Variant subtag request: iso91995

Phillips, Addison addison at
Wed Sep 15 17:39:47 CEST 2010

> > 2010/9/15 "Martin J. Dürst" <duerst at>:
> >> I think there is always the possibility of defining a variant
> with
> >> syntactically two subtags, i.e. iso9-1995, iso9-1968, ...
> >
> > Can this be done without preventing 1995 or 1968 from being used
> as
> > variant subtags in their own right in the future?
> Nothing would be prevented.  If it is desirable to restrict, say,
> '1995'
> so that it could only follow 'iso9', we would have to specify "xx-
> iso9"
> as the Prefix for '1995', for every language 'xx' that Avram listed.
> We
> could not specify just "iso9" because a Prefix for a variant must
> be a
> whole tag.  And in any case, taggers are still free to use variants
> with non-recommended prefixes.

I think I would respond differently to Avram's question: the subtag '1995' (usw), however, would have a restricted meaning and could not be reused for other purposes. In that case it could only mean a variation of the 'iso9' subtag. While taggers could use the variants arbitrarily to form tags, the meaning associated with those variants is not variable. Multiple meanings cannot be assigned to a subtag.

Besides, I think it would also be odd to require using two subtags when only one is really necessary, as the subtag "iso9" would have no specific meaning without an associated year subtag.

> I don't have a solution, but I hope we can do better than
> 'iso91995'.

That's a really ugly subtag. However, it would work and is valid. Perhaps "1995iso9"?


Addison Phillips
Globalization Architect (Lab126)
Chair (W3C I18N, IETF IRI WGs)

Internationalization is not a feature.
It is an architecture.

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