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Subject: Re: Ianacode
From: Deke Smith <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:General discussion of Extensible Markup Language <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 4 Nov 1998 13:42:25 -0600

text/plain (60 lines)

Hunting, Sam, [log in to unmask] said on 11/4/98 10:42 AM:

>In 2.12, language identification, we have "[36] IanaCode ::= ('i' | 'I') '-'
>([a-z] | [A-Z])+", which are "language identifier[s] registered with the
>Internet Assigned Numbers Authority."
>When I go to the source for IANA in the spec,
>, I find "official
>names for character sets that may be used in the Internet and may be
>referred to in Internet documentation" with listings like this:
>        Name: Latin-greek-1 [RFC1345,KXS2]
>        MIBenum: 47
>        Source: ECMA registry
>        Alias: iso-ir-27
>        Alias: csISO27LatinGreek1
>But the IANA name, "Latin-greek-1", doesn't conform to the part following
>"i-" in production [36].
>What am I doing wrong? How do I specify an xml:lang name that's an Ianacode?
>Is it simply that there have been, as yet, no names (aliases?) registered
>with the IANA that are in a format that conforms to the spec?

"Latin-greek-1" is actually an IANA text encoding name, not language
name. Text encoding is the way the bytes of a text file are interpreted
as glyphs/characters. "Language" in the sense found in the spec is the
what we think of as languages in the realm of human communication:
French, English, Greek... Each language can be expressed in several
different text encodings for the computer, and your example,
"Latin-greek-1", is an encoding used by some computers that display text
in Greek.

That is something completely separate. IANA provides a way to expand
"official" ISO639 list of languages with more obscure languages with a
registration procedure. This list is much more limited than the ISO639
list. An example of an IANA code is: "i-navajo". Navajo is not in the
ISO639 list, but is still a human language.

A listing of IANA values can be found at

If you have a language that is neither found in the ISO639 or IANA list
you can use the "x-" suffix (x = experimental). Examples would be
"x-klingon" or "x-spanglish".

Deke Smith
Tallent Communications Group, Brentwood TN
[log in to unmask], 615-661-9878
" The best way to predict the future is to invent it. "
       - Alan Kay

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