Principles of Operation (was: LANGUAGE SUBTAG REQUEST FORM, Erzgebirgisch)

Doug Ewell dewell at
Tue Jan 29 05:34:05 CET 2008

CE Whitehead <cewcathar at hotmail dot com> wrote:

> Can we have [de] as the prefix now and then change the prefix later, 
> if it seems necessary. or is that not possible?

To see why the answer is "no, that is not possible," imagine what would 
happen to the validity of existing content tagged "de-erzgeb" if the 
prefix were subsequently changed to "sxu".  (Remember that "changed" 
implies removal of the old prefix.)

> If [de] includes all German languages and not only standard German,

Karen has already pointed out that 'de' refers to Standard German.  See 
and .

I no longer have a strong opinion on whether "de" or "sxu" in the best 
prefix for Erzgebirgisch -- Ethnologue is inconclusive, and others 
experts appear to differ -- but we must choose one and only one.  If the 
best choice is "de", we can get this variant approved as early as 
February 3.  If the best choice is "sxu", we must wait for RFC 4646bis 
to be approved.  Musing about unauthorized or inappropriate solutions, 
like registering "sxu" outside of ISO 639-3 or registering two prefixes 
to mean the same thing, will get us nowhere.

Doug Ewell  *  Fullerton, California, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14  ˆ

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