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Question about language tag formalism

From: Luc Pardon <lucp@skopos.be>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 19:24:53 +0200
Message-ID: <44297165.3080507@skopos.be>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org


    Am new to this list, if this message is inappropriate please say so.

    I have a discussion with IETF/IANA on language tagging and would 
invite your opinion.

    First, some facts, as briefly as I can:

    * I have a (HTML) website in Dutch with embedded Greek text in Latin 
script (transliterated Greek) and need to tag accordingly.

    * The HTML 4.01 specs for the "lang" tag refer to RFC1733, which was 
obsoleted by RFC3066.

    * I applied for registration of el-Latn (Greek in Latin script) 
using the RFC3066 procedures.

    * The registration was approved back in September, but (and this is 
key) IANA failed to include the new tag in the registry.

    * The successor for RFC3066 (a.k.a. RFC3066bis) will/does not 
require registration for el-Latn anymore (any combination of valid 
language and script is inherently valid).

    * I am told that "RFC 3066bis is fully and officially approved" but 
it has no RFC number yet, RFC3066 is not yet marked as obsolete, etc.

    * Meanwhile, the "old" RFC3066 registry was declared closed (1) and 
my attempts to get el-Latn retrofitted fall on deaf ears.

    Finally, the question: can I tag with el-Latn and (on this aspect) 
claim WCAG conformance _today_  ?

    * The IETF people tell me to go ahead and use el-Latn because "the 
fact that [RFC3066bis] hasn't been published yet as an RFC is an 
administrative detail".

    * I maintain that I cannot tag with el-Latn and claim conformance. 
 From my point of view, all I see of RFC3066bis is a draft that says it 
will expire in about three weeks from now and forbids me from referring 
to it (2), and all other specs still indicating that RFC3066 remains in 
force until the RFC editor has done his/her part.

    Am I wrong? What would your judgment (and your reasoning) be if you 
had to evaluate a site with lang="el-Latn".

    Thanks in advance,

     Luc Pardon

  (1) http://www.iana.org/numbers.html under "Language tags"

  (2) http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-ietf-ltru-registry-14.txt
Received on Tuesday, 28 March 2006 17:24:58 UTC

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