Re: Tagging orthographic systems (was: (iso639.186) the Ethnologue)

From: Harald Alvestrand (
Date: Fri Sep 15 2000 - 04:54:33 EDT

At 16:18 13/09/2000 -0600, Otto Stolz wrote:
>Hence, I plead for a tagging-system that allows to represent these dif-
>ferences. Currently, all of my WWW pages contain the line:
> <HTML LANG=de><!--neue Rechtschreibung-->
>I would rather prefer to incorporate the comment in the tag, as in
>the hypothetical:
> <HTML LANG=de-sp1996>
>and likewise for other languages, and other applications.

If you think this is needed, why not write up an RFC 1766 registration for
it, and let us base the discussion on a registration request?

>Note that this issue is orthogonal to the country code of RFC 1766.
>E. g., both de-AT, de-CH and de-DE could be either spelled the 1902,
>or the 1996, way. Hence, the spelling subtag, and the country subtag
>should be optional, independend of each other.

this is troublesome. Representing orthogonal aspects as subtags of a linear
string gives us a combinatorial explosion. We can't require end user
software to match de-sp1996, de-AT-sp1996 and de-sp1996-AT in any sensible
way, when the software starts out by not caring about spelling variants.

Registering the 4 variants of de-*-sp1996 makes more sense to me.


Harald Tveit Alvestrand,
+47 41 44 29 94
Personal email:

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