Re: [OT] Reusing the same property (was: RE: PRI #202: Extensions to NameAliases.txt for Unicode 6.1.0)

From: Philippe Verdy <>
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2011 20:41:27 +0200

2011/8/31 Doug Ewell <>:
> Philippe Verdy <verdy underscore p at wanadoo dot fr> wrote:
>>> No need for private-use identifiers here.  (I agree that coding
>>> standards like 639 should have private-use areas, but not to extend the
>>> standard beyond its intended scope as Philippe suggests in his last
>>> paragraph.)
>> I've not suggested that.
> Oh, gosh:  "But this also mean that any well-behaved standard *unified*
> namespace has to include a private-use space, as it allows integration
> and coexistence with other standards or applications initially not
> designed to identify the same thing (for example, here mixing the
> identification of a language, and the identification and addressing of
> an Internet host)"
> That would be extending the use of ISO 639 beyond identification of
> languages.

Nothing is extended, there already exists private-use codes in ISO 639
(e.g. qaa-qtz). This already allows avoiding some collisions with
other standards. so "www" could be privately be substituted by "qaa".
And given that ISO 639 does not have any 1-letter code, and that ISO
639 is used (though only via an informative reference) in BCP 47, the
1-letter code could also take into account the existing 1-letter
prefixes used in BCP 47 ("i" for legacy IANA codes, for example), so
why not assignming the "q"prefix for such private use mechanisms, with
less restrictions about the code format and length.

E.g. "q-www" accepted as a private alias (of "www" here, even if this
mapping is not implied by the ISO 639 standard itself), and still
parsable in BCP 47 where it would be followed by the same standard
sublabels (BCP 47 would require a very minor update to parse such
pairs of sublabels as a single language code).

The scope is the same: the prefixed code (i.e. the pair of sublabels)
is still used to identify a unique language (or used as if it was
designating a single one), but the prefixed code itself does not
specify which one (this remains a private decision for local use, just
like with the existing 'qaa' to 'qtz' codes).
Received on Wed Aug 31 2011 - 13:44:31 CDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Wed Aug 31 2011 - 13:44:31 CDT