Language subtag modification request: frr Suppres-Script Latn

Mark Davis mark.davis at
Thu Mar 9 19:02:21 CET 2006

That is very much the wrong way to phrase it. RFC3066bis *allows* the 
insertion of script subtags; it does not require it. And this is not a 
backwards incompatibility with 3066 -- there are already such tags in 
3066. However, the script, *like the country*, should only be included 
where it makes a difference, and the Suppress-Script was added to guide 
users of the registry in knowing when this should be done. (I, like 
Addison, was of the view that the negative would have been more 
practical; specifying the few cases where the script is needed is rather 
more useful than listing all the cases where it is not. But that's in 
the past.)

 >It is critically important that Suppress-Script be filled
It isn't really a critical matter at all. Whether or not there is a 
suppress-script tag on frr, if I know enough about frr to be using the 
tag, I'm not going to be adding a Latn subtag on it.

However, it is the responsibility of the language tag reviewer to -- in 
a timely fashion -- review all of the requests made in accordance with 
the rules set down in 3066bis, and follow those rules in determining 
what changes to make to the registry. This is a straightforward request 
with an obvious answer, so I see no grounds for the reviewer to reject it.

 >Michael, if you seriously intend to impede the population of 
Suppress-Script in the registry, then RFC3066bis MUST be dropped and 
Let's not move to inflamatory language quite so quickly. I don't think 
that Michael was yet clear enough on the responsibilities of the 
reviewer, not that he meant to impede them. Moreover, there is no 
question of revising 3066bis to suit anyone's personal preferences. It 
is the responsibility of the IESG to appoint a reviewer who can meet the 
responsibilities as laid out; if Michael is uncomfortable with that -- 
or simply doesn't have enough time in his schedule to do so, given his 
work on minority scripts which may take him out of contact for periods 
of time -- there are many other capable people who could.


McDonald, Ira wrote:
> Hi Michael Everson, et al,
> RFC 3066bis makes a VERY non-backward-compatible change 
> by inserting 'script' subtags after 'language' and BEFORE
> 'region'.  All existing deployed software then breaks
> on existing deployed language tags when an unnecessary
> 'script' subtag is included in a search request.
> Suppress-Script was added to partially ameliorate this
> non-backward-compatible change.  
> It is critically important that Suppress-Script be filled
> in for every language where it is appropriate in the
> registry.
> Contributors from the email, LDAP, and printing communities
> reluctantly agreed to concur with this non-backward-compatible
> placement of 'script' subtags _only_ if Suppress-Script was
> added and made as ubiquitous as possible in the registry.
> Michael, if you seriously intend to impede the population
> of Suppress-Script in the registry, then RFC3066bis MUST
> be dropped and reworked.  This is a central feature.
> Cheers,
> - Ira (for the IEEE/ISTO PWG Steering Committee and
>        FSG Open Printing Steering Committee)
> 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 Addison
>> Phillips
>> Sent: Thursday, March 09, 2006 11:13 AM
>> To: 'John Cowan'; 'Michael Everson'
>> Cc: 'IETF Languages Discussion'
>> Subject: RE: Language subtag modification request: frr Suppres-Script
>> Latn
>> Hmm...
>> Suppress-Script's purpose was to suppress the use of the 
>> script subtag in
>> cases where it would cause problems with *existing* language 
>> tags. I argued
>> that it was a bad choice for precisely the reason Michael 
>> cites (I thought
>> "require-script" was a better solution, since few languages 
>> are customarily
>> written in two or more scripts--but I was basically alone in 
>> thinking this).
>> For languages not previously encoded, it would not hurt 
>> anything to omit the
>> field (yes, we'd end up with users creating tags in the form
>> "frr-Latn-XX-yyyy" sometimes), but this is probably not the end of the
>> world. Users are already cautioned not to use subtags that add no
>> distinguishing value, as 'Latn' usually does not for 'frr'. 
>> Suppress-Script
>> is an informative field that provides a stronger level of caution to
>> registry users and should be reserved, in my opinion, for cases where
>> confusion would otherwise result.
>> On the other hand, it is quite clear that the rules permit 
>> Frank to make the
>> request and that Michael needs to respond with a decision 
>> within two weeks
>> or issue an extension. I don't see any evidence that this 
>> request is wrong,
>> so I reluctantly support its inclusion, but I would also 
>> suggest that we
>> *not* go through the exercise of making all possible 
>> suppress-script fields.
>> If someone feels strongly enough to issue the occasional 
>> request, it should
>> be, in my opinion, honored if it is reasonable and can be 
>> demonstrated to be
>> accurate.
>> I'll note that for many languages it won't be possible for us 
>> to accurately
>> gauge if a language subtag should get the extra level of 
>> warning about the
>> use of the script subtag that Suppress-Script provides. I 
>> don't think we
>> should get into the business of warning about the use of 
>> script subtags
>> explicitly unless there is a real need (beyond the mere 
>> desire for the data
>> set to be complete).
>> Regards,
>> Addison
>> Addison Phillips
>> Internationalization Architect - Yahoo! Inc.
>> Internationalization is an architecture.
>> It is not a feature. 
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-
>>> bounces at] On Behalf Of John Cowan
>>> Sent: 2006?3?9? 6:55
>>> To: Michael Everson
>>> Cc: IETF Languages Discussion
>>> Subject: Re: Language subtag modification request: frr 
>> Suppres-Script Latn
>>> Michael Everson scripsit:
>>>>> BTW, I support Frank's proposal -- once the subtag 'frr' 
>> is added --
>>>>> and agree with him that dozens more Suppress-Scripts need to be
>>>>> added. Somebody just needs to do the research on them, 
>> as Frank has
>>>>> done for 'frr'.
>>>> Please explain why.
>>> That question is rather open-ended.  The purpose of the 
>> "Suppress-Script"
>>> field (which has no counterpart in RFC 3066) on a language subtag is
>>> to specify the script that is customarily used to write the 
>> language.
>>> RFC 3066bis uses the phrase "used to write the overwhelming 
>> majority of
>>> documents for the given language".
>>> For example, English is customarily written in the Latin 
>> script, so it
>>> is appropriate to record a Suppress-Script of "Latn".  For languages
>>> which are not customarily written, or are customarily 
>> written in more
>>> than one script, it is appropriate to have no value for 
>> Suppress-Script.
>>> The purpose of Suppress-Script is to allow the users of 
>> language tags to
>>> avoid the routine use of tags like "en-Latn", which convey 
>> no information
>>> beyond the simple "en" in most contexts (though they are 
>> not actually
>>> forbidden, as it may be desirable in some circumstances to contrast
>>> en-Latn with en-Brai).
>>> It is I think uncontroversial that Northern Frisian is 
>> customarily written
>>> in the Latin script.  Therefore, this registration should 
>> be permitted.
>>> --
>>> Work hard,                                      John Cowan
>>> play hard,                                      cowan at
>>> die young,                            
>>> rot quickly.                                    
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