Request to register private-use variant subtags

Gordon P. Hemsley gphemsley at
Sat Apr 7 22:31:43 CEST 2012

On Sat, Apr 7, 2012 at 4:05 PM, Kent Karlsson <kent.karlsson14 at> wrote:
> Den 2012-04-07 21:06, skrev "Gordon P. Hemsley" <gphemsley at>:
>> As you well know, many entries in the Registry contain multiple values
> for the
>> "Description" field. This may because things have different
> names or whatever.
> You may find even more alternate (Englishified) names if you look up the
> corresponding Ethnologue entries.

This is not a debate about what the correct Name is for a given subtag
is. That's a separate issue.

>> So the first step of what I'm doing involves
> deciding how to translate
>> Descriptions into Names. (They are not the
> same thing‹the registry has no
>> concept of Name.)
> Beside the hair splitting (in this case) of "Descriptions" and "Names"... It
> seems you are only targeting English. **Translating** the
> language/script/region/variant names to other languages is a whole other
> ballgame. You may find some (in no way covering all 7000 or so languages)
> such translations via CLDR. Note that the coverage vary by language/locale.

No, these lists of Names will be localized. But again, that's a
separate issue, and one I'm already handling. (I'm aware of CLDR.)

> PS
> I don't see much of a case for private use variant subtags.

So what is your response to the arguments I've made?

> Though I note
> that there would be a difference between such putative private use variant
> subtags and the -x- mechanism: everything (including other singletons) after
> -x- is private use, that would not be the case for private use variant
> subtags.

This is an important point that I hadn't even thought of. Private use
subtags allow for localized private use—that is, for only a particular
type of subtag. I think there is a difference between a private-use
variant (= a variant that just so happens to not be registered) and a
private-use -x- extension (= could be anything under the sun, like the
'-x-ignore-this-subtag' that I've also used in my tests).


Gordon P. Hemsley
me at

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