Language codes

Mark Davis ⌛ mark at
Tue Sep 8 05:31:23 CEST 2009


On Mon, Sep 7, 2009 at 19:19, Doug Ewell <doug at> wrote:

> Mark Davis ⌛ wrote:
> > What we do is act like "UK" was in the registry, but deprecated in
> > favor of "GB", since that solves the problem.
> By "we" I assume you mean Google.  Certainly, any implementer of a
> matching engine can add their own private extension such as this.
> > (What would have been a good general solution.)
> No, it wouldn't.  Are we going to carry over this battle from LTRU?
> Adding a pre-deprecated, *wrong* subtag to document and legitimize some
> users' *wrong* usage would not have been a good general solution.
> RFC 5646 points out (correctly) that deprecated subtags are "valid in
> language tags" and can even be "preferred in certain contexts."  This
> would have sent the wrong message entirely in the case of 'GB' vs. 'UK'.
> The place for users to find valid BCP 47 subtags is in the Registry, not
> at the end of e-mail and Web addresses, not on the white elliptical
> decals on the rear bumpers of cars, not in the abbreviate forms that
> people use in speech.

That's a strawman. For none of those do we see significant usage in
purported language tags, and none have the same status in 3166 as UK, nor is
anyone proposing any of those.

The advantage of having UK be valid, but deprecated -- very strongly
deprecated in text and registry comments -- is that users of BCP 47 are more
like to do the expected thing with it, which is map to GB. And
statistically, UK is far and away the most common case where this happens.

That being said, I shouldn't have had the aside; stirred up emotions to no

> --
> Doug Ewell  |  Thornton, Colorado, USA  |
> RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14  |  ietf-languages @
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