Appeal to ISO 639 RA in support of Elfdalian

Mats Blakstad mats.gbproject at
Sat Apr 23 22:03:36 CEST 2016

2016-04-23 21:41 GMT+02:00 Shawn Steele <Shawn.Steele at>:

> > But I can't add a private subtag to any other platforms!
> I’m not sure exactly what you mean.  If you pass x-elf and someone wants
> to recognize that, then they may.  If it’s well formed most systems will
> treat it similarly to any other tag they don’t recognize.  So any advantage
> over a real “elf” (or whatever it would be) tag is minimal for systems that
> don’t have wide adoption of the language yet.

Because other platforms like CLDR and XKB will not even let me add a
private subtag, the lang attribute in html will be invalid, and other
people working on Elfdalian can potentially also start making other private
subtags, and it will be even more difficult to migrate to a ISO639-code

> > And I think we should put very little weight into what you prefer, as
> you're not even planning to use the code yourself!
> I suspect I will encounter the code, particularly if you go further and
> ask for CLDR support or my users/developers have interest in the language
> :)  If you would like it to be available in the Windows Language profile
> list, I’m the person that will be touching that data to make it happen :)
> I believe that I may not personally plan on using the code, however my job
> is to ensure that Microsoft systems behave for the codes on our systems.
> So my job isn’t to use the code, but to make sure that you are able to use
> the code.
> On Windows, if it is, indeed a distinct language, then making it a subtag
> of Swedish is going to likely cause all sorts of interesting challenges.
> Also making it an unusual form of a BCP 47 tag, like the 5 letter code, is
> going to break all sorts of applications that took shortcuts and
> assumptions about the form of BCP 47 tags.  Deviating from 639 will also
> break assumptions similarly.
> I presume that you would like your code to work across the entire system,
> and/or other platforms, web sites, etc..  It’s my experience that a new 3
> letter ISO code can get traction pretty quickly.  Something like a 5 letter
> theoretically useful form, or a language tag that supplements 639 is going
> to break applications.  In some cases it will take a very long time to fix
> those applications, if ever.  Many of them aren’t going to see Elfdalian as
> a very interesting case and won’t bother trying to figure out how to make 5
> letter codes work, or to extend their dependency on the ISO 639 tables.

But if you guys in Microsoft don't want to support the BCP47 language
subtag than there is a very easy solution for you; Don't support it and
wait until there is a 3-letter ISO code assigned for it (a potential

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