Here, we have, quite pedantically, been talking about the future
possibility of having a 639 reigstered language "IANA", which destroys
ISO would be very silly if they did this. Maybe we can alleviate the
hassle by using "x-iana-*" rather than "iana-*", then everything that isn't
handled by ISO will be prefixed by "x-". How about this Harald?
messages are stored in archives (as most of USENET is), then the Date: header
on the messages is sufficient to say "country code xy as it was in 1993"
if that kind of information is important.
If each compoents of a multipart message have separate Date: header, yes.
Depends on the archive. Is it storing messages or body parts? If messages,
then the main Date: header is sufficient. If body parts, then it has probably
already pulled off the enclosing MIME conventions, and some other mechanism
will need to be used in the archive to record language tagging. If worst
comes to worst, there is always the timestamp on the file in the archive.
This may be hacky, but these are borderline cases, and we shouldn't be
designing MIME solely for the borderline. Show me someone who wants to
communicate daily in 16th century English or Japanese in e-mail, and you
may convince me. 16th century attachments to the main message don't count.
There is a need to cope with ancient languages and linguistic notations, but
except for some twisted individuals who delight in "breaking the system",
e-mail, in the form of text/*, is not the best way to do this. Rather some
kind of marked-up document format would be better,
Isn't MIME rich text marked-up document?
Yes, but text/enriched is not intended to handle everything in the universe.
Other formats (e.g. SGML) provide richer mark-up environments. It is possible
to use Harald's language tags in text/enriched, but I would expect them to
be for disambiguating CJK, etc for display purposes, rather than saying
"the version of English spoken between 1500 and 1700 A.D.".
At the moment, the only use I've seen for country codes is to select a
speech synthesis unit for a particular dialect. Personally, hearing a
message spoken in old English just because some joker put "en-1500" in
the header doesn't impress me, and what should it do if it doesn't
have a suitable dialect available? I'm also one of those Aussies who is
likely to put an axe through my computer if it starts talking to me in
"en-us" ( :-) ), so country codes should definitely be only if the dialect
is very important IMHO.
If date information is important, then lots of other info is likely to be
important also. Bird quill fonts to simulate 16th century hand writing
anyone? :-) Text/enriched is not the place for that: text/enriched is
intended for day-to-day e-mail communication. During that day-to-day
communication, it may be important to disambiguate CJK, but choosing an
ancient font for display?
Enough rambling for now.