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

From: Mark Davis (
Date: Sat Jul 12 2003 - 17:09:40 EDT

  • Next message: Anto'nio Martins-Tuva'lkin: "Re: Ligatures in Turkish and Azeri"

    We did that deliberately. Faced with a situation where a registration
    authority changes IDs on a whim -- with no regard to the issues of
    stability in software and data -- the best policy is to always use the
    old one, and map any new locales to the old one. That way when you
    exchange IDs between old and new systems, it all continues to work.
    (We did in fact know of the latest version of the standard at the

    (In ICU, we did add a more general-purpose aliasing mechanism, both
    for resource bundles and parts thereof.)

    ► “Eppur si muove” ◄

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Philippe Verdy" <>
    To: "Doug Ewell" <>
    Cc: <>
    Sent: Saturday, July 12, 2003 00:27
    Subject: Re: ISO 639 "duplicate" codes (was: Re: Ligatures in Turkish
    and Azeri, was: Accented ij ligatures)

    > On Saturday, July 12, 2003 6:51 AM, Doug Ewell <>
    > > 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
    > > "duplicates" of "he" and "id". The Registration Authority
    > > such codes, rather than deleting them, for backward compatibility
    > > any data that might contain the old codes.
    > I was sure also that "iw" was not used today, until I found that it
    > still used in Java on Windows, for legacy reasons... Creating a
    > bundle in Hebrew with the code "he" was simply... ignored. So I had
    > rename it to "iw".
    > Shamely, on Linux or various Unixes the correct code to use for
    > varies, and it comes from the user-environment settings, actually
    > by a system profile, most of the time... Users that want to get the
    > benefit of existing locales for Hebrew will constantly need to
    > between "he" and 'iw". The "normal" installation solution is still
    > to create a file link between "he" and "iw" resources, so that they
    > can be used.
    > I was really disappointed when I saw that these legacy language
    > 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
    > locales with equivalent ids, without duplicating resources or
    > special rules with: if ( code="he"|| code="iw" )
    > (don't forget that Java has also run-time resources with no

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