Talk:Country code

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UK country code[edit]

JamieTheFoool wrote:

There's nothing historial about it. The name of the country is THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND -- hence UK not GB] .

I live the UK, so I'm perfectly well aware of what UK and GB stand for. But the ISO-3166 codes for the UK are GB and GBR. Yes, this is stupid, but that's the way it is. Complain to ISO. The UK should therefore use GB as its TLD. In fact it does - see for an example (requires JavaScript). But it uses UK as its main TLD, for reasons which apparently have something to do with the old-style e-mail addresses used in the UK before the advent of the domain name system. Which of this do you not agree with? --Zundark

Why GB[edit]

I live in the UK too. I do agree that according to the ISO-3166 standard the country code for The United Kingdom is GB (Which is just plain wrong, it should be UK) I wasn't disputing that. But UK was chosen as the main TLD for political reasons as this would exclude people/business in other parts of the UK. For example, It wouldn't be appropriate for a business in Northern Ireland to have a .gb domain name as Northern Ireland is not in Great Britain. This is why .uk was chosen.

There is also some dispute with Jersey(.je) and The Isle of Man(.im) having their own TLDs

Legally speaking, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not part of the United Kingdom; they are British crown dependencies. -- Simon J Kissane.

Further research on this is obviously necessary.

Why GB 2[edit]

Further research reveals:

  1. The reason the ISO code for the UK is GB is because the Ukraine also wanted UK. As a compromise, neither got it.
  2. The use of UK as the TLD for the UK originates from JANet.


Why GB 3[edit]

The official reason that GB is used in ISO 3166, rather than UK, is that ISO prefer not to derive abbreviations from words like "Kingdom", because they occur in so many names. (Imagine if all the countries called "Republic of Such-and-such" included the R!) -- User:Marnanel

UK due to historical usage[edit]

Official ICANN/IANA policy is to use ISO-3166 codes. The use of UK violates this policy, but the use predates the policy and hence is grandfathered. So it is for historical reasons, and I was completely correct to say so originally. The appropriateness of GB as the ISO-3166 code is an irrelevant consideration; that is a matter for the ISO-3166-MA, not ICANN/IANA. -- Simon J Kissane

Why GB 4[edit]

The ISO codes are based on the codes the UN uses. See the ISO site for confirmation. The UN prefers codes based on the geographical name of the country, and avoids names describing a type of government (republic, kingdom etc.) wherever possible; because they may be controversial, and can change. Hence GB, DE (and not BRD or BD), FR (not RF = Republique Français, which is what is says on French post boxes), CN (not PRC) etc.

As stated above, the use of UK as a top-level-domain pre-dates the decision to use ISO codes, so we are stuck with it. TiffaF 06:27, 26 October 2006 (UTC) i need to know all about the country code n it soo fustrating when i dont no the answer ... any advice please ?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:19, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Questions about several codes[edit]

The list currently contains NT (Neutral Zone). Where does this come from? It's not in the official list of ISO 3166 codes, and it doesn't appear to be in use as a TLD. --Zundark, 2001 Nov 7

I've removed NT for the time being. On a different subject, does anyone know why ICANN and IANA allowed the AC, GG, IM and JE ccTLDs, even though these aren't ISO 3166 codes? --Zundark, 2001 Nov 7

Answers about several codes[edit]

Zundark: It is possible they are on the reserved ISO 3166 list (i.e. codes that aren't official ISO 3166 codes, but which are reserved by ISO-3166-MA for those who wish to use them.) ICANN permits the creation of ccTLD for reserved list codes (witness its support for the creation of a .EU ccTLD -- "EU" isn't on the ISO-3166 list, but it is reserved for special purposes by the ISO-3166-MA. (I'm just guessing by the way -- IIRC, the reserved code list is not available online, though if you ask I think they'll send it to you for free via snail mail.)

As for NT, it sounds to me it is some kind of demilitarised zone somewhere, e.g. the border between North and South Korea. Its possible its a FIPS or US DOD code which someone added to the list by mistake.

Also, wrt domains like GB (Great Britain) and CS (Czechoslovakia) and SU (Soviet Union) and DD (East Germany), these domains are obsolete and will eventually be deleted. They exist in DNS, but they do not exist on the official IANA list of domain names; almost no one uses them, and no new applications to use them will be accepted. We should note that, or better yet move them to a separate section for 'obsolete domain names'. -- SJK

Reserved and obsolete codes[edit]

You're probably right about the reserved codes list. I had heard something similar before, but couldn't confirm it. As for obsolete codes, I don't want to move them to a separate list, because that would destroy the alphabetical order. As long they as they are clearly marked, I don't see a problem with having them in the same list (unless they are reallocated - but we can worry about that when it happens). We should probably mention that there are no issuing authorities for GB and SU. However, it's not true that "almost no one uses" SU - there are thousands of SU domains, far more than for most ccTLDs. GB has only a few domains, but unlike SU it's still an ISO 3166 code. The ones I have marked as obsolete have no domains at all, as far as I know, although in a few cases the top-level domain may still be on root servers pending deletion. --Zundark, 2001 Nov 8

I now see that the problem of obsolete codes being reallocated already exists. AI is now Anguilla but was formerly used for the French Territory of the Afars and Issas (now DJ). GE is now Georgia but used to be the Gilbert and Ellis Islands (now KI and TV). So perhaps a separate list for obsolete codes would be best. But GB and SU should remain in the main list, for the reasons given above.

By the way, it seems that NT was an ISO 3166 code discontinued in 1993, but I still don't know what it was supposed to represent. --Zundark, 2001 Nov 8

NT Probably refers to the Saudi-Iraqi neutral zone which existed from 1920 to 1983. For anyone who feels inclined to write it up there is public-domain info at -- Eob

Separate code types[edit]

I propose we create two separate pages, one for ISO 3166, and one for Internet ccTLDs, since some Internet ccTLDs are not ISO 3166 codes, and most ISO 3166 codes are not Internet ccTLDs. Then we can have a page country codes, which points to various different types of country codes -- Internet ccTLDs, ISO 3166 codes, FIPS codes, E.164 codes, etc. -- SJK

If, as seems to be the case, you're intending to list all the alpha-3 codes, then I think we need separate pages for the lists, otherwise the article will become unwieldy. So I suggest that we have a page for the alpha-2 list and another page for the alpha-3 list (and another page for the numeric codes if we want to list them). Any general information on ISO 3166 codes can be moved to the ISO 3166 article. Information on ccTLDs can go in the ccTLD section of the top-level domain article. And the country codes article can be used as you suggest. --Zundark, 2001 Dec 20

Consolidated list of various country code schemes and mapping among them[edit]

Dear Zundark, Hu12, Tangerines, and others who have corrected my editing - I am fairly new to Wikipedia, so please pardon any newbie errors. After your corrections, I read up on the rules regarding external links. So here is the situation: CommonDataHub is a relatively new service that makes available various code sets, one of which is country codes (other subject areas are coming up). It strives to provide information and mapping that is not available elsewhere, and people have found it quite useful. (If it matters - much of the information there is available free without any registration, some of it requires a paid subscription.) Unfortunately, since I am affiliated with it, according to the rules I cannot add that link here. If any of you are subject matter experts in this area, kindly review, and if you feel it is relevant and useful to the public, please add it as an external link. Thank you, Sincerely, Mkwk567 (talk) 17:34, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

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