Retired 639-3 codes

Michael(tm) Smith mike at
Mon Dec 14 07:04:00 CET 2009

Randy Presuhn <randy_presuhn at>, 2009-12-13 21:24 -0800:

> > From: "Michael(tm) Smith" <mike at>
> ...
> > Was "eng" ever valid?
> No.  This is a case of trying to correct for a
> class of systematic errors that might be committed by
> someone attempting to implement the BCP without actually
> reading it or making use of the registry. - Sort of a
> "DWIM" heuristic.  Beyond the question of whether it
> makes sense to standardize such things (I'm convinced
> it does not) whether such a heuristic is actually useful
> or counter-productive would be open to debate.  If someone
> who had actually read the BCP entered "eng-840", I'd suspect
> that it was a typographical error, and that neither "eng"
> nor "840" was actually intended.

[and in an earlier message]

> The case you're pursuing is one of trying to figure out where a user who
> has failed to use the registry might have mistakenly come up with an
> erroneous subtag.  There may be applications where this might be
> a worthwhile undertaking, but that's far outside the realm of standardization,
> in my opinion.  If a user's entry of "eml" is a typographical error, rather
> than a conscious decision to use a data source other than the registry,
> telling the user about "retired codes" might not be terribly helpful.

I can understand that view as well. I know sometimes for
developing applications like that one I'm most concerned with (a
markup validator), there's sometimes a risk of trying to be too
helpful in suggesting what a user should to in order to correct a
particular error -- and end up instead unintentionally just
confusing the user further.


Michael(tm) Smith

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