Offline: Registration request for new subtags for Portuguese orthographies

Peter Constable petercon at
Tue Mar 24 17:34:57 CET 2015

I just realized that Michael forked this thread offline with about a dozen subsequent mails that most of the list will not have seen. The start of this off-list discussion is below. 

I'd like to publicly comment on this:

> Yes, if the reviewer objects there isn't consensus.

That is not an appropriate way to treat consensus in any standardization practice. It's not ISO practice; it's not IETF practice. Michael well knows that, in ISO, no working group convenor, committee chair or national body ever has veto power, and that consensus is not required to be unanimous. I think the Language Subtag Reviewer needs to be able to separate their role as individual voice from their role as administrator.


-----Original Message-----
From: Shawn Steele 
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2015 12:12 PM
To: Michael Everson; Doug Ewell; joao at; Peter Constable; Andrew Glass (WINDOWS)
Subject: RE: Offline: Registration request for new subtags for Portuguese orthographies

I believe Peter, Andrew, and others already responded to your concerns.


-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Everson [mailto:everson at] 
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2015 12:07 PM
To: Shawn Steele; Doug Ewell; joao at
Subject: Offline: Registration request for new subtags for Portuguese orthographies

Yes, if the reviewer objects there isn't consensus. 

Why don't you write up the summary I requested? And address in some way the issue of user expectations within a standard with massive and conflicting options?

Thank you for your focus.


On 23 Mar 2015, at 18:59, Shawn Steele <Shawn.Steele at> wrote:

>> It is my function to make sure we don't royally screw up. 
> I don't see this type of screwing up in RFC 4646.
> 3.2 is all clerical and provides no "royally screwed up" checks and balances.
> 3.3 does provide:
>   Maintenance of the registry requires that as codes are assigned or
>   withdrawn by ISO 639, ISO 15924, ISO 3166, and UN M.49, the Language
>   Subtag Reviewer MUST evaluate each change, determine whether it
>   conflicts with existing registry entries, and submit the information
>   to IANA for inclusion in the registry.
> So the reviewers duty (besides the clerical in 3.2) is to ensure there are no conflicts with existing tags.
> Also
>   The Language Subtag Reviewer MUST ensure that new subtags meet the
>   requirements in Section 4.1
> In other words, it needs to be the right tag (nothing about whether the idea is worthy)
> Further, in 3.5
>   When the two-week period has passed, the Language Subtag Reviewer
>   either forwards the record to be inserted or modified to
>   iana at according to the procedure described in Section 3.3, or
>   rejects the request because of significant objections raised on the
>   list or due to problems with constraints in this document (which MUST
>   be explicitly cited).
> So, presuming there's consensus, the reviewer's duty is to forward the registration.  (However I imagine that if the reviewer objected there would not be consensus).
> 3.2.  Language Subtag Reviewer
>   The Language Subtag Reviewer is appointed by the IESG for an
>   indefinite term, subject to removal or replacement at the IESG's
>   discretion.  The Language Subtag Reviewer moderates the ietf-
>   languages mailing list, responds to requests for registration, and
>   performs the other registry maintenance duties described in
>   Section 3.3.  Only the Language Subtag Reviewer is permitted to
>   request IANA to change, update, or add records to the Language Subtag
>   Registry.
>   The performance or decisions of the Language Subtag Reviewer MAY be
>   appealed to the IESG under the same rules as other IETF decisions
>   (see [RFC2026]).  The IESG can reverse or overturn the decision of
>   the Language Subtag Reviewer, provide guidance, or take other
>   appropriate actions.
> -Shawn

Michael Everson *

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