W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-international@w3.org > October to December 2001

locales changing over time

From: Tex Texin <texin@progress.com>
Date: Thu, 08 Nov 2001 11:43:53 -0500
Message-ID: <3BEAB649.F99D45F3@progress.com>
To: NE Localization SIG <nelocsig@egroups.com>, WWW International <www-international@w3.org>
One of the problems we mentioned was definitions of locale changing over
time. The change in currency to the euro is one example. Rules for
spelling, capitalization, and sorting also change. 

Perhaps a solution is to identify locales with a date stamp or version
For example, character set standards are often marked with a year to
distinguish them from other versions of the same standard.
So we might distinguish fr-fr from fr-fr-2002 to indicate the change to

That way, if I retrieve a document created before 2002, I might presume
the older locale was used. Of course documents created close to 2002
that have already made the switch, would identify within the document
that they were using fr-fr-2002 to be clear.
If there is more than one change in the year, the date could become more
specific: 2002-11 or 2002-11-08.

a) Is this a reasonable suggestion?

b) If so, should we continue with the hyphen syntax or perhaps use a
different separator to make clear this is a date and not a variant of
the locale?

c) We would need to decide what to do with dateless locales, once a
dated version is created. Should fr-fr refer to the most recent version,
or the oldest version? The latter prevents unexpected changes in
behavior, the former is difficult for users to know. (What was the most
recent year my locale was changed?)

tex, en-us-2002
Tex Texin                    Director, International Business
mailto:Texin@Progress.com    Tel: +1-781-280-4271
the Progress Company         Fax: +1-781-280-4655
"When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the
one I've never tried before."- -Mae West
Received on Thursday, 8 November 2001 11:43:59 UTC

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