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ISOJAC  March 2001

ISOJAC March 2001

Subject:

Re: Question for you (fwd)

From:

"Rebecca S. Guenther" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 9 Mar 2001 16:06:32 -0500

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (90 lines)

For what it's worth, this is someone who works for IBM and has asked
me questions in the past for clarifications about language codes. When
our discussions first began about whether systems can use 3-character
language codes, I asked him to respond. Here is his answer and original
message.

Rebecca

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2001 16:04:01 -0500
From: Jim Hartsfield <[log in to unmask]>
To: Rebecca S. Guenther <[log in to unmask]>
Cc: Bill Wise <[log in to unmask]>, Tony Perrelli <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Question for you

Dear Rebecca:

Thank you VERY MUCH for the opportunity to respond to your attached
inquiry. Per our recent conversation, before responding to your e-mail, I
was waiting for some feedback to, hopefully, corroborate the thoughts I
discussed with you last week.

I am pleased to report that I finally received that corroborative feedback,
so my summary response is as follows:

   As you described, I encourage your Committee's continued development of
   the 2-character list for the ISO 639 Standard until it "has to be
   frozen". At that time, per our earlier discussions, I certainly agree
   with your Committee's current position which is to use the 3-character
   code when a 2-character code does not exist for a language that needs to
   be represented by a user of ISO 639.

   Also, from an "IT systems" perspective, it should be no problem handling
   a 3-character data field to address those exceptions when a 2-character
   language code is not available

Again, THANKS! for the opportunity. I very much appreciate your on-going
exemplary support / guidance........and I certainly will welcome any future
opportunities to, hopefully, be of assistance to you and your fine
Committee.

"Rebecca S. Guenther" <[log in to unmask]> on 02/09/2001 08:07:36 AM

To: Jim Hartsfield/ATLANTA/Contr/IBM@ibmus
cc:
Subject: Question for you



Dear Jim:

You may recall the many discussions and emails we had a few months ago
concerning the ISO language codes. Now I have a question for you.

My committee, the ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee, has been discussing
the advantages and disadvantages of defining some new 2-character language
codes. We officially made a decision a year ago that once the new
2-character list is published (ISO 639-1; has been undergoing revision),
that we would freeze that list. I think I told you that the new Internet
RFC was going to say: if a 2-character code exists for the language, use
it; if not use the 3-character code. Thus there has to be a point in time
when nothing is added to the 2-character code list for stability and so
that it is clear which code is used.

There seems to be disagreement on whether IT systems will be able to
handle this approach. Some of us (including me) say that systems simply
will have to change to be able to deal with 3-character language
codes. Others think it's too hard and it's doing them a disservice not to
add new 2-character codes because they can't use 3-character ones.

Since you work for IBM, which is a very good example of a company that
will need to program for the use of 3-character codes, what do you think
of this issue? Are there plans to allow for the use of 3-character
language codes? Or if you can't help me, can you refer me to someone who
can?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Rebecca
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
^^ Rebecca S. Guenther ^^
^^ Chair, ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee ^^
^^ Senior Networking and Standards Specialist ^^
^^ Library of Congress ^^
^^ Washington, DC 20540-4402 ^^
^^ (202) 707-5092 (voice) (202) 707-0115 (FAX) ^^
^^ [log in to unmask] ^^
^^ ^^
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

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