Last call for ISO 15924-based updates

Doug Ewell doug at
Thu Mar 19 04:10:12 CET 2009

Randy Presuhn <randy underscore presuhn at mindspring dot com> wrote:

>> <span lang="en">
>> Send us your re<span lang="en-Zinh">[U+0301]</span>sume<span 
>> lang="en-Zinh">[U+0301]</span>.
>> </span>
> This would not be a helpful thing to do.  It makes no sense at all. 
> Folks SHOULD NOT do it.

No kidding.

> If folks following this discussion (never mind random developers "out 
> there") have somehow come to the conclusion that abominations like 
> <span lang="en-Zinh">[U+0301]</span> would be ok, then in my view 
> that's a strong argument that the comment really is needed.

You have successfully missed my point.  It was supposed to be obvious 
from the example that tagging individual code points in this way would 
be a ridiculous thing to do.

> For *our* purposes, it is not needed.  ISO 15924 serves other 
> purposes, for which having such a code is useful.  It's just not 
> useful for the purpose of composing language tags.  Before the <span 
> lang="en-Zinh">[U+0301]</span> example started flying around, I had 
> been convinced that the comment wasn't necessary.  Now I'm not so 
> sure.

Whereas I'm more sure than ever.  We have subtags with names like 
"Multiple languages" and "Not applicable" and "Code for unwritten 
documents" and "Undetermined," and most people probably have some 
internal notion of what those mean.  There is a reasonable likelihood 
that people might use those subtags, correctly or incorrectly, and even 
so, we provided health warnings for those subtags not in the form of 
Comments fields in the Registry, but in the section of RFC 4646 that 
deals with tagging wisely.

For "Code for inherited script," there are likely to be only two types 
of people: a minuscule few who understand the Unicode script property 
and the fact that 'Zinh' applies only to isolated code points, and will 
know to avoid this subtag, and the overwhelming majority who will be 
totally baffled and mystified, and consequently will also avoid this 
subtag.  We only need to provide a warning in the Registry if we are 
concerned that users will think "inherited script" means a writing 
system carried down from one's ancestors or something.

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

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list