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 21:48:02 +0200

2011/8/31 Doug Ewell <>:
> Or you could actually follow BCP 47, and use "x-www" instead.

No, because locale tags in BCP 47 starting by the "x" singleton
subtags are not parsable to differentiate a language, a region, and a
script (as well as other Unicode "u" extensions). They just identify a
locale as a whole.

The advantage of using a singleton subtag like "q" would be that it
would be followed by any subtag giving its private-use value as a
language, and it would also not even require any further reservation
or private use areas for the future 4-letter codes. It would
immediately offer a very cumfortable space (possibly using 1 to 8
letters for the second subtag following it) for any very simple
algorithmic mapping of subtag pairs used privately for identifying
languages, but all the rest of the locale tag would remain parsable
and would keep its structure (the cumfortable space would easily avoid

This is of course an architectural change, but with minimum impact.

Anyway, it's highly probable that if ISO 649 starts allocating
4-letter codes, it will also include the space qaaa-qtzaa as a private
use area (just like the existing spaces qaa-qtz and qa-qt). But let's
not anticipate what will be in this may-be future extension of ISO

The "x" singleton space of BCP 47 will then remain for applications
that don't want to identify specific languages; it is clearly not
ideal to use this "x" singleton for identifying languages but not for
the other separable identification properties contained in a locale

-- Philippe.
Received on Wed Aug 31 2011 - 14:50:36 CDT

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