New scripts

Nicholas Shanks contact at
Tue Nov 27 11:42:53 CET 2007

On 27 Nov 2007, at 04:49, Doug Ewell wrote:

> Mark Davis wrote:
>> We have new scripts on 
>> . Can you prepare the forms for IANA?
> I'll send them to ietf-languages, which is where this maintenance  
> request actually belongs.  They'll have to sit there for a week  
> before being sent to IANA.
> BTW, I wonder how many people would have predicted, years ago when  
> the basic rules for script subtags were formulated, that ISO 15924  
> would eventually add code elements for "Mathematical notation" and  
> "Symbols." Section 3.4 says they must be added to the Registry, no  
> cherry-picking allowed, and that seems fine in principle, but these  
> two are at least as irrelevant to tagging of natural-language text  
> as are the region subtags 'AQ' and 'BV', or the language subtags  
> 'mis' and 'und'.

This is not a reply specifically to the above, but more a general  
comment/rant to all, prompted by the above:

I hate to say the obvious but if your own rules are causing you  
problems, simply change the rules! There's no point writing standards  
that don't meet the needs of the people who will be using them. The  
work done by people at the IETF and similar groups (W3C, anything  
ending in …WG) will affect billions of people, daily, for probably  
well over a hundred years. Anything you screw up now will have  
repercussions that the next generation will find painful to fix.

People were scared to fix problems in 1994 in case they 'broke the  
internet'. Now those problems are still with us but a thousand-fold  
harder to correct. Please don't make mistakes as recklessly as Marc  
Andressen did. Change your rules. Remove 'mis', 'und' and 'zxx' if you  
decide they have no place on the internet (the empty tag covers all, I  
think—e.g. when missing languages are added, extant usage of mis is  
not suddenly invalidated).

I will repeat one sentence for emphasis: There's no point writing  
standards that don't meet the needs of the people who will be using  
them. Or indeed creating standards that no-one will use. Do you really  
expect maths teachers to go off and add lang="zxx-Zmth" attributes  
around the class materials they saved as HTML from Microsoft Word?  
Then why is it even there? We live in the real world. Please don't  
forget that.

- Nicholas.

BTW. I'd never heard of Bouvet Island before. It's a prime example of  
how ridiculous all this is. It has it's own TLD?!! Someone needs their  
head examining.

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