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Peter:

There is a problem with understanding the scope of the language if we
remove "(Other)" and name all these with "Languages". The distinction of
course is that when we use (Other) it means that some of the languages
within the group have their own identifiers, while others go in this
bucket. It alerts the user to make sure that the language in question is
not separately defined by its own identifier. So if we don't make that
distinction it will be hard for the user to know whether to look further.
Perhaps this is an issue of documentation, when you suggest that there
would be application decisions made for a subset. Currently we don't
really have a mechanism to make these sorts of statements. Do you have a
suggestion so that we don't totally lose this information? How could we
document in the ISO 639-2 code lists?

I'm not really concerned about MARC, because we have always said we don't
have to use the same language names, only that the codes themselves
represent the same entities. But some in the bibliographic world (and
beyond) use the documentation on the ISO 639-2 site alone and somehow they
will need to understand the scope of the language.

Rebecca

On Thu, 6 Dec 2007, Peter Constable wrote:

> Ping?
> 
> It's been over a week; I'd like to see us move toward closure on this
> issue, please.
> 
> 
> Peter
> 
> From: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Peter Constable
> Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2007 3:45 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: decision required: "other" collections
> 
> I want to revive this discussion so that hopefully we can bring
> closure on it. I introduced two issues at the same time last April,
> "other" collections, and "mis". The latter got people's attention, and
> the former never got resolved. (The mis issue was resolved, so the
> passing mention of it below can be ignored.)
> 
> Millicent replied that removing "Other" may be a problem for those
> using ISO 639-2 but not ISO 639-3. I responded to that suggesting that
> this can be considered an application decision. Havard further
> responded mentione 639-5 in the context of the entire 639 family
> suggesting that 639-2 may be one of many possible subsets in which the
> meaning of "other" would differ - the implication being that each
> subset needs to define the intension or extension of collections
> considered to be "other" collections in relation to the given subset.
> (Havard's message, which includes what Millicent and I wrote, is
> attached.)
> 
> I note that the code table in ISO 639-5 FDIS does not include
> "(Other)" in any entries, including the entries for all of the "other"
> collections currently in 639-2.
> 
> My proposal to remove "other" as described below stands.
> 
> 
> Peter
> 
> From: ISO 639 Joint Advisory Committee [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Peter Constable
> Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2007 1:28 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: decisions required: "other" collections, mis
> 
> One of the issues I had identified was that the exclusive "other"
> collections no longer make sense in a general application of ISO 639
> since now every known language has its own identifier. It was not an
> issue that absolutely needed to be addressed before part 3 was
> published, but part 3 is now published, and users of the standards are
> encountering this issue. Specifically, the group that works on IETF
> language tags is currently revising that spec to incorporate part 3
> and would like to see all the collections handled consistently in a
> way that allows their application to treat them all as inclusive.
> 
> So, I propose that "other" be removed from all collection names
> (except perhaps mis - I'll discuss that in another thread). I
> understand that some applications, such as MARC, would still want to
> treat some collections as exclusive. I don't see this change as
> contradicting that: we simply need to clarify that, in a particular
> application that does not use all of the identifiers in the combined
> parts of ISO 639, particular collections may be used in an exclusive
> manner, at the discretion of the particular application.
> 
> Proposed change: make all collections to be of one type with one
> pattern for naming.
> 
> Action if accepted:
> 
> * ISO 639-2 tables and the draft table for ISO 639-5: all names of the
> form "Foo (Other)" changed to "Foo languages". A note added in
> appropriate places explaining that applications may use collections in
> an exclusive manner according to the needs of the particular
> application. (Corresponding changes should get made in a revision to
> the text of ISO 639-2.)
> 
> * ISO 639-3: A note added in description of collection scope
> explaining that applications may use collections in an exclusive
> manner according to the needs of the particular application.
> 
> 
> 
> Peter
>