[Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] Notes and Action Items -- remarks about ISO 3166 terminology used

Alexander Schubert alexander at schubert.berlin
Wed Sep 5 16:42:34 UTC 2018



I agree, and therefore I for example usually always try to use these terms:


*         ISO 3166-1 Alpha-2 Codes

o   these are the 2-letter codes used for ccTLDs, like "DE" for Germany

o   these are in Part 1 of "ISO 3166"

*         ISO 3166-1 Alpha-3 Codes

o   these are the 3-letter codes for countries like "DEU" for Germany

o   these are also in Part 1 of "ISO 3166"

*         ISO 3166-2 Country Subdivision Names  (NOT the "codes"!)

o   These are usually states, provinces, districts, etc

o   these are in Part 2 of "ISO 3166"


The "ISO 3166-2 Country Subdivisions" also have "codes" - but we do not
protect the CODES but rather the NAMES! Example: There is a subdivision
"Bayern" in Germany (Bavaria). The "code" is "DE-BY". But that's not what we
protect. We protect the NAME itself: "Bayern".


It's one thing how people call these in our working emails. And you are
right: we should all be very precise. But we WT members  usually know what
is meant. When it comes to the AGB we really need to be SUPER precise - and
very consistent! So my suggestion for the use in the AGB:


*         ISO 3166-1 Alpha-2 Codes  (alternatively:    "alpha-2 codes listed
in the ISO 3166-1 standard")

o   the 2-letter country codes of ISO 3166 Part 1

o   these are real "codes" and not "names"

*         ISO 3166 -1 Alpha-3 Codes  (alternatively:    "alpha-3 codes
listed in the ISO 3166-1 standard")

o   the 3-letter country codes of ISO 3166 Part 1

o   these are real "codes" and not "names"

*         ISO 3166 -2 Country Subdivision Names  (alternatively:    "country
subdivision names listed in the ISO 3166-2 standard")

o   Officially called "principal subdivisions of countries" and located in
ISO 3166 Part 2

o   Again: here we target the NAME - not the "code"  (we target "Bayern" and
not "DE-BY") - hence we do not say "Country Subdivision Codes" but "Country
Subdivision Names".



The 2012 AGB uses "sub-national place name, such as a county, province, or
state, listed in the ISO 3166-2 standard" in section (3) when it
refers to "ISO 3166 -2 Country Subdivision Names".  ISO calls the CODES
(which is not what we want to protect) "codes for identifying principal
subdivisions of countries" and in other places "country subdivision codes".
I haven't found the term "sub-national place name" in official ISO
documents. So while it's clear what is meant - it's not ISO language. So the
targeted strings are in my mind: "Country Subdivision Names" - and usually
that column is always called "Subdivision Name". We might want to consider
to not use "sub-national place name" in the AGB anymore.








-----Original Message-----
From: Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 [mailto:gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5-bounces at icann.org] On
Behalf Of Jaap Akkerhuis
Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2018 3:36 PM
To: gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5 at icann.org
Subject: Re: [Gnso-newgtld-wg-wt5] Notes and Action Items -- remarks about
ISO 3166 terminology used


A quick scan of the working document shows rather inconsistent use of ISO
3166 related terms.


Quite some of these uses stem from citing the AGB. There is not a lot to do
about that, we should not change history too much. But for the current
document we could do better I hope.


Often one reads things like "codes listed in the ISO 3166-2 standard".

What really is meant here is "codes listed in the standard ISO 3166 Part 2".
What makes this important is that people are confusing the -2 suffix with
the length of the code. We should be more careful in using proper
terminology and if one wants to use "3166-1" as a shortcut for "ISO 3166
Part 2" it should somewhere be explained.


An example of unclear use is a sentence like:


                "meaningful representations of a country or territory name

                the ISO 3166-2 standard"


What is really meant here? Country and territory names appear in ISO

3166 Part one, ISO 3166 Part 2 talks about subdivisions only. (It might be
quoted from an old AGB so can't be changed, but it is still confusing),


Something like "ISO 3166 3-letter codes, country subdivisions (3166
Alpha-2)" becomes quite confusing very fast. in general ISO talks about
alpha-3 etc. codes and 3166 Part 1 had alpha-2 and alpha-3 codes. ISO 3166
Part 2 is about codes for subdivision codes. These codes are not related to
the alpha-3 codes of Part 1 but consist of

alpha-2 codes from part 1 followed by "up to 3 characters".



The working document talks about alpha-3 or 2 codes, 2/3 characters, and 2/3
letter codes etc. Most times they seem to be used denoting the same but I'm
not always when non-ASCII codes are involved.


I know, it is hard to be consistent it the terminology but it is worth the




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