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RE: Updated article: Two-letter or three-letter language codes

From: Richard Ishida <ishida@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 22 Sep 2006 10:48:44 +0100
To: "'Martin Duerst'" <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
Cc: <www-international@w3.org>
Message-ID: <006d01c6de2c$4bf4cea0$6601a8c0@w3cishida>

Hi Martin,

I've been thinking through your comments.

I agree to add a note saying that the tags you have been using so far don't
need to change (as long as you followed the 'shortest code' rule), and that
this is just a change in how you access them.

I think, though, that we should direct people to the iana subtag registry,
rather than saying that the IANA registry is just an additional way to find
codes.  If people keep going to the familiar ISO code lists, one, it's more
work if you need region or other tags, two, they probably less likely not to
think about possibilities such as zh-Hans or Latin-American Spanish, three,
it's likely to continue to confuse some people that there are two or three
codes for the same language, four, they may not find codes they are looking
for that have been added to the registry but not the ISO standards when we
add ISO 639-3 codes, five, it is confusing advice given the text in 4646
that says "The Language Subtag Registry maintained by IANA is the source for
valid subtags".

The two-letter vs. three-letter rule is something that the registry
maintainers need to worry about, yes, but the average user (and likely
reader of this article) should need to worry about it these days.

I will though add something that says that the ISO standards still provide
the source material for that registry, and that the registry maintainers
take care of the 2 or 3 letter rule.

Sound ok?


Richard Ishida
Internationalization Lead
W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Martin Duerst [mailto:duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp] 
> Sent: 22 September 2006 04:11
> To: Richard Ishida; www-international@w3.org
> Cc: w3c-translators@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Updated article: Two-letter or three-letter 
> language codes
> Hello Richard,
> I think the update was a good thing, but it went a bit too far.
> It seems to give the impression that everything changed, 
> while almost nothing changed. The language subtags are still 
> exactly the same as before. The rule "if there is a 
> two-letter code and a three-letter code, always use the 
> two-letter code" is still very valid, and will continue to be 
> valid. The IANA registry is just an additional way to find 
> your language (sub)tag.
> At the least, I would add the following fact to the current document:
> This is basically not a change of language (sub)tags, but 
> just a change in how they are made available (one stop 
> shopping at IANA instead of having to check different lists).
> Regards,    Martin.
> At 04:22 06/09/22, Richard Ishida wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> >http://www.w3.org/International/questions/qa-lang-2or3
> >
> >
> >Since the publication of the new IANA Language Subtag 
> Registry as the 
> >place to find language subtags, rather than the ISO code lists, this 
> >question is no longer relevant.
> >
> >The article was almost completely rewritten to explain this.
> >
> >The Portuguese translation has been removed, since the text 
> is now so 
> >radically different.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >============
> >Richard Ishida
> >Internationalization Lead
> >W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)
> >
> >http://www.w3.org/People/Ishida/
> >http://www.w3.org/International/
> >http://people.w3.org/rishida/blog/
> >http://www.flickr.com/photos/ishida/
> #-#-#  Martin J. Du"rst, Assoc. Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University
> #-#-#  http://www.sw.it.aoyama.ac.jp       
> mailto:duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp     
Received on Friday, 22 September 2006 09:48:58 UTC

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