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ISO/TC37/SC2/WG1 (Coding systems), 2001-08-14

Date:      Fri, 02 Nov 2001 12:16:00 GMT
From:      John Clews <>
Subject:   Summary meeting report: ISO/TC37/SC2/WG1 (Coding systems), 2001-08-14

For information

Summary meeting report: ISO/TC37/SC2/WG1 (Coding systems), 2001-08-14

1. Meeting arrangements

ISO/TC37/SC2/WG1 (Coding systems), met on 2001-08-14, with participants from Norway, Canada, Austria, USA, France, Spain, Japan, and UK.

2. Progress on existing standards

ISO 639-1:2001 is agreed and awaits publication. It is intended that this replaces ISO 639. The issue of freezing the 2-letter repertoire remains open. It is planned that the tables are available via the Internet.

3. Open discussion on extending language code standards

The meeting mainly comprised an Open discussion about language coding and the need and feasibility to standardize and extend existing language coding.

Jennifer De Camp (US) described user needs and requirements, espcially in the IT area.

Peter Constable (USA) covered problems of mapping similar entities in different language coding schemes, and noted SIL's contact with IT users and developers.

Jake Knoppers (Canada) described the use of language codes in relation to other data elements, and problems of combinations, especially in EDI and E-commerce applications.

Håvard Hjulstad (Norway) also touched on this, but also provided a paper on taxonomy codes for language groups.

Chris Cox (UK) presented a paper by David Dalby which supported a UK proposal for a New Work Item on alphanumeric language codes in extending the detail of language code provision, which would give additional infomation about languages and codes, and their relationship, that a single 3-letter could alone did not give.

4. Action agreed

Instead of accepting the UK proposal as it stood, ISO/TC37/SC2/WG1 agreed to recommend that ISO/TC37/SC2 itself (rather than the UK) should progress a New Work Item, and set up a Task Force of ISO/TC37/SC2/WG1, which would begin by identifying the User requirements, and also examine possible methodology(ies).

Task Force members will be Gerhard Budin (Austria, Chair), Haavard Hjulstad (Norway), Jennifer De Camp (USA), and John Clews (UK).

Further progress is likely at various points before August 2002, when the next ISO/TC37 meetings will take place (2002-08-19 through 2002-08-23).

John Clews

21 August 2001
(updated 2 November 2001)

John Clews
Keytempo Information Management
8 Avenue Rd, Harrogate, HG2 7PG
Email: tel: +44 1423 888 432
Committee Chair of ISO/TC46/SC2: Conversion of Written Languages
Committee Member of ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC22/WG20: Internationalization
Committee Member of ISO/TC37: Terminology

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See: "Language Identifiers in the Markup Context."

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