Language Subtag Registration -- "wpsimple"

Peter Constable petercon at
Fri Oct 30 23:21:22 CET 2015

There is enough of a conventional understanding of what “de” means to make it useful in public interchange. A variant subtag, inherently, is denoting something narrower, with an even greater level of specificity implied. If there isn’t greater specificity, then you don’t have a useful variant subtag.

That’s all fundamentals about subtags generally. Now let’s consider the kinds of greater specificity that can be useful in a generic variant subtag. In the case of, say, “1900”, the tag implicitly has a clear semantic that can potentially be applied to any language — it’s pretty obvious that this would denote some language-related conventions that are somehow associated with the year 1900.

But in this case, the proposed subtag is intended to denote some other kind of specificity. It’s a specificity that can make sense when described in terms of a particular language. But to make it generic across languages, the only way to have it remain meaningful is to identify some common point of reference that can be applied across languages.

You could say, Well, it means whatever Wikipedia decides it wants it to mean. But, is that really what we’d want to do? Would we want to accept “ibmsimple” or “sirisimple”? Besides cherry-picking products/applications/organizations we’d allow to have such tags, are these tags that are really useful in public interchange?

I really think we should register a variant subtag in this case if it can be described as a specific variant of a particular language without reference to any single application, and if that’s a variant that has potential use beyond a single application.


From: mark.edward.davis at [mailto:mark.edward.davis at] On Behalf Of Mark Davis ??
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2015 10:07 AM
To: Peter Constable <petercon at>
Cc: Michael Everson <everson at>; ietflang IETF Languages Discussion <ietf-languages at>; amir.aharoni at
Subject: Re: Language Subtag Registration -- "wpsimple"

I think the opposite. We don't fully specify what "de" means when coming from any of thousands of sources, yet is it quite useful. Overspecification makes the system *less* useful rather than *more* useful.

de-simple would be perfectly meaningful, and mark some simplified version of de. Anyone with a website that needs two versions, ordinary and simple, could use that.

IF it became necessary to have further qualifications, those could be added:


The advantage of this system is that a consumer of the tag can use the standard progressive truncation and get something that is more likely to be useful for the user.

I agree with Michael that this is a common enough need to have a standardized tag. A private use tag for a common need just makes everyone's lives more complicated.


On Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 8:22 AM, Peter Constable <petercon at<mailto:petercon at>> wrote:
I think that generalization would not be helpful. Once you do that, then foo-wpsimple becomes available for anybody to use with absolutely no convention as to what "wpsimple" is supposed to mean, making it basically useless except in a private context.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ietf-languages [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at<mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at>] On Behalf Of Michael Everson
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2015 6:07 AM
To: ietflang IETF Languages Discussion <ietf-languages at<mailto:ietf-languages at>>
Cc: amir.aharoni at<mailto:amir.aharoni at>
Subject: Re: Language Subtag Registration -- "wpsimple"

On 30 Oct 2015, at 01:54, Peter Constable <petercon at<mailto:petercon at>> wrote:
> We should have variant subtags that refer to a particular variety. I don't mind if that variety happens to be one associated with a particular organization or application, so long as it has potential utility beyond that organization or application.

I have already said that wpsimple would be extensible to other Wikimedia Foundation variants.

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