[Ltru] Re: Registry change of the day: prefix with more than one subtag

"Doug Ewell" <dewell@roadrunner.com> Tue, 10 July 2007 14:35 UTC

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Subject: [Ltru] Re: Registry change of the day: prefix with more than one subtag
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Addison Phillips <addison at yahoo dash inc dot com> wrote:

>> A human can easily see that "de-1901-1996" and "sl-rozaj-njiva" are 
>> meaningless, because the variants are clearly contradictory.  But a 
>> few variants with the same prefix can in fact be used together, such 
>> as "en-scouse-fonipa" or "en-boont-fonipa".
> Uh... fonipa has no prefix, so it doesn't share a prefix with either 
> scouse or boont.

Sorry for being unclear.  'fonipa' does not have a prefix in the 
Registry, but it does have a prefix when used in actual tags such as 

>> In fact, 'fonipa' and 'fonupa' have no prefix and can thus 
>> theoretically be used with any tag, but some combinations like 
>> "el-monoton-fonipa" are inappropriate nonetheless.
> Yep. We have no mechanism for saying this. This would fall under the 
> rubric of "Tag Content Wisely"

I agree that this is definitely a TCW situation.  Perhaps 
"en-scouse-boont" is also TCW and thus software can't be expected to 
make the "right" call.

>> ... The drop-down list of variant subtags for "sl-rozaj" shows not 
>> only the reasonable choices, like 'fonipa' (no prefix) and 'njiva' 
>> (prefix = "sl-rozaj"), but also the inappropriate 'nedis' (prefix = 
>> "sl").
> Ur... nedis and rozaj share a prefix and thus fall under the general 
> exclusion rule.

Which is great for TCW.  But we may have variants in the future that 
have the same prefix -- that is, apply to the same language -- but deal 
with different aspects of "variation."  Right now we have variants for 
orthographies and for dialects.  Perhaps someday an alternative 
orthography will emerge for Armenian, which can be used with either 
Eastern or Western... you see where I'm headed.

>> Does a prefix of "language with no variant" mean that the variant 
>> should not be used in the presence of any other variant?
> That is, in fact, what the RFC says. How else should we interpret:
>> Most variants that share a prefix are mutually exclusive.

Then I hope an alternative orthography for Armenian never emerges.

> How does one determine that "en-scouse-fonipa" is OK while 
> "el-monoton-fonipa" is not?
> Not via Prefixes. I'll note that "el-AQ-monoton" is also a dubious 
> choice.

Not syntactically.  The RFC explicitly states that such combinations are 
doofy but allowable.  There is no mechanism and no wording that says 
"don't do this" as there is with Prefix.

> There is an upper limit to the amount of information we can pack into 
> the registry, I think.

No one agrees with that more than me.  I'm not looking to add more stuff 
to the Registry.  I'm looking for guidance from the RFC and the list.

> We could add the following text after the quoted paragraph though:
> --
> Some variants have no Prefix or have several different primary 
> language prefixes. Such variants might be useful in combination with 
> other, similar variants or with variants specific to a given language. 
> This isn't always true and care is called for in selecting between 
> these subtags. For example, a tag like "el-monoton-fonipa" is probably 
> ill-considered, since both 'monoton' (Monotonic Greek) and 'fonipa' 
> (International Phonetic Alphabet) can't both be used to transcribe the 
> same document at the same time.
> --

That's a good elaboration of TCW.

I guess the answer is that I have to allow "nedis" to be chosen even if 
"rozaj" has already been chosen, but I should mark it as questionable.

Doug Ewell  *  Fullerton, California, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14

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