Fwd: [Ltru] RE: (iso639.2708) RE: ISO 639-2 decision: "mis"

Mark Davis mark.davis at icu-project.org
Tue Jun 19 00:02:53 CEST 2007

Bounced again. It's a pain that the recipient limit is so low on LTRU.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mark Davis <mark.davis at icu-project.org>
Date: Jun 18, 2007 1:49 PM
Subject: Re: [Ltru] RE: (iso639.2708) RE: ISO 639-2 decision: "mis"
To: Peter Constable <petercon at microsoft.com>
Cc: LTRU Working Group <ltru at ietf.org>, "ietf-languages at iana.org" <
ietf-languages at iana.org>, "iso639-2 at loc.gov" <iso639-2 at loc.gov>, "
isojac at loc.gov" <isojac at loc.gov>, "iso639 at dkuug.dk" <iso639 at dkuug.dk>

I really didn't want to start a flame about this; I'm sorry if what I said
was be considered incendiary.

This whole issue is not really connected with the change from part 2 to part
3, at all. Take your example: it is a problem with your definition of "mis"
in BCP 47 whether "brk" were added because of 639-3 OR just because it were
added to ISO 639-2! It is an issue whenever new codes could be added that
would invalidate previous usage of "mis".

And the sad thing is that this instability in ISO codes is completely
avoidable. There is a perfectly good way to have the same functionality
*without* being unstable.

   - Have a code I'll call here "root" (to avoid any misunderstanding
   about the meaning of "mis".)
   - Have it be valid to tag any language content with "root".
   - State that one SHOULD tag as narrowly as possible, thus avoid "root"
   if there is a more specific language code.

This completely takes the place of the need you see for "mis", *without
being unstable*. If I have some Burushaski content, where a code doesn't
exist, I tag it with "root". That is valid now, and remains valid forever,
even once "brk" is added -- whether "brk" were added because of 639-3 or
just because it were added to ISO 639-2.


On 6/18/07, Peter Constable <petercon at microsoft.com> wrote:

>  As far as the JAC is concerned, the intentional semantic of "mis" is what
> it has always been. As for the extension, when 639-2 was the only alpha-3
> code, there was only one context to evaluate the extension that would be
> derived by that intention; 639-2 did not document the extension, though at
> least one application of 639-2 – MARC – did. With the introduction of 639-3
> and the pending introduction of 639-5 as additions to the alpha-3 space, it
> becomes clear that the extension must be determined within a context: the
> cases where you'd want to use "mis" differ if you're using 639-3 rather than
> 639-2. But for an application of a given part of 639, the change of
> reference name has had no effect on the extension for that context: the
> languages encompassed by "mis" in a 639-2 application, for instance, are the
> same as they were before.
> When it comes to BCP 47, the change of reference name for "mis" is
> basically irrelevant because there is a much bigger issue: in RFC4646bis,
> BCP 47 will change from being an application of 639-1 and -2 to being an
> application of 639-1, -2 and -3. That change of context is what creates the
> issue wrt interoperability of "mis" in applications of BCP 47: Under RFC
> 4646, Burushaski content would be tagged "mis"; under RFC 4646bis, one would
> expect new Burushaski content to be tagged "bsk". There's no basis for
> matching: that's an interop problem. And note that it has nothing to do with
> stability of "mis" supposedly introduced with the name change: with or
> without that change, Burushaski content would be tagged differently before
> and after.
> And note that this issue exists whether one considers "old mis" to have
> the semantic that Keld is stuck on, 'all languages', or the semantic that
> the JAC has always intended: either way, it is the addition of 639-3 to BCP
> 47 that creates an issue for uses of "mis" under BCP 47, not the name
> change.
> And even without the addition of 639-3, "mis" would have interop issues:
> assuming the semantic the JAC has always assumed, the extension in the
> context of 639-2 could narrow – inherently by the nature of the semantic –
> any time a new entry was added; but assuming the 'all languages' semantic,
> one could end up with comparable content tagged in non-comparable ways,
> "mis" and something else.
> Therefore, I suggest that beating up ISO as not being in tune with the
> needs of the IT community is both fruitless and baseless, and is ignoring
> the fact that IETF has problems all of its own making. If IETF really wanted
> to avoid any stability or interop problems related to "mis", it should never
> have permitted its use in language tags, starting back in RFC 1766, because
> "mis" has always had stability / interop issues. But that horse is long out
> of the barn: "mis" **can** be used in language tags under RFCs from 1766
> to 4646. The LTRU WG within IETF needs to decide what to do about that in
> RFC 4646bis. That's a job for IETF; we don't need to continue bothering JAC
> members with IETF issues.
> Peter
> *From:* mark.edward.davis at gmail.com [mailto: mark.edward.davis at gmail.com]
> *On Behalf Of *Mark Davis
> *Sent:* Monday, June 18, 2007 9:23 AM
> *To:* Peter Constable
> *Cc:* Kent Karlsson; Milicent K Wewerka; John Cowan; iso639 at dkuug.dk;
> ietf-languages at iana.org; iso639-2 at loc.gov; isojac at loc.gov; HHj at standard.no;
> LTRU Working Group
> *Subject:* Re: (iso639.2708) RE: ISO 639-2 decision: "mis"
> Unfortunately, ISO codes have somewhat of an impedance mismatch with the
> needs of the IT community; in particular, stability. Thus BCP 47 has to
> stabilize those codes; one of the main reasons for the existence of RFC
> 4646. What that means is that if ISO tries to narrow the meaning of *any*
> code, whether it is a "clarification" or not, we have really only two
> choices:
> 1. Keep the broader semantic, which encompasses the new ISO narrow one, or
> 2. Deprecate the code (in one way or another).
> Unlike many other codes, "mis" is one that we can do without, so #2 was a
> reasonable choice.
> What I was trying to come up with language that we could agree on even
> though we have very different views on the utility and meaning of 'mis'. It
> sounds like we are ok on the suggested language on the other thread, so I'm
> hoping that we can put "mis" to bed.
> Mark
> On 6/16/07, *Peter Constable* <petercon at microsoft.com > wrote:
> From: Kent Karlsson [mailto: kent.karlsson14 at comhem.se]
> > With the "old mis" one could correctly apply 'mis' as a language
> > code for any language
> That has *never* been the intent of ISO 639. It is an external
> interpretation, admittedly possible because ISO 639 was not fully explicit
> up to now. But from the perspective of the JAC, the "new mis" is exactly the
> same "mis" as the "old mis".
> Peter
> --
> Mark
> _______________________________________________
> Ltru mailing list
> Ltru at ietf.org
> https://www1.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/ltru


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