Fire the programmer (was: Re: Appeal to ISO 639 RA in support of Elfdalian)

Shawn Steele Shawn.Steele at
Wed Apr 27 23:40:18 CEST 2016

The reasons people get into this state are sort of neither here-nor-there.  Sometimes it could be just that an existing library worked and nobody checked.  Or something meant to be a quick hack got institutionalized.

* The programmer may have left a long time ago already.
* It might be a tool that nobody remembers how to recompile.
* The vendor that wrote the tool may have gone out of business.

It's not always easy to say "well, you should have followed the standard".  It's difficult to explain to customers that their system is broken due to poorly written software.  Usually the response is just "well, it worked last week, and I really need it to work, like yesterday".  "Tough luck" doesn't usually cut it as a response.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ietf-languages [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] On Behalf Of Doug Ewell
Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 2:32 PM
To: ietf-languages <ietf-languages at>
Subject: Fire the programmer (was: Re: Appeal to ISO 639 RA in support of Elfdalian)

Luc Pardon wrote:

> Also, if I were in charge there, I would fire the programmer who was 
> paid to implement an RFC and never even bothered to read it.

Or maybe the QA engineer who neglected to test 5-letter language subtags. Or the systems analyst whose job was to read the RFC and turn it into requirements. Or the program manager who listened to his customers when they told him, "Nah, we don't need that."

The house is not built only by the carpenter.

Doug Ewell | | Thornton, CO 🇺🇸

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