Re: unicode Digest V5 #208

From: J Andrew Lipscomb (
Date: Tue Aug 23 2005 - 20:48:01 CDT

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    Pondering the issue of stability for a 3166-2-like set of areas: I
    think you wind up having to use meaningless codes ( la FIPS 10-4).
    This would allow stability at the total expense of human-
    readability. While the UCS is a domain in which stability is
    reasonable because there's plenty of room (relatively speaking) and
    the creation of new data bits is orderly, sub-national entities
    change regularly, and I'm not sure you can maintain a truly human-
    readable code while forever disallowing any previously used codes.

    That said, in my own project of creating codes for sub-national
    entities, I've determined that you can usually get a decently human-
    readable yet unambiguous code within three letters. (The only
    exception I've found so far is Texas, where I had to go four letters
    to code its 254 counties.)

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