Last call for ISO 15924-based updates

Doug Ewell doug at
Tue Mar 17 04:15:14 CET 2009

Mark Davis wrote:

> 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.

I'm sure all of us can think of something missing in one of the commonly 
discussed standards that we wish were there, or something that is 
present or planned that we wish were not.

> 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.

Actually I don't think using variants for IPA et al. is such a bad idea. 
I think we had a good idea about the subtags appearing from left to 
right in decreasing order of "importance," but I don't think a roomful 
of people, or maybe even a closetful, will agree on which subtags are 
more "important," and I'm afraid we won't find many applications that 
actually take this into account.

> 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.

I'm hoping we can set aside philosophical differences about ISO 15924 
and reach an agreement on this apparently crucial "comment or no 
comment" decision that is holding 'Zinh' out of the Registry.  I mean, 
I'm sure nobody is suffering because 'Zinh' is not yet in the Registry, 
but it would be nice to finish pending business.

Doug Ewell  *  Thornton, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14  ˆ

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