W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-international@w3.org > October to December 2006

Re: Microsoft's Upper Case Language Tags

From: Addison Phillips <addison@yahoo-inc.com>
Date: Sat, 04 Nov 2006 12:57:17 -0800
Message-ID: <454CFEAD.7040603@yahoo-inc.com>
To: CE Whitehead <cewcathar@hotmail.com>
CC: www-international@w3.org

RFC 4646 Section 2.1 says:

The tags and their subtags, including private use and extensions, are to 
be treated as case insensitive: there exist conventions for the 
capitalization of some of the subtags, but these MUST NOT be taken to 
carry meaning.

Case has never carried meaning in languages tags and there is nothing 
wrong with Microsoft's formatting of them.

Note that the canonical casing rules are also in Section 2.1 and say:

Although case distinctions do not carry meaning in language tags, 
consistent formatting and presentation of the tags will aid users. The 
format of the tags and subtags in the registry is RECOMMENDED. In this 
format, all non-initial two-letter subtags are uppercase, all 
non-initial four-letter subtags are titlecase, and all other subtags are 

Best Regards,


CE Whitehead wrote:
> This is an incredibly stupid question, don't know if I can get an answer;
> but Microsoft's language tags that it inserts in html code (the tags 
> Microsoft inserts in the body section of an html document; not in the 
> headers where my version of Microsoft is inserting numbers; I'm not sure 
> what is going on with the numeric codes since these header tags seem to 
> be set for both cases where ansi or bidi is the standard used for the 
> font but this is still beyond me ) created using Microsoft are always 
> upper case (the language code, as well as the region code are both upper 
> case; the language code is all upper case):
> body lang=EN-US
> whereas your recommendations are currently to use lower case for the 
> language itself; upper case for the country:
> HTML lang="en-US"
> or DIV lang="en-US"
> This is easily fixed, but will Microsoft's upper case language tags ever 
> cause any problems?
> Why does Microsoft not lower case its tags?  Is there any reason?
> Thanks for any indulgence in explaining this.
> --C. E. Whitehead
> _________________________________________________________________
> Add a Yahoo! contact to Windows Live Messenger for a chance to win a 
> free trip! 
> http://www.imagine-windowslive.com/minisites/yahoo/default.aspx?locale=en-us&hmtagline 

Addison Phillips
Globalization Architect -- Yahoo! Inc.

Internationalization is an architecture.
It is not a feature.
Received on Saturday, 4 November 2006 20:57:42 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Wednesday, 21 September 2016 22:37:27 UTC