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Re: German as used in Liechtenstein (was: Re: Language Identifier List up for comments)

From: Martin Duerst <duerst@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2004 15:10:08 +0900
Message-Id: <6.0.0.20.2.20041221144049.07be5d90@localhost>
To: "Mark Davis" <mark.davis@jtcsv.com>, "John Cowan" <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
Cc: <www-international@w3.org>, <ietf-languages@alvestrand.no>

At 00:30 04/12/21, Mark Davis wrote:
 >
 >It was some time ago that I lived near there (about 5km away), of course,
 >but my memory is that Swiss conventions were followed in Liechtenstein when
 >writing Standard German.

Ok, then we agree here.

 >The broader point I was trying to make is that I think the criterion for
 >inclusion in the list is a crucial question. In some sense, one can *always"
 >find some difference between xx-AA and xx-BB; the question is whether that
 >difference is significant with respect to given goal.

My understanding is that the main goal is to give advice on tagging
Web pages and other content. So the other important question is whether
the difference is actually apparent in the content that you're tagging.
Let's take Liechtenstein as an example. Assume for a moment that they
would use mostly the same conventions as in Switzerland, but that they
spelled three rarely used words differently. The question would then
be: Should any content originating in Liechtenstein be tagged de-LI
to be prepared just in case one of these words showed up, or should
content generally be tagged de-CH, and de-LI only be used when there
is at least some chance that one of these three words will show up.

In my opinion,generally, de-CH should be used in such a case.


 >If you don't have some
 >reasonable clear idea of the criterion, (a) you don't know what qualifies
 >for the list, and (b) nobody can use it. To avoid misleading people that
 >happen upon the Language Identifier ist page, it is best to make clear (a)
 >that the list is not complete, (b) that the criterion is not final.

I think it would be very good if the list said something like that it
was intended for tagging Web content and similar content.

 >And one has to be very careful about saying that something like "de-LI is
 >not recommended". If you have a reasonable criterion for the list, it will
 >form a set of equivalence classes among all countries that have a
 >significant population of speakers, say:
 >
 >{de-AT}
 >{de-CH, de-LI)
 >{de-DE, de-BE, de-DK, de-LU}

I'm not sure which hyphen you have used. Please, please everybody
use the correct, simple hyphen. People do copy-paste these things,
and just having a note somewhere that they shouldn't won't hold them
back.

It is very good to use these equivalence classes, but maybe we
should also make clearer that the first entries are supposed to
be used as representatives, e.g.:

de-AT {de-AT}
de-CH {de-CH, de-LI)
de-DE {de-DE, de-BE, de-DK, de-LU}


Regards,    Martin. 
Received on Tuesday, 21 December 2004 06:35:49 GMT

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