Registration request for new subtags for Portuguese orthographies

Michael Everson everson at
Wed Mar 25 10:35:30 CET 2015

On 24 Mar 2015, at 22:50, Shawn Steele <Shawn.Steele at> wrote:

> I hear that "ao1990 is a collection of features that are used from time to time".  Presumably it is a different collection of features from "pt”.  

Firstly, a presumption like this is dangerous. Do not presume — especially if you do not know. It’s better to resort to facts. 

> I find that sufficient to be useful for my purposes.

It is not a different collection. All of the conventions used can be found in regional varieties of Portuguese. ao1990 is a bucket into which they are dumped, for the user (individual or national) to sift through in terms of preference. 

> I would like be able to provide a mechanism for content to be tagged as coming from perhaps one set of optional features (pt) or another set of optional features (pt-ao1990). 

Examples, please. If you know what you are talking about, give examples. Otherwise, well, are you just guessing?

> Should users need finer control over which individual features they need, then other mechanisms may be necessary.  If there are truly that many discrete features users may want to choose, that could even be checkboxes on a spell checker.

I have already said, and Kent Karlsson agreed:

>> A user in BR or a user in PT might know exactly what features they prefer. The problem is that this subtag on its own is an umbrella for all the options, and no writer of Portuguese wants his text to wander randomly through the options. This is precisely why I said that "ao1990" is practically identical to a raw "pt", because it's a collection of features which have been used in Portuguese from time to time. What, “fato" and "facto" should just be identical in the spell-checker? That's really not how users expect spell-checkers to work.

Sorry, Shawn, but trying to dodge this key issue (“leave it for later”) is not a good idea, in my judgement. 

> However that level of detail is not the same as my current problem, which is to be able to make a general distinction between two grossly different variations.  For that need, the current proposal would suffice.

I don’t understand. Ao1990 mixes lots of variants (more than English has for instance) and isn’t any different really from un-subtagged “pt”. An analogy would be an “Accord” which mixed GB/IE/NZ/AU/CA/Oxford/US conventions — this would be no different from un-subtagged “en”. 

> Furthermore I don't see how allowing this variant would preclude any future mechanism that would enable the specificity you are expressed concern about.  Worst case it seems like this would fall out of use &/or be ignored.  (And applications are already expected by RFC4646 to ignore subtags they don't know about).

I don’t want to revisit this later. I want you professionals to grasp the nettle and respond to my request: How are you going to enable a user in BR or a user in PT to indicate what variants of ao1990 they want? 

> What I have not heard is any suggestions of alternate solutions that would enable my need to differentiate between multiple variations of Portuguese (pt-PT to be exact) and also address your concerns.  I'd be totally happy to entertain any alternative tags that would help me have multiple versions coexist.  As far as I personally care it could be pt-alternate (though I imagine others would find that a little too vague).

This is EXACTLY the discussion I want us to have about this. 

Michael Everson *

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