(iso639.2708) RE: ISO 639-2 decision: "mis"

CE Whitehead cewcathar at hotmail.com
Wed Jun 20 17:56:09 CEST 2007

I am wondering if something on mis and the time frames in which 639-1, 
639-2, and 639-3 apply can be added to the specifications describing the 
matching of language tags???

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Mon Jun 18 23:19:36 CEST 2007

>If you feel strongly about this, you could ask for it to be registered
>as an (exceptional) RFC 4646 language subtag.  "Root" is too short,
>but "somelang" would work.

I'm not quite sure that it is the name of the subtag that is the problem??

The trick would be for applications to note the date on which content was 
tagged, and then apply 639-1, 639-2, or 639-3 according to the date;
content creators would of course need to include in their documents the last 
date each was updated.

Maybe this could be incorporated into the standards for matching language 

(If anyone else thinks so??? )

Mark Davis mark.davis at icu-project.org
Tue Jun 19 21:16:25 CEST 2007

>And frankly, if you are going to the trouble to tag content that you're
>going to later revisit, you'd be far better off to use a unique private use
>code for each missing item. That way you don't have to re-analyse each 
>of content having "mis" on it.

Good idea also I think.
I sort of agree with Martin Duerst's suggestion to go ahead and create such 
private use codes for internal use maybe.


What if people had used [und] instead of [mis]; then the languages tagged 
with [und] under 639-2 would still not be identical to those tagged [und] 
under 639-3,
for it would still be inappropriate to tag a language [und] once it had a 
proper name in 639-3 even if
it had been tagged [und] when 639-2 was in effect;
anyway, [und] is not appropriate for tagging content when we know what 
language the content is in --
even if there is no language code available (using [und] in such cases would 
destabilize [und] as well;
so I do not understand why mis gets all the blame).

(Perhaps the info that was added on [mis] -- that once a language tag is 
available it is no longer appropriate to tag content in that language as 
[mis] -- is something that should have been added to [mis] 's definition 
before making [mis] available for use.
But hindsight is 20-20 and in any case there is nothing mortals can do to go 
back in time and fix this omission now.)

--C. E. Whitehead
cewcathar at hotmail.com

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