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RE: Attracting wider participation [was: RE: Off-list RFC 3934 warning ([Ltru] Re: Language Tag Special Cases)]

From: JFC Morfin <jefsey@jefsey.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2007 21:22:09 +0200
To: "Don Osborn" <dzo@bisharat.net>,"'Misha Wolf'" <Misha.Wolf@reuters.com>, "'LTRU Working Group'" <ltru@ietf.org>, "Debbie Garside" <debbie@ictmarketing.co.uk>,ietf-languages@jefsey.com
Cc: "'Elisa F. Kendall'" <ekendall@sandsoft.com>,<Gauri.Salokhe@FAO.ORG>, <maaya@funredes.org>,"'WWW International'" <www-international@w3.org>, "'Semantic web list'" <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20070425192129.7522417E57@smtp7-g19.free.fr>

Dear Don and Debbie,
Debbie you seem to confuse ISO 3166 which is about countries and 
territories where languages are one among thousands characteristics 
to be normalised (reported and protected by Gov as normality), and 
your ISO 639-6 document where you compile information from non 
disclaimed sources of your choice about languages, where regions, 
countries, etc are among the possible chararcteristics (being 
understood that in no way Govs are among the characteristics of a 
human language).

Your remark about India demonstrates your confusion. There are two 
Indian administrative languages, and 22 administrative languages 
being used in some parts if India. I must say that I start being 
confuse about the number of NWIP you introduce from what you say 
(one, two or three?) and to which technical end? IDNccTLDs: have 
fully been covered already by RFC 3490, WSIS and ISO 3166-1, are 
already implemented by several ccTLDs and international applications. 
Could you explain what do you really wants to obtain and for who?

At 15:22 24/04/2007, Don Osborn wrote:
>I understand David's point to be that there might be better outreach to
>increase the level of involvement of experts with a range of language
>expertise (and authority).

Debbie's ISO 639-6 authority is Debbie's expertise on languages and 
the expertise of the people she may gather in her corporation or 
during specialised meeting or through specialised sites.

ISO 3166 authority about languages being used by the legal authority 
is obviously the legal authority (constitution, law, international 
trade, international agreements, local standardisation, etc.)

>To take the case of sub-Saharan African languages, I find that I am
>practically the only person actively trying to focus on what the
>implications of a lot of the discussions are for them, and what their needs
>might imply for the form of language tagging. Not the only person to think
>about it, and basically I know enough to know how little I really know, but
>one of the very few to consistently raise African language issues. Africa
>deserves better.
>
>The simple answer to invite colleagues is sometimes too simple: some African
>language/linguistics experts (wherever they are from or based) are clueless
>about language tags. One (an American professor) recently asked on behalf of
>colleagues who are setting up a workshop, "We don't know what is ISO-639?"

I also heard that question in several international meetings.

The point was in these cases, "we do not know what ISO 639 is about". 
This should be documented in delayed ISO 639-4. ISO 639 is still 
about "language names", but it also seems to be understood by some 
authors of the series (including Debbie) as "languages" (to be most 
probably understood as "language concepts?").

This permits to use it in ISO 11179 conformant environments in 
limiting conflicts. But that has to be clarified?

>Outreach is more than just getting people on the wagon to take them to the
>polling station (or whatever metaphor one may prefer). How can potentially
>interested experts be educated about the language tagging issues from the
>bottom up, in a succinct way, to facilitate their participation and input?
>They know the languages and the issues, and could add important dimensions
>to the discussions and decisions that we are missing.
>
>Problem is that outreach requires some effort and resources, and here, like
>the case with Unicode, there is no such. So, the system remains largely
>North American and West European.

The only way to oppose this is to protect the African virtual space's 
independence. This independence would be immediately killed if ICAN 
could directly or indirectly interfere with its governance, hence the 
WSIS positions forbidding it, and start selling the national lingual ccTLDs.

>The problem with regard to Africa is a larger one. ISO published last year a
>short document on increasing African government capacities and involvement
>in ISO standards processes.* This is all ISO standards, not just language or
>ICT related. But as a general rule, African involvement in language and ICT
>standards is very low, especially taking into account LTRU, IETF-languages
>etc.

True.
But LTRU is about languages, not about IETF protocols and countries.

>I'm not sure what the answer is (again, the problem of lack of resources and
>time usually cut such discussions short), but it is an issue that shouldn't
>be lightly dismissed. And it does seem to be most appropriately addressed to
>the kind of people who are already on ltru@ietf.org .

This is the confusion we made for two years. Until Micahel Everson's 
decisions shown this is not what they want. They want to tag 
content's "language" as does ISO 639 and need to document the 
coresponding region. IETF is about network protocols and people and 
want to tag protocols and containers to indicate the "administrative 
language" being used.

jfc



>Don Osborn
>
>
>* International Organization for Standardization. 2006. "ISO and Africa."
>June 2006.
>http://www.iso.org/iso/en/comms-markets/developingcountries/pdf/iso_and_afri
>ca.pdf
>
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Misha Wolf [mailto:Misha.Wolf@reuters.com]
> > Sent: Monday, April 23, 2007 8:29 AM
> > To: LTRU Working Group
> > Subject: OT: Attracting wider participation [was: RE: Off-list RFC 3934
> > warning ([Ltru] Re: Language Tag Special Cases)]
> >
> > Hi David,
> >
> > I'm divided as to the wisdom of replying.  If this has
> > reached you, then the urge to do so overcame the urge
> > not to do so.
> >
> > It seems self-evident that if you want people who are
> > not currently on this list to join it in order to
> > participate, you should be addressing yourself to them,
> > rather than to the existing members of the list.  You
> > could suggest the creation of a list not-ltru@ietf.org,
> > whose membership would consist of those persons who are
> > *not* members of the existing list.  You could then use
> > the new forum to encourage them to join the ltru list.
> >
> > Yours transatlantically,
> > Misha
> > London, UK
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: David Dalby [mailto:daviddalby@linguasphere.info]
> > Sent: 23 April 2007 11:52
> > To: 'Marion Gunn'; 'LTRU Working Group'
> > Subject: RE: Off-list RFC 3934 warning ([Ltru] Re: Language Tag Special
> > Cases)
> >
> > Dear All,
> > I have refrained recently from responding to matters discussed on this
> > and
> > its parallel forum, because I have felt so out-of-place among largely
> > trans-Atlantic experts in the rules of program(m)ing.
> > Marion's humorous response is entirely appropriate and "on-topic", and
> > I
> > look forward to the day when the coding of the world's languages may be
> > discussed and resolved by many more linguists and by many more speakers
> > of
> > different languages from around the world.
> > Please forgive my intruding onto the bridge. I shall return to the
> > boiler-room.
> > Best wishes to all,
> > David
> >
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> >
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Received on Wednesday, 25 April 2007 19:22:05 GMT

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