Re: Official ISO 639 changes

From: Elliotte Rusty Harold (
Date: Tue Apr 25 2000 - 13:24:25 EDT

At 3:10 AM -0800 4/25/00, Michael Everson wrote:
>The RA-JAC agreed a mechanism to ensure that there will be no overlap of
>2-letter and 3-letter codes. It is a cutoff date and precedence rule; I'm
>not sure if it's been cast in resolutionese yet or not. It's dependent on
>the finalization of the revision of 639-1.

Has anybody noticed that XML 1.0 requires 2-letter and forbids
three-letter language codes? From section 2.1.2 of the XML 1.0 spec:

The Langcode may be any of the following:

   a two-letter language code as defined by [ISO 639], "Codes for the
   representation of names
   a language identifier registered with the Internet Assigned
   Numbers Authority [IANA]; these begin with the prefix "i-" (or "I-")
   a language identifier assigned by the user, or agreed on between parties
   in private use; these must begin with the prefix "x-" or "X-" in
   order to ensure that they do not conflict with names later
   standardized or registered with IANA

Production 35 enforces this constraint.
I think XML needs another erratum here to fix this.

| Elliotte Rusty Harold | | Writer/Programmer |
| The XML Bible (IDG Books, 1999) |
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