Re: ISO 639 "duplicate" codes (was: Re: Ligatures in Turkish and Azeri, was: Accented ij ligatures)

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Sat Jul 12 2003 - 03:27:38 EDT

  • Next message: Peter Kirk: "Re: Ligatures in Turkish and Azeri, was: Accented ij ligatures"

    On Saturday, July 12, 2003 6:51 AM, Doug Ewell <> wrote:

    > Philippe Verdy <verdy_p at wanadoo dot fr> wrote:
    > > Good luck with ISO language codes which does not even
    > > define them, and contain many duplicate codes even in
    > > the Alpha-2 space (he/iw, in/id), or unprecize codes
    > > matching sometimes very imprecize families of languages
    > > overlapping other language codes...
    > The codes "iw" for Hebrew and "in" for Indonesian were deprecated
    > FOURTEEN YEARS AGO. It is not accurate or fair to refer to them as
    > "duplicates" of "he" and "id". The Registration Authority deprecates
    > such codes, rather than deleting them, for backward compatibility with
    > any data that might contain the old codes.

    I was sure also that "iw" was not used today, until I found that it is
    still used in Java on Windows, for legacy reasons... Creating a resource
    bundle in Hebrew with the code "he" was simply... ignored. So I had to
    rename it to "iw".

    Shamely, on Linux or various Unixes the correct code to use for locales
    varies, and it comes from the user-environment settings, actually setup
    by a system profile, most of the time... Users that want to get the
    benefit of existing locales for Hebrew will constantly need to change
    between "he" and 'iw". The "normal" installation solution is still today
    to create a file link between "he" and "iw" resources, so that they both
    can be used.

    I was really disappointed when I saw that these legacy language codes
    were not simplifiable the way we think, by ignoring "iw" and "in", and still
    today, Java does not offer a way to create "links" at runtime to resolve
    locales with equivalent ids, without duplicating resources or creating
    special rules with: if ( code="he"|| code="iw" )
    (don't forget that Java has also run-time resources with no files)...

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