Last call for ISO 15924-based updates

Mark Davis mark at
Mon Mar 16 15:35:09 CET 2009

> Well, to be completely fair, "inherited script" isn't a script either.

To be completely fair, the situation is not black and white.

There is a difference between a special code (mul, und, Zxxx, and so on)
used for implementations, and IPA or polytonic Greek. Codes like Zzzz or
Zinh are really special purpose, and are much different in scale and usage.
Polytonic Greek is clearly an orthographic difference within a script. IPA
is further away from being a simple orthographic difference, including that
it actually shares characters not only with Latin but also with Greek and
Cyrillic. Both are, of course, vastly more different than minor orthographic
differences like "color" vs "colour".

Now, in my opinion, 15924 should provide variants for major orthographic
differences; for one thing, it would make usage in major clients like BCP47
work much better in those cases: currently major orthographic differences
count as less than minor regional differences in BCP47 lookup. And for
another, 15924 already has variants like Latf -- it would not be a great
stretch to add major othographic variants.

Had Addison and I realized that the script JAC wouldn't allow major
orthographic variants as script variants, I believe that we would have
proposed a way to register subtags in the script position when we did our
first draft of 4646, to get around the JAC position, and have BCP47 function
more properly. We thought that the JAC would be more practical. But that's
water under the bridge. While I disagree with that position of the JAC
regarding orthographies, that doesn't mean that there isn't a principled
difference between the cases of IPA and Zinh where they can reasonably draw
a line.


2009/3/16 Doug Ewell <doug at>

> Michael Everson <everson at evertype dot com> wrote:
> > The IPA is a specialized orthography of Latin, not a script.
> Well, to be completely fair, "inherited script" isn't a script either.
> --
> Doug Ewell  *  Thornton, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14
>  ˆ
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