639-3 updates

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Sun May 13 19:57:15 CEST 2007

Michael Everson scripsit:

> Forgive me, but I was under the impression that the registry was a 
> bit more than a condom. Its primary purpose is to allow the 
> registration of entities which are not otherwise encoded.

That's pretty much a secondary purpose now, given that we only register
things like dialects and orthographic variants, leaving the primary
elements (languages, national and supranational regions, and scripts)
to the various ISO RAs and MAs.

The primary purpose of the registry is to provide a single point of
access for the subtags that are valid in constructing language tags,
with a basic indication of the meaning of each, and if it is deprecated,
what it has been replaced by.

> This whole kerfluffle about "mis" is extremely uninteresting. Are 
> there examples of this tag being used to encode data now?  

Hmm, how shall I put this?  Some of Mark Davis's postings have implied
that one or more of the organizations he is associated with is, or is
considering, using 'mis' as a tag for labeling content whose language
cannot be determined by that organization.

This clearly conflicts with the way in which MARC, which devised the tag
in the first place, is using it: for content whose language is known
but stands outside the incomplete hierarchical classification of 639-2.

Eric Raymond is the Margaret Mead               John Cowan
of the Open Source movement.                    cowan at ccil.org
        --Bruce Perens,                         http://www.ccil.org/~cowan
          some years ago

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