User:Timdream/I18n policy on country region names

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Mozilla Internationalization Policy on Country/Region Names

Status of this document

This document is a proposal unless a consensus is made on the mozilla-goverance mailing list, and approved by Chief Lizard Wrangler, Ms. Mitchell Baker.


Like our counterparts among the software industry and open source ecosystem, we occasionally need to list countries or other geographic areas in documentation, menus, mirror/FTP lists, or other contexts. In the spirit of Mozilla Community Participation Guidelines on inclusion and diversity, we ask products and services associated with the Project to comply with the requirements as defined in the Policy.

0. Use of a country/region list

Use of the list is not mandatory. With usability and practicality in mind, products and services may wish to use a free form text box instead of asking users to select an entry from a supplied list. However, when a country/region list is introduced, the list used by products and services must comply with the Policy.

Specifically, it is against the Policy to provide auto-complete hints based on existing user-supplied entries.

1. Introduce such list as "Countries or Regions" as opposed to "Countries"

The Mozilla Project does not endorse or deny any sovereignty claim of any region listed. It's important to label the list as such to avoid making such acknowledgement implicitly.

2. Use ISO 3166 with amendments to short English names

The "official" ISO 3166 short English names for those countries and regions are in some cases controversial, and not all of them are commonly used in the software industry. We ask for the following amendments to be adopted when introducing the list on products and services:

  • Taiwan should be referred to as only "Taiwan", with no extra distinctions.

Interpretation of the word is in the eye of the beholder. The Mozilla Project does not endorse any particular position.

To maintain compatibility with other software/services that make use of ISO 3166, no entry should be removed and added from the list.

3. Avoid associating entries on the list with extra information

The entries on the list should never be associated with a national flag, or an image/map depicting the region boundaries. The Mozilla Project does not associate nation-states with entries on the list, nor is it defining boundaries of any given entries.

4. Localization/translations of the entries

We ask localization/translations of the list to comply with the Policy whenever possible. However, it may be possible that localization/translations of some entries violate national law in the jurisdiction of participating contributors. In such cases or other similar ones, the Policy may be violated, provided that the localization/translations only impact the specific part of the world where the national law in question applies.

5. Amendment to the Policy

Proposal of changes to the policy should be made on the mozilla-goverance mailing list, with a subject starting with "[country/region list]".