request for subtag for Elfdalian

Peter Constable petercon at
Sun Apr 17 06:01:33 CEST 2016

Answering this question more generally...

> I have one question: How extensive is BCP 47 used?

Very, very widely! Some examples:

The Internet:
Mail / mime content:

The Web:

Unicode CLDR:

MS Windows

Re this comment:

> The RA wanted to see "that there would be serious separate language development, apart from that of Swedish.", but now in fact it seems like their own decision are preventing exactly that kind of language development.

The RA cannot put itself in the position of establishing the status of the target of an encoding proposal. This is exactly the case as well for Unicode: Unicode will not approve a proposal to encode characters or a script that does not yet have an established independent status, and will not put itself in the position of encoding things in order to establish such a status.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ietf-languages [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] On Behalf Of Doug Ewell
Sent: Friday, April 15, 2016 3:14 PM
To: Mats Blakstad <mats.gbproject at>; ietflang IETF Languages Discussion <ietf-languages at>
Subject: Re: request for subtag for Elfdalian

Mats Blakstad wrote:

> I also got problems again now because I wanted to upload the Elfdalian 
> keyboard to XKB (Xorg keyboards) to make it available for linux users, 
> as there are 7 extra letters needed to be able to write Elfdalian, 
> however it seems like we're only allowed to add ISO 639 codes, not BCP 
> 47.

I assume you mean you’re only allowed to add 2- or 3-letter language codes from ISO 639. What other features of BCP 47 does the XKB specification not support?

> I have one question: How extensive is BCP 47 used?

If someone or some organization claims to support “language tags” but in fact only supports 2- or 3-letter ISO 639 language codes, with or without 2-letter ISO 3166-1 region codes, no script subtags or variants or what not, then the right thing to do is to educate them about BCP 47 and try to persuade them to migrate.

That, of course, assumes that the specification is not frozen. Wikipedia seems to think the latest stable version of XKB is from 1996. There's not much you can do about such things, and it doesn’t mean time has to stand still for everyone else.

Doug Ewell | | Thornton, CO 🇺🇸

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