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Re: 2 many language tags for Norwegian

From: Leif Halvard Silli <lhs@malform.no>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 13:31:40 +0200
Message-ID: <4818589C.4090007@malform.no>
To: Frank Ellermann <hmdmhdfmhdjmzdtjmzdtzktdkztdjz@gmail.com>
CC: www-international@w3.org

Frank Ellermann 2008-04-30 06.06:
> Leif Halvard Silli wrote:
> > Germans are lucky that their language difference follow
> > Geographical lines coverd by the United Nations.
> If you are talking about languages, they rarely follow any
> geographical lines, let alone lines acknowledged by the UN. 

Let me rephrase the above: German speakers can be lucky that, on the 
Web, their different flavours of German, are tagged using geographical 

> If you are talking about Web pages with written texts you'd
> find that there are various regions where "de" [...]

And they can all be tagged as de-something. And then a default Apache 
installation will serve you that "de-something" page over e.g. an "en" 
page, as long as your browser is asking for "de".

> > If web standards was based on ISO 639-3 instead, then I
> > had more to play with
> Many more language subtags, yes.  Be careful what you wish
> for, you might get it, see draft-ietf-ltru-4645bis (855 KB)

That standards is doing things opposite of the way Apache works. So are 
the standards developed in the free? For instance, look what it does to 
all the sign language tags, examplified by Danish sign langauge:

[old] sgn-DK ([new] Preferred-Value: dsl)

I don't know enough abotu sign languages, but I suppose that sign 
languages have similarities. Thus if I was a Dansish signlanguage user 
reading a certain Swedish page, then I would probably liked to be able 
to be served the Swedish sign language version of that apge. And until 
now, as long as I told my browsser to accept 'sgn' then I could get that 
Swedish sign language version of that page.  But under the new regime, 
this will not help. Now I must be sure to have added both dsl (dansish 
sign language) and swl (swedis sign language), in order to get what I 
want. Not to mention all the other sign languages of the world.

So where is the progress?

> > since then I could have used nor-nbo for Norwegian Bokmål
> No, there is no nor-nbo in ISO 639-3. [...]

There is the notion of macro langauge. And the way I imagine progress, 
one should be able use that in language tags as 'nor-nbo'.

> and 26*25 is not good enough for all languages worldwide.

Not sure what 26*25 refers to.

> If you want to use nor instead of no, [...]

I would, provided I could use 'nor-nob'. But as long as it is deemd that 
I can't, there is no poiint.

> IMO "shortest wins" is good enough, [...]

Short is fine. I have no problem with short.

> > A German users is allowed to be "lazy" and only select
> > "de". Then he will get all variants of "de".
> Nope, she won't get say "nds" and "gsw".

Aah... gsw. Swiss German. Added in 2006, according to the language 
subtag registry.

So why no use de-CH instead?

THis new 'gsw' means that if you visit Swiss web sites, and you have set 
your browser to prefer 'de' first and then 'fr', then you get French 
versions of Swiss pages over German pages.

What progress is that?

>   Let alone "frr",
> "frs", "dsb", "lsb", etc. 

Those are not the German language. (They are German/Germanic languages.)

> for various unrelated languages
> used in DE (in the direction of the no-SE hack for Sami
> languages in NO mentioned by you, quite horrible, IMO).

The sami langauges ought to have a "umbrella" main tag. I know the Sami 
languages differ quite much. But users of Sami could be interested in 
seeing sami page versions anyhow.

(For the record, I have not ever proposed that 'no-SE' should be valid.)

> > I see no reason why a Norwegian should not be allowed be
> > the same kind of lazy.
> They are allowed to be as lazy as they like, they also own
> the pieces if it breaks.  When I want se I don't get no-SE,
> hopefully I get se-NO.  If I want both I have to tell my
> browser that it should tell servers that I want no and nb
> and nn and se.  Similar I'd have to say that I want de and
> da and nds and frr (all official languages in the DE state
> next to DK).

There are 3 Frisian languages. I would say the same: They should have a 
common mother tag for "plain" Frisian.

As for nds - Low German, I think 'de-nds' would have been smarter than 
only 'nds'.

> > Unfortunatly, I must file a bug for the entire Mac OS X,
> > since it is linked to how the language preferences works
> > there.
> Locales are again a different can of worms, it makes sense
> if your browser picks the language of your locale if it has
> no better info what to do - there ought to be an aggressive
> privacy statement somewhere in the manual if it does this.

OS X has a "language list". But unfortunatly, only the first language of 
that list is sent out as "accept langauge" by the browser. This is - btw 
- perhaps wise, because by default many languages that I don't know at 
all are placed in the langauge list when I install OS X. So, yes, there 
should be another language list which let me specify accept langauges 
for the web.
leif halvard silli
Received on Wednesday, 30 April 2008 11:32:20 UTC

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