Re: In defense of Plane 14 language tags (long)

From: Asmus Freytag (
Date: Tue Nov 05 2002 - 23:56:59 EST

  • Next message: Doug Ewell: "Re: In defense of Plane 14 language tags (long)"

      John Hudson wrote:
    > > I don't think anyone is questioning that language tagging is a good and
    > > useful thing. The question is whether using character codepoints as
    > > language identifiers is a good thing. I'm inclined to the view that it is
    > > not, and that language tagging should be handled, along with most (all?)
    > > other tagging, at a higher level.

    That's correct: General purpose language information does not belong into
    the plain text data stream. John Cowan replied:

    >I think it's time to remember the limited purpose for which Plane 14
    >tagging was created: plain-text protocol messages. The idea is that
    >when contacting an IETF-protocol server, it should be able to report
    >back in various languages, using plain-text tagging to indicate which
    >language you are getting (or, if it reports in multiple languages,
    >which is which).
    >This was considered to be a situation where heavyweight (XML, etc.)
    >metadata was unnecessary:
    >--> RETR 32
    ><-- 522 LTAG{en}I have no clueLTAG{art-lojban}mi na jimpe

    That's all fine and dandy - but unless there's demonstrable implementation
    of this technique anywhere the conclusion is that it's a solution in search
    of a problem and as such subject to cleanup. [Since we can't remove them,
    we would
    deprecate them, so that countless legions of implementers can forget worrying
    about a feature deemed desirable but never put into practice.]

    If that premise (neat idea but noone does it) is disproven then the status
    quo ante should remain -- limited use for plaintext protocols only.

    I've seen lots of discussion about the purpose/potential of the tags - much
    of it misguided - but, unless I missed it in the torrent, there seems to be
    no smoking gun of IETF style implementations, many years after this
    solution was demanded for them.

    Case closed.


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