Request for advice: IANA subtag registry, zh / cmn / yue

Doug Ewell doug at
Fri Jul 15 17:44:40 CEST 2011

I can see where David's, and to some extent Debbie's, misunderstanding
may have come from.  We do discuss prefixes on this list as if they were
normative and iron-clad, as if a variant used with a non-recommended
prefix were invalid instead of merely questionable.

Remember the recent discussion about 'kichwa', which (before Michael
sent it back for ISO 639-3 consideration) was considered for
registration as a variant.  There was a fair amount of swirl over what
the appropriate prefix(es) would be, whether it would be the
macrolanguage 'qu' or some subset of the encompassed Quechuas (or,
worst, all of them individually), and whether macrolanguages as prefixes
are appropriate in general.  Personally I think they are, and think we
spend too much effort with every variant trying to micro-engineer the
"perfect" prefix, leading users like David understandably to the
conclusion that any prefix other than the listed one(s) is simply "not

Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA | RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14 | | @DougEwell ­

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