Anomaly in upcoming registry

Mark Davis ⌛ mark at
Thu Jul 9 06:17:09 CEST 2009


On Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 21:04, Doug Ewell <doug at> wrote:

> Mark Davis ⌛ wrote:
>  There are two reasons for having a non-deprecated sh. First, the
>> equivalent hbs is in ISO 639-3, which we are taking as a basis for our
>> expansion in many ways. Having that one macrolanguage be deprecated is just
>> anomalous.
> What's anomalous is for 'sh' to be deprecated in ISO 639-1 but for the
> equivalent 'hbs' not to be deprecated in 639-3.
> 'sh' was given the Deprecated status in the Registry on the basis of its
> status in 639-1.  For us to overturn this decision basically means that we
> consider 639-3 to be a higher authority than 639-1.  I don't see how we
> justify that.

For us to not do it, according to your logic, means that we consider 639-1
to be a higher standard than 639-3. We certainly don't think that; all of
the effort we have had over the last few years is *because* we know that
639-3 is far more complete, and well-thought-out, than 639-1 ever was. And
we heard quite clearly that the 639-3 committee considered deprecation and
decided explicitly against it.

So I have no problem whatsoever in favoring 639-3, since we have to make a
choice one way or another.

>  Second, there is a real use case. According to a good deal of feedback
>> from native speakers in Google, what we call Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian
>> are really dialects of the one language -- according to the criteria of
>> mutual comprehension. They are really just like the situation with "mo" and
>> "ro".
> They are just like 'mo' and 'ro', with the rather significant exception
> that ISO 639 hasn't deprecated 'sr' or 'hr' or 'bs'.  I'm in full agreement
> with you on the linguistic issue, but we follow the core standards except
> where they create an untenable conflict, which this isn't.
>  Had we had BCP 47 some time ago (and the right country boundaries), they
>> would have been sh-RS (or maybe sh-Cyrl), sh-BA, sh-HR. Having "sh" as a
>> macrolanguage recognizes that situation, and gives us a neutral general code
>> to express the situation.
> We already have 'sh' as a macrolanguage.  As you said many times during the
> course of LTRU development, Deprecated does not mean the subtag can't be
> used.
> I won't fight too hard against undeprecating 'sh' if others seem to agree
> with you, but I don't like the potential perception that we're
> second-guessing ISO 639.
> --
> Doug Ewell  *  Thornton, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14
>  ˆ
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