Mark Davis mark.davis at
Tue Aug 5 01:03:45 CEST 2008

I think you see some Dark Conspiracy where there is none. My strong
intention, shared I'm sure by others on this list like John, is to add the
prefixes zh-cmn and cmn, once those are available.

zh-guoyu cannot be added as a prefix, since zh-guoyu-pinyin would be
zh-cmn also cannot be added as a prefix, under RFC4646

Remember, prefixes are a guide for good usage, to indicate that other values
would be *inappropriate*. zh-cmn-Latn-pinyin makes sense, as does
zh-Latn-pinyin. But da-pinyin *doesn't*. It is cases like the latter than
the prefixes are designed to discourage.

And zh is not deprecated in RFC4646, nor is it deprecated in the current
text of RFC4646bis, nor can I forsee that it would ever be deprecated.


On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 3:09 PM, Broome, Karen <Karen_Broome at>wrote:

> Addison writes:
> >Note that 'cmn' would be added as a prefix when available.
> And zh-cmn too?
> This is where I think we create problems by not having a single preferred
> tag for each of the Chinese variants. We know in the future "zh" will not be
> a preferred tag, so I don't think "zh-pinyin" should be allowed today. I
> wonder if this tag is being registered now because the registrant intends to
> ignore the preferred Chinese tagging chosen by the committee in the future
> and knows that in the RFC 4646bis era, it's less likely that new "zh" tag
> variants would be allowed.
> I strongly believe that this request should be associated with the "cmn" or
> "zh-cmn" tag ... but three valid prefixes for the same thing? Might as well
> throw zh-guoyu in there too. If you don't, the treatment of these tags is
> inconsistent. This is where I start to see this standard as something less
> desirable than its predecessor for most uses of this work -- it allows too
> many options for the same thing and the exceptions are becoming harder and
> harder to explain. We can see the exponential nature of these options in
> requests like this.
> For the purposes of registration, I think we should consider "zh"
> deprecated. It may be a popular tag with a lot of legacy classifications,
> but that doesn't make it specific enough to span use across the written and
> spoken language identification needs of the Internet today. "Zh" is a Bad
> Tag and we should discourage its use moving forward. "zh-cmn" is the
> preferred tag for Mandarin today. If "pinyin" is a Mandarin-only variant, it
> should use the Mandarin tag.
> Regards,
> Karen Broome
> _______________________________________________
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> Ietf-languages at
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