ID for language-invariant strings

Peter Constable petercon at
Sat Mar 15 15:06:18 CET 2008

> From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-
> bounces at] On Behalf Of Frank Ellermann

> >> The answer, in a word, is creeping featurism.
> +1

OK, a few people have responded to John this way. It does seem a tad ironic for this list that a suggestion for a new subtag in the registry is considered creeping featurism.

Several years ago, I think when work on ISO 639-3 was just getting going, Asmus Freytag advised me that it was important to get the right set, and an adequate set, of special-case concepts encoded. If there's a perception of creeping featurism, it's because of the way that the set of special-case concepts for encoding has come about: ad hoc, in a piecemeal fashion. That doesn't imply that what we have is fully adequate. So, I do not at all accept the "creeping featurism" argument against adding another special-case concept. If it's really not needed or problematic, fine. But we should not fail to determine requirements and design appropriately just because parts of what engineering has been done up to now wasn't done so using good engineering practice.

I think any information-technology engineer here would acknowledge problems of inappropriate overloading. We've got two camps saying my concept should be handled by overloading an existing code element, but they are arguing for different code elements: zxx versus und. Doesn't that suggest to anybody else here that just maybe those people don't agree because this is an instance of inappropriate overloading?


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