[tz] Proposed patch - Theory change to reinstate reference to ISO-3166

Clive D.W. Feather clive at davros.org
Fri Sep 6 22:31:34 UTC 2013

Tobias Conradi said:
> >> There are two standards containing the string ISO 3166-1, the one
> >> published the latest is
> >> ISO 3166-1:2006
> >> http://www.iso.org/iso/home/store/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=39719
> >>
> >> The other is
> >> ISO 3166-1:1997
> >> http://www.iso.org/iso/home/store/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=24591
> >>
> >> The ISO website also shows
> >> ISO 3166:1981
> >> ISO 3166:1988
> >> ISO 3166:1993
> >
> > Those are all the same standard.
> Your sources? Mine are pages of the ISO website, among them the two I
> provided a link for.

(1) Those pages - the latter says "revised by".
(2) The ISO Directives
which make it clear that you can only use the same number for revisions
which don't significantly alter the scope of the standard.
(3) Too many years taking part in ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC22/WG14, including being
the UK's official representative.

There is one standard (3166) divided into three parts (-1 to -3) and
revised and republished on various dates (:2006).

>> The standards don't include a normative table of codes.
> Your sources?

That was an error on my part, I accept.

>> That is, the tables
>> in those standards are *snapshots*.
> Even "snapshots" can be normative.


>> The standard itself defines rules for maintaining the official list of
>> codes, what the codes should look like, and so on. The official list,
>> however, is maintained by the "maintenance agency" (who, IIRC, is DIN).
>> They can update the list whenever they want.
> Hopefully they stick to the published rules.

But the rules don't say *when* they can change it.

Actually, they say:

"Changes to this part of ISO 3166 are decided by the ISO 3166/MA and become
effective immediately. They are announced in ISO 3166 Newsletters and are
authoritative amendments to Clauses 1 to 13 and the annexes of this part of
ISO 3166."

In other words, each time 3166/MA decides to add, remove, or change a code,
ISO 3166 *is revised*.

>> Thus, for example, the list was changed on:
>> 1989-12-05   (removed BU, added MM)
> Your source, so a reader could verify this and other claims?

Well, I could be cheeky and point at:
The changes tagged 'c' to 'thorn' inclusive were added to the file
contemporaneously with the publication of the MS newsletters. I haven't
kept copies of the newsletters, but they may be online somewhere.

> E.g.
>> 1992-08-28   (removed DD, changed DD from 280 to 276)
> Is a false claim, assuming the rule followed is, that there is one
> numeric code for each alpha-2 code at any point in time since the
> first publication of numeric codes.

Typo: that should be "changed DE".

There is no such rule as the one you hypothesize. On the contrary, the
number was changed to show that the geographic area covered by 276 was
significantly different to that covered by 280, even though they have the
same Alpha-2 code. Conversely, when HV changed to BF they covered the same
geographic area and so both were/are 854.

>>> There are at least two pairs, namely DD/DE and YD/YE where there is
>>> not "at least one name per ISO-3166 code" but only one per pair.
>> When DD and DE were both in the list, they had separate names. DD is no
>> longer in the 3166-1 list, though it is in 3166-3 (removed codes).
> That's of no relevance for my claim.

Then I'm not clear what your claim is.

>>> When looking at the locations or location names, it follows that
>>> "There should typically be at least one name per ISO-3166 code." was
>>> never applied.
>> I don't believe you've demonstrated that.
> It didn't claim I have demonstrated it.

Then what does "it follows that" mean?

> As of today, the page
> http://www.iso.org/iso/country_codes/iso_3166_code_lists/country_names_and_code_elements.htm
> marked "Last updated: 2013-02-06" provides 249 country names.

Nitpick: country and territory codes.

> That results in 249*3=747 codes for ISO 3166-1:2006.

That is, ISO 3166-1:2006 as revised by ISO 3166/MA.

But that's 249 code triplets.

> 548<747+31.

What's the significance of 747? That should read:

548 > 249+31

Clive D.W. Feather          | If you lie to the compiler,
Email: clive at davros.org     | it will get its revenge.
Web: http://www.davros.org  |   - Henry Spencer
Mobile: +44 7973 377646

More information about the tz mailing list