The problem that the real world changes is not going to go away soon.
ISO has been fairly consistent in the past about not handing out
new country codes that reuse an old allocation. Other problems
(like Moscow Russian now being ru-RU rather than ru-SU after the breakup
of the Soviet Union) we have to live with.
Theoretically speaking, a better scheme would be one which tagged languages
without reference to countries. Isn't the RU or SU for Russian sort of
redundant? Russian is a language spoken in many places. Of course, there
are geographic variants of languages, but those could also be described
without reference to the geopolitics-du-jour. Languages come, go, and
change at a slower rate than countries, and for text, tagging it with a
country serves no useful purpose.
It's not only theoretical, but also practical.
The only practical exception is, perhaps, en_GB, en_US and, maybe,
en_AU, even which is ignoring New Zeeland. Of course, my assumption
that GB (including Folkland and North Ireland), US and AU lasts
forever without changing its border is wrong.
I have already pointed out that it meaningless and have seen
So, it is surprising to know contry code is still there.
I again propose to remove contry code. We can still register en_GB
and en_US without any difficulty.
It should also be noted that, with muptiple tags, country code
dependence is even more meaningless..
Of course, in the absence of an existing alternative standard that tags
languages in this way, it is probably beyong the scope of what IETF should
be doing to invent one, so the ISO scheme is probably the best we can do.
Yes, ISO 639 is OK. But contry codes play too little part of the
problem that it should be unrelated.