[Suppress-Script] Initial list of 300 languages

McDonald, Ira imcdonald at sharplabs.com
Sun Mar 12 18:36:24 CET 2006

Hi Michael,

Language tags in print jobs (in control or data streams)
apply _only_ to the text (not surprising).

For six years, almost all network printers have supported
IETF IPP/1.1 (RFC 2911), which DOES externally tag the
language of print data streams - the CUPS spooler that is
now ubiquitous in Linux distributions, standard in MacOS,
and common in commercial UNIX distributions uses IPP for
the print protocol.

If you send your print job in Unicode (UTF-8 or UTF-16) to
your laser printer _and_ the printer has sufficient fonts
installed (for the necessary scripts), bad things won't
happen.  But if your print data is in a legacy charset
(like almost all existing documents in the world), then
bad things will begin to happen when unsupported 'script'
subtags are infixed in language tags.

This problem is particularly serious when _you_ did not
create the print data stream (e.g., it was printed by
reference from a web resource) and your client application
has no control over the language tags.

- 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 sharplabs.com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ietf-languages-bounces at alvestrand.no
> [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at alvestrand.no]On Behalf Of Michael
> Everson
> Sent: Sunday, March 12, 2006 5:41 AM
> To: IETF Languages Discussion
> Subject: RE: [Suppress-Script] Initial list of 300 languages
> At 20:38 -0800 2006-03-11, McDonald, Ira wrote:
> >EVERY single network printer in the world today happens to be a
> >"pre3066bis tag-aware application" in their FIRMWARE (which will
> >NOT get updated - these are not desktop-like systems).
> >
> >If you EXTERNALLY (in the control stream or print protocol)
> >send a language tag and some document data to ANY existing
> >printer and you use "en-Latn-US", only one of two things will
> >happen:
> >
> >(1) The print job will be rejected for an unsupported
> >     mandatory-to-honor attribute.
> >
> >(2) The print job will be rendered in some arbitrary glyph
> >     set, based on the administrator or manufacturer having
> >     configured the printer's default natural language.
> I do not understand a WORD of this. My laserprinter doesn't care what 
> language the text I send to it is in. And lots of the things I send 
> to it are images which are not in any language.
> -- 
> Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com
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> Ietf-languages at alvestrand.no
> http://www.alvestrand.no/mailman/listinfo/ietf-languages

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