I am forwarding this to the JAC list for information.

Håvard Hjulstad    mailto:[log in to unmask]
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-----Original Message-----
From: Lang Gerard [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: 21. april 2006 08:46
To: Havard Hjulstad (E-mail)
Cc: Lang Gerard
Subject: TR: 2-letter and 3-letter codes

 Dear Havard,

I send you a copy of my exchange with Michael Everson.

All the best.

Gerard LANG

-----Message d'origine-----
De : Lang Gerard 
Envoye : vendredi 21 avril 2006 08:37
A : 'Michael Everson'; Lang Gerard
Cc : ISO 639 RA-JAC
Objet : RE: 2-letter and 3-letter codes

Dear Michael,

Thank you for your message.

 I respect your opinion, but it remains only an opinion  (even if, as
pratically everybody, I am pretty sure that only my personnal opinions are
the bests in the world). 
 My point about ISO 639 is that the normative clauses, the ISO 639/RA-JAC is
entitled to manage with, are in contradiction with your opinion, and that
the ISO 639/RA-JAC does not  have the right to "have a policy" permitting to
do something against what is written in clause 4.2 of ISO 639-1, that has
been adopted in 2002. So I am obliged to remark that your opinion (that
should not be recent, and so was the same before 2002) has not at all been
taken in charge by ISO 639 (otherwise the point that you support and that is
important would have been explicitely included in the text), and is not
normative. So we both are not members of ISO  639/RA-JAC, but both have
opposite opinions about what they should do concerning my propositions. But
my point is that, concerning this question, the first (and perhaps only)
thing they have to do is to follow what is written in the ISO 639 standard
they voted and accepted, as it is mandatory in the ISO world.

Tres cordialement.

Gerard LANG

N.B.:This exchange gives me the occasion of a question concerning ISO 15924
"Code pour la representation des noms d'ecritures". Do you consider that the
four-letter  scripts codes given by ISO 15924 to represent "scripts",
defined as "set of graphic characters used for the written form of one or
more languages", are representing ordered set of graphic characters or do
not consider any privilegied order concerning the graphic characters
included in the considered set ?

-----Message d'origine-----
De : Michael Everson [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Envoye : jeudi 20 avril 2006 21:35
A : [log in to unmask]
Cc : ISO 639 RA-JAC
Objet : 2-letter and 3-letter codes

Dear Mr Lang,

I am one of the people who, years ago, insisted on an ISO 639 policy 
regarding 2- and 3-letter codes for languages.

The reason the rule exists is to insure stability and uniqueness in 
the use of these tags on for instance the internet. Tok Pisin, Tetum, 
and Palauan have the ADVANTAGE of having only one code to worry about 
right now. The official language of my country, Ireland, have to 
contend with two possible taggings, ga/gle and en/eng respectively.

I am not a voting member of the ISO 639 JAC, but I support their 
decision. "tpi", "tet", and "pau" are unique identifiers for these 
languages, and they are not disadvantaged in any way for not also 
having 2-letter codes.

In my personal opinion, there is no reason that ANY more 2-letter 
codes should be added.
Michael Everson *