deprecating www as language code

Casey Brown lists at
Fri Apr 8 22:00:32 CEST 2011

On Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 1:08 PM, Doug Ewell <doug at> wrote:
>>> 2) Choose a domain prefix for Wawa as wikipedia pleases. E.g. wawa.
>> Their policy is to use ISO language codes.
> Except when it isn't; see:
> Kent is right; Wikipedia (much as I love it otherwise) is hardly the
> epitome of conformant usage of either ISO 639 or BCP 47.

I'm not exactly sure why this request turned into an attack on
Wikipedia.  The mention of Wikipedia was just an example case to
illustrate the possible issues.[0]

If you want to keep it around just for the sake of keeping it around,
that seems pretty stupid.  ISO is supposed to make things easier
through standardization, but there's definitely some degree of common
sense involved.  As someone else mentioned here, when someone sees
"www", are they going to think Wawa or are they going to think
"worldwide web"?  A Wawa speaker probably wouldn't even assume the
code were "www".

We shouldn't be attacking websites for still supporting the use of
"www" as equal to the "naked" URL, which has been around for the whole
life of the internet.  I don't mind "blacklisting" ftp too, but it's
not as necessary as "www".  www is really the only thing that would be
a conflict with every single website that uses

[0] ...and not that it matters, but the language codes don't always
match for historical reasons, from before we used ISO or from before
ISO might have had codes for those languages.  We're actually planning
on moving most of the wikis soon to match ISO, but it's a pretty
labor-intensive process so it's not something that's done every day.

Casey Brown

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