ISO 639-2 decision: "mis"

Kent Karlsson kent.karlsson14 at
Thu Jun 14 11:11:02 CEST 2007

I agree with Mark here.
With this change, the use recommendation effectively hasn't changed, but the coverage has,
and it has changed in a way to make it inherently unstable.
I see two ways of dealing with this:
1) Ignore the change, and let the coverage still be "all languages" (one a a time).
2) Deprecate 'mis', and use 'und' ("all languages (or not a language)") in its place (despite the different intention).
        /kent k


From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] On Behalf Of Mark Davis
Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2007 6:10 AM
To: Peter Constable
Cc: John Cowan; iso639-2 at; Håvard Hjulstad; isojac at; ietf-languages at; iso639 at
Subject: Re: ISO 639-2 decision: "mis"

'mis' is thus a complete abomination. Why on earth should we not deprecate it? That does not prevent it from being used -- we can't do that for stability's sake -- but does give as strong a warning as we can. 

On 6/13/07, Peter Constable <petercon at> wrote: 

As I've suggested before, 'mis' has always been inherently unstable.




From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] On Behalf Of Mark Davis
Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2007 2:55 PM
To: John Cowan
Cc: ietf-languages at; iso639-2 at; Håvard Hjulstad; isojac at; iso639 at
Subject: Re: ISO 639-2 decision: "mis"


This is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it is great to finally get some clarity on the intended meaning for the future. On the other hand, it means that this code's meaning is intrinsically intended to narrow over time; as each new code is added, its meaning narrows to cover fewer situations. This is inherently *unstable*, and unsuitable for any situation that demands stability, like BCP 47. 

Note that this still does not allow a narrowing of "mis" in BCP 47. However, for this case I think it makes the case strong enough for completely deprecating "mis" in BCP 47bis.


On 6/13/07, John Cowan <cowan at> wrote:

Håvard  Hjulstad scripsit:

> The identifier mis, which has been part of ISO 639-2 since its
> publication in 1998, has its scope changed from collective to special
> purpose.
> The previously assigned "names" in English and French were 
> "miscellaneous languages" and "diverses, langues". These "names"
> have been changed to uncoded languages and langues non codées.


In my last lifetime,                            John Cowan 
I believed in reincarnation;           <> 
in this lifetime,                               cowan at 
I don't.  --Thiagi
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