[Printing-summit] UI Question - choosing from among 7, 000 language tags

Michael Sweet mike at easysw.com
Tue Oct 3 13:06:22 PDT 2006

McDonald, Ira wrote:
> Hi,
> The IETF LTRU (Language Tag Registry Update) Working Group
> has recently published RFC 4645/6/7, which introduced the
> Language _Subtag_ Registry (i.e., parts of language tags)
> and obsoleted RFC 3066.
> The IETF LTRU has just been rechartered to address adding
> some 7,000 new language subtags (from the new ISO 639-3
> standard now nearing completion).
> Below is a note to the LTRU WG from John Cowan raising the
> very important question of how to present such choices to
> end users (in web browsers and other applications).
> So, I'm forwarding this question to the Open Usability team
> and the other readers of the Printing Summit mailing list.
> Initial response on LTRU WG mailing list hasn't yielded any
> practical approaches - a pull-down list with 7,000 choices
> is obviously _not_ a good approach, as John says below.

Well, there is theory and there is practice.

In theory, you might need a pull-down list with 7,000 choices.

In practice, however, it is highly unlikely that any software
vendor will provide 7,000 localizations, and applications can
choose to list only those localizations that are installed on a

In short, this sounds like a solution looking for a problem.

Michael Sweet, Easy Software Products           mike at easysw dot com
Internet Printing and Document Software          http://www.easysw.com

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