At 06:18 97-02-10 -0800, unicode@Unicode.ORG wrote:
>We have a problem with the language codes recognised by Web browsers.
>The standard mostly widely used in the Internet to specify language codes
>is ISO 639 - "Codes for the representation of names of languages" (see RFC
>1766 and RFC 2070).
>Some years ago, the ISO 639 Maintenance Agency amended the standard, adding
>three new language codes:
> Inuktitut iu
> Uigur ug
> Zhuang za
>and modifying three existing language codes:
> New code Old code
> Hebrew he iw
> Indonesian id in
> Yiddish yi ji
>The problems caused by the modification of existing codes have been
>discussed previously, as have the pros and cons of the ISO 639 standard and
>of the various competing standards and schemes. I don't want to waken those
>What I want to raise is a very particular problem: Two of the browsers that
>handle Hebrew (maybe this should read "The two browsers that handle
>Hebrew"), recognise the old language code ("iw") but not the new one ("he").
>This is very worrying. I hope the vendors will speedily enhance their
>products to recognise both the old and new codes.
>This leaves us with a very specific problem in regard to the IUC10 Web pages
>at <http://www.reuters.com/unicode/iuc10>. Should we use the old code for
>Hebrew, so that the browsers recognise it and display it, or the new one so
>as to encourage the vendors to fix their browsers, with the disadvantage
>that the text won't display correctly? We have deferred publishing the
>Hebrew, Arabic and Yiddish texts until we know how to resolve this (and some
Problem is that some old codes collide with new ones, as we have seen, so if
you choose a partial support or one of the other, you create a new
non-normalized standard. I don't know the solution to this. That is a mess
created not so wisely by the standardizers. But after all, in last analysis,
since the new one has created the defects, I would tend to recommend using
the old one, adding the new codes to it ): Sorry if that does not make sense
to some people.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:34 EDT