ID for language-invariant strings

Peter Constable petercon at
Thu Mar 20 05:22:11 CET 2008

I think there may be some misunderstanding: the JAC is *not* discussing creation of a new tag; rather, they are discussing the addition of "not applicable" as an alternate term describing "zxx".


From: Karen_Broome at [mailto:Karen_Broome at]
Sent: Wednesday, March 19, 2008 8:40 PM
To: Peter Constable
Cc: ietf-languages at
Subject: RE: ID for language-invariant strings

I hope I haven't made the situation worse, but it appears that the JAC has discussed this before and it sounds like they will support the "not applicable" tag -- I was told the turnaround shouldn't be nearly as long as I've waited for other requests -- but that they think it should be a new tag. I don't know if anyone here can convince the JAC otherwise. (I don't know who on this list actually gets to weigh in on 639-2.) I'm OK with a new tag, though I would have preferred a broadening.

In my opinion, I've never seen a real use case for zxx that wasn't better served by the semantic "not applicable."

Karen Broome

-----ietf-languages-bounces at wrote: -----

>To: "ietf-languages at" <ietf-languages at>
>From: Peter Constable <petercon at>
>Sent by: ietf-languages-bounces at
>Date: 03/19/2008 08:23PM
>Subject: RE: ID for language-invariant strings
>Here's where I see this discussion having come to:
>- There was some agreement that it would be good to document a
>recommended tag for reference-name scenarios such as the one I
>- It led to a tangential proposal that the denotation of "zxx" could
>be broadened to 'not applicable' (Karen is following up with the
>- There was general opposition to a new code element for
>reference-name scenarios such as the one I described (Randy indicated
>some support but several were opposed).
>- There was *not*, however, any consensus as to *what* code element
>should be used for reference-name scenarios.
>At this point, since I need to move forward on drafting text for
>OpenType, it appears I need to make my own choice between "und" and
>"zxx" for OpenType reference names.
>Ietf-languages mailing list
>Ietf-languages at
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