RE: Pending requests

Shawn Steele <> Tue, 01 December 2015 17:14 UTC

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From: Shawn Steele <>
To: Michael Everson <>
Subject: RE: Pending requests
Thread-Topic: Pending requests
Date: Tue, 01 Dec 2015 17:14:25 +0000
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Cc: ietflang IETF Languages Discussion <>, "Amir E. Aharoni" <>
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Do you care about the authors of the content being able to author it?
Or do you care about consumers of the content being able to read it?

If someone were to create a wikipedia simple grammer/spelling checker, that is a process so specialized that a private tag seems appropriate

If I'm a user I want "simple" English.  Users could care less about a distinction between Voice of America English, Wikipedia Simplified English and Basic English.  I just want an English I might be able to understand a bit better than normal English.  I can't specify en-US-VoA in http-accept-language, because it'll match "en-US" not "en-US-wpsimple".  So those tags are useless to the user.  (However if we wanted to consider en-US-simple-VoA and en-US-simple-odgenbe and en-US-simple-wp that might work).

en-wpsimple is just going to be the content authors talking to themselves (or their grammar/speller tools).  We don't really need a tag that solves only the creation problem.  The interesting problem is the content consumers trying to request the simplified version.


-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Everson [] 
Sent: Tuesday, December 1, 2015 2:38 AM
To: Shawn Steele <>
Cc: ietflang IETF Languages Discussion <>; Amir E. Aharoni <>
Subject: Re: Pending requests

> On 30 Nov 2015, at 23:01, Shawn Steele <> wrote:
>> What might spell-checkers or grammar-checkers flag if anyone developed software to support “en-simple"?
> By Wikipedia's own description a spell checker seems precluded, since it allows extending the vocabulary when necessary.  

It could still flag any word not in its small dictionary as a guide to the writer. 

Plus I said grammar-checker. 

> If Wikipedia want's to make a spell checker, then an en-x-wpsimple is sufficient.  If Wikipedia wants to interoperate with the readers (rather than the developers), then they need something less explicit so that the reader's computer's have a chance of providing Wikipedia with a useful tag.

Please explain this. en-simple and en-wpsimple are the same except that one of them (the first) could mean anything to anybody while one of them (the second) would point to a coherent specification.  

> En-simple could work as a valid http-accept-language on Wikipedia or Voice of America or CNN or wherever someone wanted a simplified reading level.

But if the content of a VOA or CNN simplified version differed from the WP specification or from each other, what good would be served?

> Having the user select "English (United States, Simplified)" from their user settings would make detection of those cases automatic and be far more useful to the community that would benefit from such a declaration.  I can't say "en-US-voa-wpsimple-…."

Nor should you. VOA’s specification could be very different from WP’s, could it not?

Michael Everson *