deprecating www as language code

"Martin J. Dürst" duerst at
Sat Apr 9 04:58:58 CEST 2011

On 2011/04/08 18:16, Michael Everson wrote:
> Well, Martin, in the real world people say "URL" for "URI", and people use "www." for "worldwide web".

And that's just fine. In quite some parts of the world, people also 
think that 'at' is a proposition, and not a country code, and that's 
also just fine. From linguistics, we know that the same word can mean 
many things. For codes, it's very much the same (except that we try to 
avoid ambiguity within a single code space).

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

>> 2) Choose a domain prefix for Wawa as wikipedia pleases. E.g. wawa.
> Their policy is to use ISO language codes.

Well, as others have pointed out, their policy is to use ISO language 
where it's convenient to them. If using www as a domain name prefix for 
Wawa isn't convenient for them, because they prefer it to stand for 
World Wide Web, there's no problem for them to use something else.

There's an important distinction between the 'lang' and 'xml:lang' 
attributes inside Web pages, and similar fields in protocols, formats, 
and databases, which are defined to contain nothing else than language 
tags, and locations such as domain names and file names and such, where 
there is not strict need at all to use language codes or tags.

>> 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.

Of course 'www' won't mean Wawa to nearly anyone, ever. But then, 
neither will 'wwx' or any other alternative. That's not what language 
codes are for. As an example, I speak Swiss German with my daughter, not 

Regards,   Martin.

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