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[Bug 17859] locale="" attribute

From: <bugzilla@jessica.w3.org>
Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2012 21:42:07 +0000
To: public-i18n-core@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-17859-3493-HM09h5ECkn@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>
https://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=17859

--- Comment #5 from Addison Phillips <addison@lab126.com> ---
A "locale" is an artificial concept that we use to describe linguistic,
cultural, and regional variations--and that we use to activate APIs that do
formatting, parsing, resource lookup, and so forth for us.

Locale identifiers, for some time now, have been based on BCP47--that is, on
language tags. A language tag in HTML is typically declarative ("this text is
in English") but the difference from that to a locale identifier ("format this
date in a US English manner") is very narrow. Some descriptions that help
illustrate this are in:

   http://www.unicode.org/reports/tr35/#Locale

   http://www.unicode.org/reports/tr35/#Language_and_Locale_IDs

I have no idea what you mean by "ISO-8601" in your comment. ISO 8601 is a
standard for recording date and time information, including intervals and such.
It's a locale-neutral format, a wire format, not intended for human
presentation. A "locale" provides a means of mapping between this neutral
format and some human presentation (be it a string or a calendar control or
what).

You're right that "en-US" and "en-GB" represent very different locales. They
also represent different language variations. Both of these are valid language
tags. They can also be used as locale tags to format data inserted into text,
such as a number or date.

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