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ISOJAC  April 2002

ISOJAC April 2002

Subject:

Re: New ISO 639-1 identifier ? - Hawaiian

From:

Michael Everson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Wed, 24 Apr 2002 20:41:26 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (68 lines)

At 21:11 +0200 2002-04-24, Håvard Hjulstad wrote:
>I accept the argument below. However, take a look at the following: Walloon
>recently got an alpha-2 and an alpha-3 identifier. That was ok, because they
>didn't have an alpha-3 identifier to begin with. Hawaiian on the other hand
>is in the "unfortunate" situation of already having an alpha-3 identifier,
>so they cannot get an alpha-2 identifier. This is NOT logical.

Yes it is. The JAC considered that request from the IETF working
group to take the internet as a very important application, and
recognized that Hawai'ian for example would be at a DISADVANTAGE if
there were suddenly two different tags possible for RFC 3066 language
tagging. The JAC arrived at this logical solution in order to SERVE
the best needs of those languages which had alpha-3 identifiers only
at the time of the freeze.

>The reason for "freezing" was that there is this principle of "alpha-2 if
>exists - alpha-3 otherwise" in parts of industry (WHO IS IMPORTANT! I am not
>questioning that!). But we have already accepted, and we have presented as a
>fact, that "synonym" language identifiers have to be accepted, and that
>there will be more of them as further work with (new parts of) 639 moves
>along. The principle needs (over time) to be changed from "alpha-2 if
>exists - alpha-3 otherwise" to "synonyms allowed".

Not without the agreement of the internet community, I am afraid. The
JAC made a promise and set a policy, and we developed our standard
with faith in that promise. I am not very impressed to see you keep
wanting to change this.

>Next time a similar case comes up, I will initiate the discussion in a
>similar manner. Then Michael is probably going to scream. An we will weigh
>the scream (and the underlying argument, which I accept) against other
>arguments and principles. And then we will vote.

Then why do you even pretend that you made an agreement with one of
the most important users of your standard? I am appalled, and angered
by your suggestion.

>Because there is one detail in Michael's reasoning that I do NOT accept: He
>wants to sanctify one principle beyond the democratic process. He doesn't
>even want a ballot. I am sure that the balloting members are able to apply
>all relevant principles and cast their votes accordingly.

I say that holding the ballot at all would be invalid because it
violates the agreed principles. The correct answer to the Hawai'ians
is to explain the rationale for this particular decision with regard
to the integrity of their tagged data on the internet. You agreed
that an arbitrary set of languages would not be given a 2-letter code
after an arbitrary date. Therefore if anyone asks for a code for
that, the correct thing to say is sorry, no, and here is why.
Therefore no ballot needs to be taken. Therefore no ballot should be
held.

>Do we have any discussion on the merit of adding an alpha-2 identifier for
>Hawaiian? Think of it as follows: Would we have included an alpha-2
>identifier if they didn't have an alpha-3 identifier? If not, we don't have
>a problem at all. If the answer would have been yes, we do need to deal with
>it, weighing all arguments in a proper manner.

You are asking to wreck the entire thing, and to jeopardize internet
data, and we argued this over and over again before the JAC decided
to take a decision, and now you are trying to overturn that decision.
That is wrong, Håvard. It is wrong.

I am very very unhappy that we are reliving this discussion. So far I
have not reported it to the RFC 3066 list.
--
Michael Everson *** Everson Typography *** http://www.evertype.com

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