Phillips, Addison addison at
Wed Apr 23 19:35:39 CEST 2008

I'm not sure ANYTHING can improve the situation with regard to Suppress-Script, although I note that draft-4646bis makes an attempt to clarify the text somewhat. In any case, I thought it blindingly obvious that 'zxx' could not have a Suppress-Script, since the criterion for this field is:

This field indicates a script used to write the overwhelming majority of documents for the given language and which therefore adds no distinguishing information to a language tag.

The overwhelming majority of non-linguistic content is not written in a script--any script at all! For example:

<m:data xmlns:m='' xml:lang='zxx' >
  <name xml:lang='und'>Addison Phillips</name>

It is wrong to consider Base64's use of ASCII characters for encoding bytes as the use of a "script". It's a transfer encoding, not writing.


Addison Phillips
Globalization Architect -- Lab126
Chair -- W3C Internationalization Core WG

Internationalization is not a feature.
It is an architecture.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-
> bounces at] On Behalf Of Doug Ewell
> Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 9:51 PM
> To: ietf-languages at
> Frank Ellermann <nobody at xyzzy dot claranet dot de> wrote:
> > The discussion was about the fact that "zxx" is a subtag, and can be
> > used in tags such as "zxx", "zxx-Latn", or "zxx-Zyyy". Assuming that
> > "zxx" automagically means "zxx-Latn" would be wrong.
> Right.  That's why there is no Suppress-Script for 'zxx'.  To me, and
> perhaps I'm the only one, this is so obvious that the statement:
>     "The idea that there is no Suppress-Script 'Latn' for 'zxx'...
> might
> be important."
> left me bewildered.
> CE Whitehead <cewcathar at hotmail dot com> wrote:
> > Hi, all.I think that some [zxx] content, when written/printed, is in
> > Latin-1 (for example, programmatic content)but it could be in any
> > script or no script-so I am not sure if a suppress-script makes sense
> > either.
> As exemplified by this statement, there is surely more confusion over
> the meaning and purpose of Suppress-Script than all other newly
> introduced RFC 4646 concepts put together.  I'd like to suggest that a
> special page about Suppress-Script be added to Stéphane Bortzmeyer's
> site at to help alleviate this confusion.  I don't
> propose to write this page myself, as none of my efforts to explain
> Suppress-Script seem to have improved the signal-to-noise ratio.
> --
> Doug Ewell  *  Arvada, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14
>  ˆ
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