[Accessforall] Codes for languages in ISO 24751 and the registry

Christophe Strobbe strobbe at hdm-stuttgart.de
Thu Oct 4 07:48:51 EDT 2012


A few things to bear in mind before making this decision:
1. ISO 639-2 (or any other part of ISO 639) just covers the codes for the
identification of languages, not subcodes for countries, scripts, etc.
2. IETF RFC 4646 describes how to combine ISO 639 language codes with ISO
3166 country codes (and other optional subtags), but prefers two-letter
language codes over three-letter codes if the former type of code is
available. So that would gives us en-CA instead of eng-CA. So if we want
to use codes like en-CA, we should refer to IETF RFC 4646; in order to use
tags like eng-CA, we would need to invent our own "standard" for language
codes. If we prefer IETF RFC 4646 tags, we will need to check if ISO
standards can use IETF RFCs as normative references.
3. The two-letter language code is what you find in HTML pages, the
OpenDocument format, and many other formats. That might be the reason why
this type of code was in the sample preference sets. If we use
three-letter codes, some parts of the GPII/Cloud4all architecture will
need to refer to a table that maps two-letter codes to three-letter codes,
because the two-letter codes seem to be the dominant convention (but that
might change; e.g. Dublin Core seems to accept both types of codes).


I am not speaking against using codes like eng-CA, but we should know what
the impact of this decision would be.


Best regards,

Christophe

Am Do, 4.10.2012, 07:18 schrieb Gregg Vanderheiden:
> OK
>
> 	Does anyone want to SPEAK AGAINST doing as Colin outlined which seems to
> be in line with everyone else's comments.
>
> 	  If so please post any counter thoughts in the next few days.    We have
> everyone I think on the two lists attached so we can make a decision if
> there are no counter proposals to consider
>
> thanks
>
>
> Gregg
> --------------------------------------------------------
> Gregg Vanderheiden Ph.D.
> Director Trace R&D Center
> Professor Industrial & Systems Engineering
> and Biomedical Engineering
> University of Wisconsin-Madison
>
> Technical Director - Cloud4all Project - http://Cloud4all.info
> Co-Director, Raising the Floor - International
> and the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure Project
> http://Raisingthefloor.org   ---   http://GPII.net
>
>
> On Oct 3, 2012, at 10:44 PM, Colin Clark <colinbdclark at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> We should be using ISO 639-2 language codes throughout the system. If
>> not, it's a bug.
>>
>> If I remember correctly, this was probably introduced by the UI Options
>> team who were integrating at very short notice with the GPII framework.
>> I believe UI Options can support both two- and three-character language
>> codes (as is often the case).
>>
>> As a speaker of "eng-CA", I don't see any reason not to simply use ISO
>> 639-2 from the start and to also support country codes, as Christophe
>> suggests. I also think it's probably worth supporting the two-character
>> subset for interoperability if possible.
>>
>> Colin
>>
>> On 2012-10-03, at 1:18 PM, Gregg Vanderheiden wrote:
>>
>>> I think that having language and country codes is a great idea.
>>>
>>> Wd DO need to decide which codes to use.  I think the square brackets
>>> were because an official decision was not made yet
>>>
>>> But I think using the ISO codes for both would be the right thing to
>>> do.  I added the arch list to see if someone knows  why two letter
>>> codes are currently used.  (W3C?)
>>>
>>> We also should say something like  "if no country is specified then
>>> ...."
>>> (is there a default country for all languages specified somewhere?)
>>> we might say the country of origin -- but I'm not sure all languages
>>> have an (existing) country of origin anymore.
>>>
>>> Good catch Christophe.
>>> Lets get a decision and then record it in the Glossary.
>>>
>>> I wonder if we should have a decision registry somewhere since we have
>>> so many people involved.
>>>
>>>
>>> Gregg
>>> --------------------------------------------------------
>>> Gregg Vanderheiden Ph.D.
>>> Director Trace R&D Center
>>> Professor Industrial & Systems Engineering
>>> and Biomedical Engineering
>>> University of Wisconsin-Madison
>>>
>>> Technical Director - Cloud4all Project - http://Cloud4all.info
>>> Co-Director, Raising the Floor - International
>>> and the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure Project
>>> http://Raisingthefloor.org   ---   http://GPII.net
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Oct 3, 2012, at 11:43 AM, Christophe Strobbe
>>> <christophestrobbe at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Hi,
>>>>
>>>> While creating a preference set for one of the personas in the
>>>> Cloud4all smarthouse simulation
>>>> <http://wiki.gpii.net/index.php/SmartHouses_Preference_Sets>, I looked
>>>> into language codes and found the following:
>>>> (1) ISO/IEC 24751:2008 (all subparts) refer to ISO 639-2:1998 for
>>>> language codes. In the registry, the value space for "language" is
>>>> [ISO 639-2/T] (I don't know the reason for the square brackets).
>>>> According to <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ISO_639-2_codes>
>>>> and <http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/php/code_list.php>, the ISO
>>>> 639-2 codes are three-letter codes (e.g. "eng" for English, "dut" or
>>>> "nld" for Dutch, "fre" or "fra" for French, etc). However, the JSON
>>>> preference sets I've seen so far (I mean those by the GPII/Cloud4all
>>>> Architecture team) use two-letter codes (see Carla's, Nisha's and
>>>> Timothy's preference sets). Am I misreading the information I found
>>>> about ISO 639-2?
>>>> (2) Related to this is the absence of country information, i.e.
>>>> combining a language code with a country code from ISO 3166 (see
>>>> <http://www.loc.gov/standards/iso639-2/faq.html#22>). This is relevant
>>>> to text-to-speech engines and Braille. For example for Dutch, not many
>>>> people in Flanders are keen on TTS that uses pronunciation rules from
>>>> the Netherlands. Braille conventions also vary between countries that
>>>> use the same official language (well, they even vary between Braille
>>>> centres, but let's not go into that).
>>>> (3) Note that IETF RFC 4646 <http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4646> gives
>>>> preference to the shortest ISO 639 code (2 or three letters) that is
>>>> available for a language (check the ABNF syntax under
>>>> <http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc4646#section-2.1>). This base code can
>>>> then be combined with an ISO 3166 country code, to create tags like
>>>> en-US (American English) and en-GB (British English). However, IETF
>>>> RFC 4646 is referenced neither by ISO 24751 nor by the registry.
>>>>
>>>> Best regards,
>>>>
>>>> Christophe Strobbe
>>>>
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Accessforall mailing list
>>>> Accessforall at fluidproject.org
>>>> http://lists.idrc.ocad.ca/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/accessforall
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> Accessforall at fluidproject.org
>>> http://lists.idrc.ocad.ca/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/accessforall
>>
>> ---
>> Colin Clark
>> Technical Lead, Fluid Project
>> http://fluidproject.org
>>
>
>


-- 
Christophe Strobbe
Akademischer Mitarbeiter
Adaptive User Interfaces Research Group
Hochschule der Medien
Nobelstraße 10
70569 Stuttgart
Tel. +49 711 8923 2749



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