewer.
> I was in Thailand and Myanmar for a fortnight. I am home now.

I hope it was a good trip.

>> 5.  Refusal to perform the action, or some other problem.
> No.

As I said, I didn't think that was the issue, but I'm glad to know.

Doug Ewell
Fullerton, California, USA

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