Re: RFC 1766 language tags

From: Mark Crispin (
Date: Fri Jun 13 1997 - 13:57:16 EDT

On Fri, 13 Jun 1997, Ned Freed wrote:
> I support the addition of an "unknown language" code to RFC1766. This is needed
> whenever text from one source is inserted into text from another, and the
> inserted text doesn't have lanugage tags on it.

I agree.

I *think*, but I'm not 100% sure, that it is alright to declare that
untagged text is implicitly tagged with the "unknown language", and allow
higher levels to establish a default (such as English in client/server
protocols). There probably should be some monument in the RFC1766
successor document that states something to the effect that even though
the 1766bis default is "unknown", high level protocols can establish a
different default.

What I mean by all of this is that it should be clear that, when inserting
untagged text into tagged text, although normally you'd tag the untagged
text with "unknown", if it came from a higher-level protocol with a
default language, that default should be used.

The other possibility is to declare English to be the default, since it is
the only likely default. But I can see situations where "unknown" is
better, and the issues of English being the default really are irrelevant
at the 1766 level so going with "unknown" is probably better.

-- Mark --

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