deprecating www as language code

Kent Karlsson kent.karlsson14 at
Fri Apr 8 11:08:32 CEST 2011

Den 2011-04-08 09:03, skrev "Stephane Bortzmeyer" <bortzmeyer at>:

> On Thu, Apr 07, 2011 at 03:23:51PM -0500,
>  ISO639-3 <iso639-3 at> wrote
>  a message of 21 lines which said:
>> As more and more websites use the ISO 639 language codes, there are
>> some problems with certain codes when they are used in URLs. For
>> example, the code 'www', which is used for the Wawa language of
>> Cameroon, is problematic because when it is used as subdomain, it
>> obviously conflicts with the root domain.
> I understand the rationale (although the root cause is that HTTP,
> stupidly, does not use SRV records and instead rely on the 'www'

There is no requirement for web servers to have a domain name starting with

> convention), but remember that, even if ISO 639 changes the code, RFC
> 5646 rules (section 3.4) will still make the code live forever (even
> if it is with "Deprecated: 2011-04-08" and "Preferred-Value: wwx").

Which is one reason this is an exercise in futility. In addition, I find
the reasoning behind this request to be faulty. Just let the Wikipedia
"root" have the name "". That name currently redirects to
"". That redirection is not required. At some
later point, use "" for Wawa (with some banner at top
with a link to "").

This problem has occurred due to a particular naming scheme used by
Wikipedia, in conjunction with a (fading) convention to use "www...." for
web server domain names. Had Wikipedia  chosen, say,
<ltag>, there would not even have been this (very) minor
problem. Similarly if Wikipedia had foregone the (now fading) convention of
using "www...." (but with the current language specific domain name scheme),
there would never had been any problem at all.

I also find it somewhat ironic that this requests originates from an
organisation that frequently sidesteps (IANA) language tagging rules...

    /Kent K

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