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Language ranges with more than two sub-tag

From: Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2013 08:47:05 +0000
To: www-international@w3.org
Message-ID: <22E52D7E2FBD4299B7DA61FB2C99D146@marcosc.com>
Hi Internationalization WG, 

Quick question: how common are language ranges with more than two sub-tags (as used in user agents on the Web)? I'm wondering what the particular locales (language, countries, regions) are where these ranges are commonly used (if any)? 

I've been through "Setting language preferences in a browser" [1], which only speaks of language ranges that contain two sub tags. I've also tried doing my own testing on various user agents and system settings can can only find the "language-COUNTRY" convention, but not any with three sub tags.  

The reason for the question is that the SysApp's working group is currently working on a manifest format for web applications (based on the upcoming Firefox OS), and it needs to define an internationalization model. Firefox OS currently checks for localised content based on a complete language range (e.g., "en-US") and, if it can't find any matching content, it simply takes the language part of the language range (i.e., "en") and uses that to try to find matching content. This means that if there are any commonly used language ranges with three or more sub tags, matching could potentially be done incorrectly.

See [2] for a list of use cases/examples. 

Kind regards,
Marcos  

[1] http://www.w3.org/International/questions/qa-lang-priorities.en.php
[2] https://gist.github.com/marcoscaceres/5055717
-- 
Marcos Caceres
http://datadriven.com.au
Received on Friday, 1 March 2013 08:47:36 GMT

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