Re: Embedded language ID pr

From: Mark Leisher (
Date: Tue Sep 12 1995 - 12:38:03 EDT

    Asmus> We need to separate a few issues here. 1) use and purpose
    Asmus> of language identifiers vs. other types of tags 2)
    Asmus> standardization of ids as such (.i.e which small integer
    Asmus> means which language) 3) encoding of any language
    Asmus> identifiers for use in a) plain text and b) other protocols

    Asmus> We also need to distinguish between Unicode(R), the
    Asmus> Consortium, and Unicode(tm) the Standard. The former may
    Asmus> well take up issues 1-3. But not in form of inclusion into
    Asmus> the latter, but as separate items, e.g. technical
    Asmus> reports. [Only issue 3a) could even remotely become part of
    Asmus> the standard, but that is a statement of scope, not of
    Asmus> advisability.]

Well, I have certainly been guilty of equating the Consortium with the
Standard. Thanks for the prod. We do forget sometimes.

    Asmus> One certainly does NOT want to assign Unicode code points
    Asmus> directly as language tags as the first step. This just
    Asmus> muddles everything. However, I believe the UTC should
    Asmus> discuss this issue and consider whether it might be
    Asmus> worthwhile to come up with a position regarding language
    Asmus> identifiers (issue 1) from above), especially in what way
    Asmus> the knowledge of text language would influence the
    Asmus> _interpretation_ of a stream of Unicode encoded text.

    Asmus> UTC could then review existing sources of language
    Asmus> identifiers and recommend improvements, up to and including
    Asmus> setting up its own list as last resort. None of this would
    Asmus> mean that these are incorporated into the Unicode Standard
    Asmus> as such.

This sounds like a reasonable proposition. What kind of input would
the UTC like from the Unicode community to consider starting a
discussion? Never having been involved in something like this, I need
to ask :-)

    Asmus> Only if, (and that's a big if) there is a compelling need
    Asmus> to create yet another form of mark-up syntax, could a
    Asmus> data-stream format be part of the discussion. I tend to
    Asmus> think that the existence of a lot of mark-up formats would
    Asmus> mean that another one is superfluous, but am willing to see
    Asmus> a serious discssion.

We would like to weigh in *against* creating another markup syntax.
Mark Leisher "The trick is not gaining the knowledge,
Computing Research Lab but surviving the lessons."
New Mexico State University -- "Svaha," Charles de Lint
Box 30001, Dept. 3CRL
Las Cruces, NM 88003

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