[whatwg] Re: ISO 639 / ISO 3166 / ISO 4217 inputs

Malcolm Rowe malcolm-what at farside.org.uk
Thu Aug 26 09:51:19 PDT 2004

Ave Wrigley writes:
> [..] I guess the simplest approach would be for the
> UA (if it supports iso selects) to ignore any options specified, and
> replace them with the appropriate options. I think trying to merge the
> two lists might get a bit complicated.

The problem with that approach is that a site may wish to present a 'hybrid' 
ISO list, with non-ISO options such as 'Not Applicable', or 'Same as billing 
address', or 'Use the language sent by my browser'. Also, it's possible that 
the site is aware of country/language codes that aren't in any ISO standard 
(Klingon, en-gb-hixie?), or wishes to use different ones from the standard 
(sb [Sorbian], sx [Sutu], which Microsoft used[1], despite not being ISO 

> [..] I think when you
> are using this control the server _has_ to be able to deal with unknown
> values (whether you provide a degradable list or not) - but in most cases
> I guess this shouldn't present a problem.

I don't know; I think that _would_ present a problem. As a server, how do I 
handle data for countries/languages that I don't know about? Ok, if I'm just 
allowing the user to edit an opaque value, it doesn't matter, but if I 
actually want to _use_ it, even just to translate it into a country name, 
I'm stuck. 

Also, with my database hat on, I'd have trouble with the concept that a user 
must be able to create data for countries/languages that aren't in my 



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