Since iso639-2b is the established authority for expressing language in descriptive cataloging in the library world, I don't think that MODS can or should compel its users to use RFC3066.  This is  particularly true for the MODS language element, which is intended to express the language or languages of the material being described, and not the language of the content of the description (the content of the MODS elements themselves).  I would be concerned, among other things, as to whether the iso639-2b and RFC3066 will always be precisely synchronized. 

If an institution is using iso639-2b in the language element to describe the language or languages of the material, then they may well want to use the same codes to describe the language of the content of specific elements, rather than to have two sets of codes going in the same MODS encoding.

Maybe a better, more flexible way to set up a language attribute group than my previous suggestion would be something along the lines of the following:

<xsd:attributeGroup name="LANGUAGE">
        <xsd:attribute name="LANG" type="xsd:string" use="optional"/>
        <xsd:attribute name="XMLLANG" type="xsd:language" use = "optional"/>

This would give maximum flexibility. The authority (ISO639-2b or RFC3066) would be implicit in the attribute used.  MODS users could then use either or both as they felt appropriate.


At 05:50 PM 12/17/02 +0100, you wrote:
I wrote a working example of displaying language name from ISO639-2B / RFC3066 code.
I start from the MODS HTML Display (Stylesheet) (translate it to french) and add a template "DisplayLanguage" with to parameters : The result is the language name (in french - but you could select english if you want).
It use the file languages.xml.
If MODS will use ONLY RFC3066 language code in the future, the code will be more simple...
You could have a look or download these files from the CVS repository of the MODS-FR project :
PS: i hope to have a running example directly from the mods-fr web site in a near future.

Yves Pratter
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Rick Beaubien
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