deprecating www as language code

Michael Everson everson at
Fri Apr 8 11:16:14 CEST 2011

Well, Martin, in the real world people say "URL" for "URI", and people use "www." for "worldwide web". 

On 8 Apr 2011, at 09:59, Martin J. Dürst wrote:

> As for Wikipedia, claiming that the code 'www' for Wawa is a problem seems to just try to dump the problem on somebody else.

No, it is a reaction to a fact. 

> There are at least two solutions for Wikipedia that don't require a code change:
> 1) Use for Wawa, and for the main site. On, add a link saying that the main site is at The problem with this solution may be that there are tons of links out there to (or some pages therein), which would change.

But this would be user-friendly to nobody, since the overwhelming majority of users will not be looking for content in Wawa. 

> 2) Choose a domain prefix for Wawa as wikipedia pleases. E.g. wawa.

Their policy is to use ISO language codes. 

> So my conclusion would be to tell Wikipedia to get their act together and choose something like for wawa.
> This is highly preferable to changing language codes, because it avoids any followup requests (www is by way the most famous domain name prefix, but there are others in wide or not so wide use that may clash with language codes).

In the abstract, maybe. But in this case, I think it's clear that "www." won't mean "Wawa" to nearly anyone, ever, and the alternative is better.

Michael Everson *

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