proposed ISO 639 change for "arn"

Doug Ewell doug at
Tue Dec 11 23:20:24 CET 2012

Peter Constable <petercon at microsoft dot com> wrote:

> There definitely is no way to make Windows _stop_ recognizing "arn".
> But even getting Windows to start also recognizing some new ID means
> not only costly engineering for Windows but also considering the
> costly implications for thousands of implementations that need to
> interop with Windows.

Peter, strictly speaking, Windows uses BCP 47 identifiers, not ISO 639-3
code elements, right?

If 'arn' were withdrawn from ISO 639-3 and a new code element were
created to represent Mapudungan, then the BCP 47 effect would be to
deprecate (not vaporize) 'arn'. If that happened, is there some reason
that Windows couldn't continue to use the now-deprecated 'arn'?

I note this passage from Section 3.1.7:

> Occasionally, the deprecated code is preferred in certain contexts.
> For example, both "iw" and "he" can be used in the Java programming
> language, but "he" is converted on input to "iw", which is thus the
> canonical form in Java.

Is the situation with Windows different from Java in this respect?

Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA | @DougEwell ­

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