deprecating www as language code

John Cowan cowan at
Sat Apr 9 22:15:44 CEST 2011

Doug Ewell scripsit:

> Wawa speakers, like speakers of any other language, shouldn't be
> expected to know the magic two- or three-level code for their language. 
> This is a matter for engineers.  They are the ones who dropped the ball
> here.

That was supposed to be the case with URLs, too, but they leaked out into
public knowledge, and now people will form companies whose main asset is
the possession of a sexy URL.  It's never safe to assume that hidden
knowledge will remain so.

> I don't care if they want to make "" equivalent to
> "".  Many, probably most, Web sites are like that.  But
> then they should not have created "" and
> "" and such, with "fr" and "de" taking, as it were, the
> place of "www".  They could have used "" or
> "" and avoided the possible ambiguity which they are
> now facing.

When that decision was made, they probably didn't foresee going past 639-1,
so no problem.

> Or, since they already make up codes when it suits them, they could use
> "" for the Wawa version and be done with it.

I wouldn't say they make up codes when it suits them, with the exception of
"simple" and "www", both of which are grandfathered.  In some cases, they've
run ahead of us, it's true.

Income tax, if I may be pardoned for saying so,         John Cowan
is a tax on income.  --Lord Macnaghten (1901)           cowan at

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