[OT] Re: Support of ISO 639 (was: Survey Tool pre-alpha)

From: Doug Ewell (doug@ewellic.org)
Date: Thu Nov 27 2008 - 10:03:12 CST

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    Warning: this is completely OT for the Unicode list. Future discussion
    should be on the LTRU list (ltru@ietf.org) or CLDR list
    (cldr-users@unicode.org) as appropriate.

    "verdy underscore p" <verdy underscore p at wanadoo dot fr> wrote:

    > If only we could have some access to ISO 639-5 data (for managing the
    > language families instead of using the historic and bdly designed
    > language collections of ISO 639-1 (code [bi] only) and ISO 639-2...

    I wish the ISO 639-5 Registration Authority, which is the same as that
    for ISO 639-2 (Library of Congress), would set up an official 639-5 Web
    site. It has been a long time coming.

    I don't agree with characterizing 639-1 and 639-2 as "badly designed."
    They were designed for different purposes.

    > Also I'm still waiting to see how ISO 639-5 can be integrated with the
    > RFC 4545bis and RFC 4646bis rules.

    This is clearly laid out in the two LTRU drafts:


    See also:


    In brief, 639-5 code elements are simply added as more language subtags
    that represent language collections, just like existing subtags such as
    'alg'. This is very straightforward.

    You can check out the proposed replacement Language Subtag Registry,
    embedded in draft-ietf-ltru-4645bis-07.txt, to see how this works.

    > The kind of thing that CLDR (along with RFC 4645bis / RFC 4646bis)
    > will better have to work on is to integrate ISO 639-5 (and drop ISO
    > 639-2 collections).

    I don't see how one can be pro-639-5 and anti-639-2. 639-2 includes a
    modest number of collection codes among its repertoire. 639-5 comprises
    a more comprehensive list of collections, but for some reason omits two
    of the collections included in 639-2 (Bihari and Himachali), and
    incorrectly lists 'car' as a collection called "Carib languages" when
    other parts of 639 had already classified this as an individual
    language, "Galibi Carib."

    Except for these few inconsistencies, 639-2 is simply a subset of "639-3
    plus 639-5." You can't simultaneously "integrate ISO 639-5" and "drop
    ISO 639-2 collections."

    Doug Ewell  *  Thornton, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14
    http://www.alvestrand.no/mailman/listinfo/ietf-languages  ˆ

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