How to misuse codes while fixing the misuse of codes (Microsoft edition)

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2012/03/20 07:01 -04:00, original URI:

The other day, in response to Got Windows 8? Check out the Multilingual App Toolkit!, regular reader John Cowan commented:

qps-ploc???  Private-use script tags are Qaaa-Qabx.

I was very focused on the language part of the tag so I explained the language tag was valid. And John countered:

Yes, 'qps' is a private primary language tag, that's fine.  But the 'ploc' part is an unassigned, non-private, script tag.  That steps on ISO 15924.  'qps-qaap' would have been appropriate.

Yep, that's true.

And there was even a time that I cared about this stuff a lot.

Like in February 2007, when I wrote The name of the song is not 'ps-PS I Love You', explaining how some people were lamely using ps-PS as the name for the pseudo locale.

And how the NLS team created  three pseudo locales that did not trample on ISO-639 and ISO-3166 quite as much:

Too bad no one noticed this problem back then, huh? They were just in Vista beta at the time, and no one was using them yet except in testing. Thousands of people viewed that blog, how come no one ever complained? :-(

Well, on the positive side, they do not step on either the language codes of ISO-639 or the country codes ISO-3166.

On the negative side, as John mentioned it steps all over the script codes of ISO-15924.


Plus, it's weird anyway to think of any of those three suffixes as being "script" codes. Since they refer to attributes that are obviously not so much about script, you know?

They're really language variants.

Yet I have trouble getting too worked up about it.

I mean, it matters, sure.

But I could perhaps argue that they are really rogue ISO-639-6 codes, arrived at by misunderstanding the way that standard replaces the 639 value with a four-letter code....

That sounds convincingly plausible, right? :-)

Oh, never mind. I wouldn't believe it, so I can't expect you to.

Someone should just fix those freaking codes.

The incorrect codes offered by the NLS team years ago to make up for the other incorrect codes!

Oh well, some day....

In the meantime, I'm not going to lose too much sleep over it. Conflicts are pretty unlikely....

John Cowan on 20 Mar 2012 1:25 PM:

You have mentioned qps-ploc in passing twice before, in "Seeing double? You're not drunk; you're just running pseudo!" and "LOCALE_SDECIMAL? Quite a character! Or two. Or three..."  If I'd noticed it in either of these, I would have complained.  But it's not mentioned in "The name of the song is not 'ps-PS I Love You'", which evidently predates it.  The full explanation is only given in Shawn's blog at "Pseudo Locales in Windows Vista Beta 2", but alas I don't read that.

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