RE: the Ethnologue

From: Timothy Partridge (
Date: Thu Sep 14 2000 - 19:17:44 EDT

Peter Constable said:

> On 09/13/2000 12:04:24 PM "Ayers, Mike" wrote:

> > What I'd really like to know is why there seems to be this >
>insistence on only one official list of languages when there appears to be a
> >clear need for two. There appears to be interest for a comprehensive, if
>imperfect, list on one hand, whereas other applications (web use, etc.) are
> >interested in a fully researched list like RFC1766 provides. Why must
> >be the same list? Can't we acknowledge that it's going to take a long time
> >to get everything right and work from two eventually converging lists? Just
> >wonderin'...

> I have no problem with that whatsoever. Creating an alternate
> namespace mechanism with Ethnologue codes in a separate
> namespace seems to offer exactly what you describe.

I'm wary of having two competing namespaces. As an alternative,
I'd like to suggest something on the lines of en-cockney.
Why not have iso-e-ethnologue as tags? This would be especially
useful where there was just a miscellaneous ISO code.

Applications could choose to parse just the ISO bit, or go for
the full details. When extra languages are added to ISO, the
tags would become out of date, but it would be relatively
easier to identify which of the old tags needed updating.

One potential snag is choosing which ISO tag would prefix a
given Ethnologue tag. Perhaps SIL could give definitive
opinions to avoid user divergence.


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