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

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Sun Aug 29 10:22:08 PDT 2004

On Thu, 26 Aug 2004, Ave Wrigley wrote:
> > >
> > > The problem is that even if the list is updated, the UAs aren't. If 
> > > this had been done from the start, people using IE2 would have 
> > > ancient country lists, and there would be little that page authors 
> > > could do about it.
> > 
> > I'd just like to note that both IE and Mozilla do actually contain an 
> > ISO639 list, for specifying values for Accept-Language. Mozilla also 
> > contains an ISO3166 list, which, IIRC, is used in concert with the 
> > ISO639 list.
> Is it feasible to have the UEs update their lists dynamically? The ISO 
> lists are hosted in a (fairly) reliable place. After all, this sort of 
> thing is done for referencing standard DTDs in non-standalone XML pages.

The net effect of doing this would be to cause the host to be regularly 
checked by some 600 million users (once Web Forms 2 is widely adopted).

I don't think anyone particularly wants to host a site that gets that many 
hits without some sort of serious compensation!

> > > Also, note that vendors typically want to stay WELL away from 
> > > specifying stuff like this.
> ... which is why you specify it in term of an international standard, 
> and sidestep the responsibility ;-)

That didn't help Microsoft. Window 95's timezone selector used official UN 
maps, and ended up being effectively shunned by an entire country, if I 
understand what happened correctly.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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