The limit of language codes

Mark Crispin MRC at CAC.Washington.EDU
Fri Feb 16 21:36:48 CET 2007

On Fri, 16 Feb 2007, CE Whitehead wrote:
> (I thought the 
> motto was be liberal in what you accept and conservative in what you request 
> or something like that.)

That phrase has so persistantly and repeatedly been abused that it has 
long ceased to have any value in any argument.  In fact, it is now the 
case that anyone who utters it loses the argument by default.

I knew Jon Postel.  I know what he meant when he first stated the 
robustness principle.  It was a requirement that implementations of a 
protocol implement all mandatory-to-implement facilities, even those that 
seem to be useless; but to use only the ones which are in common use.  In 
the bad old days, it was common for implementations to pick and choose a 
subset of to support; and all too often there were cases of no-overlap in 
the subset.

None of this has any relevance to language tags; nor to policy matters 
such as whether a new tag is needed for the scientific jargon of nuclear 
physics as used in 14th century French whorehouses.

-- Mark --
Science does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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