Mark Davis is unhappy with the LSR

Gerard Meijssen gerard.meijssen at
Sat Mar 10 09:00:41 CET 2007

There is a famous American story about a Dutch boy that put his finger 
in a dyke. The idea is that it did stem the flow of water. In actual 
fact, in such a situation it breaks the surface tension even more and it 
would create a flood. With ISO-639-3 ratified as a standard, opposition 
to it will either fracture the stability of the system or it will make 
the opposition less relevant. We will see.

NB When you operate your own mailing list, the opposition that you may 
observe on it is hidden from view and its value is therefore hard to judge.

When I joined this mailing list I was told that for /my /purposes I 
should not use ISO-639-3 because "it was not ratified". Now it is and 
from my position not a moment too soon. The standard may not be perfect, 
but it is a lot better than what went before. In the Wikimedia 
Foundation, there is a fight on the script to be used for the Konkani 
language (ISO-639-2 kok). It has however been split in seven languages 
in ISO-639-3 and that proves really helpful, it means that I can tell 
the people fighting that the proposal for a single language with the kok 
code is not acceptable.


JFC Morfin schreef:
> At 09:31 08/03/2007, Michael Everson wrote:
>> Mark said: "4. I'm unhappy about the omissions of changes to the LSR 
>> term. Our goal should be to have the best possible LSR. If that 
>> happens to be the current holder, fine, but off the top of my head I 
>> can think of several much more qualified candidates."
>> I wonder (without rancour) if this is because I have opposed some of 
>> his proposed subtags, here and with ISO 15924.
>> -- 
> Dear Michael,
> there is no rancour against you for anything. But:
> - I said and maintain that your area of expertise are the scripts, not 
> the languages, nor the countries, nor the variants, extensions and 
> regions.
> - Mark has expressed several times that he would like to have at least 
> three co-reviewers (for specialization and continuity). I have several 
> times agreed to that, proposing that these three reviewers be Peter 
> Constable as the author of ISO 639-3 (since I suppose the 
> organizational changes in ISO 639 will not leave SIL in a key 
> position), you as the author of ISO 15924, however the scripts should 
> not be the only mode documented in the second subtag area, and the 
> Chair of the ISO 3166 MA.
> - the RFC 4646 clearly indicates that the reviewing list should be 
> ietf-languages at, that the LSR should be selected by the IESG. 
> The present situation where Harald Alvestrand as a BoD Member of 
> Unicode is the owner of the list and not the IANA, and you have been 
> designated a long ago by Harald Alvestrand who is not even a Member of 
> the IESG, creates a growing opposition to the RFC 4646 LSERegistries. 
> This is increased by the rempant opposition to ISO 639-3 we can 
> observe. In consensually accepting RFC 4646 (for the US Lagacy 
> Internet, as per the Tunis agreement) I intended that the 
> ietf-languages at would regroup responsible persons from SIL, 
> UNESCO, ISO TC 37 and 46, Chairs of ISO et JTC1 WGs, ITU, 
> Francophonie, CON, MAAYA, MINC, etc. etc. representatives, etc. This 
> way decisions could have been for changes, additions and withdrawals. 
> In this I explained many times that I represented entities which are 
> now on the ietf-languages at list or directly served by Bcc. 
> This should have warranted the interoperability Doug Ewell seems to be 
> the only one to care about (together with ANSI and possibly Peter 
> Constable, if this is not through ISO 11179).
> I definitly think it would be a good turn of yours _many_ would 
> appreciate, if you helped making the RFC 4646 respected?
> Take care
> jfc 

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