Re: TR35

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Thu May 13 2004 - 17:51:58 CDT

  • Next message: Peter Constable: "RE: TR35"

    From: "Peter Constable" <>
    > All I have said is that the notions of "locale" and "language" are
    > distinct, that in general non-linguistic locale parameters such as
    > number format are not appropriate things to declare about documents, and
    > so we should not design systems or protocols that assume that locale
    > tags can be inserted in document metadata attributes where a language
    > tag is specified. And that it's not helpful in getting people to
    > understand what is or isn't good to do for someone providing some degree
    > of leadership in the area to use the terms "language" and "locale"
    > interchangeably.

    A locale for me goes MUCH farther than the simple slection of a few
    textual-related settings. In fact, any parameter that a user may which to
    customize to fit his need or expectations about what a software will do can be
    part of the general concept of "Locale". MacOS has standardizeed since long a
    good term for it: "Preferences" (rather than the ambiguous term "Options" found
    too often in Windows).

    Well Windows has a very large concept of Locales: see all what can be set in the
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER registry hive (and also, under some limits a few settings in
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, althoug hit is personalized only for all users of the same
    local system)...

    This goes much further than what one would define in a few POSIX environement

    Windows has shown since long that this information is interchangeable, and is so
    valuable that there are hackers and merchants promoting adwares that want to
    steal that precious information: a complete Locale contains many things that are
    part of user's privacy.

    Defining standard "Locale IDs" will be too difficult (in fact impossible given
    the unbounded range of orthogonal settings). If standardization must occur, it's
    for some important settings that are part of a "Locale". So I think that what
    needs to be registered is those settings:
    - Language-IDs (as set in POSIX's "LANG" or "LC_ALL" environment variables).
    - timezones (as set in POSIX's "TZ" environment variable)
    and a few others if they can be thought of general interest, interchangeable,
    and mostly orthogonal.
    Let's not try making all fit in one standard ID, as I think it will never work.

    However, the impossibility of defining standard "Locale IDs" does not forbid
    defining a standard syntax to serialize lists of settings that are part of a
    Locale, and defining standard mechanisms to match and resolve them.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu May 13 2004 - 17:52:50 CDT