Cary Karp ck at nic.museum
Thu Dec 3 11:22:32 CET 2009

 >> The operators of .CY and .GR have told us in official capacity that
 >> they want the final sigma to be PVALID, fully aware of the collateral
 >> effects that they will then need to deal with. It would be delusional
 >> to believe that the supportive action of the respective governments
 >> could not be mustered.
 >> Would someone who understands IETF process better than I do please
 >> explain why the discussion of that character needs to proceed any
 >> further?

 > Even if this is a rhetorical question, I'll bite.

I actually wasn't laying out any bait but am uncertain, myself, if the 
intent was entirely rhetorical. My remark was prompted by the fact that 
much of the rhetoric here was been accompanied by claims of 
understanding the intention of the most clearly impacted ccTLD 
registries. But when two such entities chime in unequivocally with 
statements of their actual will, and it turns out that it had been 
incorrectly anticipated, all of a sudden it's not an important factor.

I've been further frustrated by the protracted discussion of bundling. 
This has similarly contained broad assumptions made by people who are 
clearly unfamiliar with current TLD registry practice, both with regard 
to situations where bundling might appear useful, and in resolving the 
disputes that arise on the basis of the policies they adopt.

> the IETF makes decisions by rough consensus and running code.  

Isn't that the second half of a credo that starts with, "We do not worry 
about presidents and kings"?  Although I'm certainly not questioning the 
value of rough consensus as a basis for making decisions, shrugging off 
national governments may be a useful adjunct as long as they are not 
paying particular attention to what the IETF is doing. Without wishing 
to cause any offense, I do fear that we may be about to stress the 
scalability of that approach beyond its breaking point.

 > Rough consensus is among informed participants as well as experts and
 > people in certain positions of authority or responsibility. Running
 > code certainly brings in browser/client implementation history and
 > current client implementation concerns. It is not only operators of
 > the countries where those languages are most spoken, that have
 > collateral effects from the status of the characters of those
 > languages in IDNA.

If a national orthographic authority, mandates the use of a prescribed 
character repertoire in situations relevant to our discussion, we'd 
better be darned certain that we have good reasons for providing that 
repertoire with partial support. The justification that the most clearly 
effected national TLD registries can't manage the consequences of, for 
example, supporting the final sigma, can't reasonably be maintained 
subsequent to those registries saying that they are aware of the 
intricacies can deal with them.

We can, of course, maintain that it is within the remit of this working 
group to require greater justification before we accept that reasoning. 
Just as long as we realize that it is within the remit of kings and 
presidents to seek recourse through normative agencies that are founded 
in governmental contexts. Punting this issue into the realm engineering 
concern with user confusion will not put us on ground safely free from 
political quicksand.


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