Historic scripts as MAYBE?

JFC Morfin jefsey at jefsey.com
Mon Apr 28 15:37:21 CEST 2008

The Multilingual Cultural and Semantic Internet Enhanced Cooperation 
under formation (MULTILINC) will most problay gather regional culture 
historic/academic and language top level domain projects. I would 
prefer we do not add too many reasons for cultural and semantic 
projects to be IDNA non-interoperable. May I remind you that domain 
names are used in IRIs.

I doubt that extended debates on Unicode code points belong to a 
stable Internet protocol working group. We already experimented that 
kind of technical creep at WG-LTRU where the IDNA issue had been 
roughtconsensually kept aside (I did not agree). IMHO, this kind of 
decision does not belong to protocols designers, but to operations 
managers and users. However, this WG can/should certainly document 
how the change of accepted reference (new Unicode version, 
restrictions on the extension of tables) should be handled, through 
which reciprocal process (we are on a distributed multilaterally 
managed network), how should it be documented, maintained, and 
disseminated, what are the consequences on nth domain name level, etc.

At 06:07 28/04/2008, John C Klensin wrote:

>--On Sunday, 27 April, 2008 12:08 -0700 Paul Hoffman
><phoffman at imc.org> wrote:
> > At 3:56 PM +0900 2/1/08, Martin Duerst wrote:
> >> I have to say that I'm very far from sold on the concept of
> >> MAYBE, but cloud it make sense to have historic scripts such
> >> as Runic as MAYBE?
> >
> > The WG should revisit this topic, even with "MAYBE" being
> > dead. Do we really want historic scripts as allowed characters
> > for IDNs?
> >
> > The Unicode Consortium has a list of archaic/historical
> > scripts that are "no longer used to write living languages".
> > See chapter 14 of the Unicode standard for the full
> > description. The list there is:
> >
> > Ogham
> > Old Italic
> > Runic
> > Gothic
> > Linear B
> > Cypriot
> > Phoenician
> > Ugaritic
> > Old Persian
> > Sumero-Akkadian
> >
> > All of these are expressed in blocks, and therefore could
> > easily be added to the IgnorableBlocks (D) category, which
> > already contains Combining Diacritical Marks for Symbols,
> > Musical Symbols, Ancient Greek Musical Notation, and the
> > Private Use Area.
> >
> > I propose that we add all archaic scripts, as defined by the
> > Unicode Consortium, to this category.
>While my conclusion is more or less the same as Mark's, my
>reasoning is a bit different.  FWIW...
>Disallowing these scripts is very serious business, especially
>given the question of how safe and easy, or not, it is to move
>things from Disallowed to Protocol-Valid.  If we had MAYBE, that
>might be fine, but the costs of having/ re-introducing MAYBE are
>high enough that I hope you aren't suggesting it just for this
>handful of scripts (although it certainly is not impossible).
>However, what I think is more important is that, in a world in
>which one of the oft-cited justifications for IDNs is linguistic
>and cultural preservation and restoration, classification of a
>script as archaic by the Unicode Consortium may or may not be
>appropriate from the standpoint of UNESCO or various
>anthropological and archeological communities.  In particular
>and keeping in mind that, as I don't need to remind you, we need
>to design for IDNs are all levels of the DNS tree, if one were a
>research institute dedicated to one of the cultures that use one
>of these languages, it would be perfectly reasonable to assign
>host names in them even with no primary-language users of the
>script for centuries.
>It also seems to me that, in the general case, the letters,
>combining marks, and digits of "archaic" scripts are no more
>likely to be harmful than the letters, combining marks, and
>digits of ones that see more contemporary usage.   Excluding
>them would be a perfectly reasonable candidate for a registry
>restriction. I would imagine that no registry with a very large
>registration scope and a good sense of balance and
>responsibility would want to permit them.  But such registry
>restrictions are a very different situation from disallowing the
>      john
>Idna-update mailing list
>Idna-update at alvestrand.no

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