Additional thoughts on TRANSITIONAL

Erik van der Poel erikv at
Fri Dec 4 21:21:36 CET 2009

If the current drafts of IDNAbis and TR46 were published as RFCs and a
UTS, respectively, which would MSIE implement? They treat the infamous
4 characters differently.

(Maybe I'm pushing too hard and should stay out of this conflict
between IETF and Unicode. Maybe I should go back to
reverse-engineering the browsers and see what actually happens in the
real world. I am very, very tired of this WG process.)


On Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 11:59 AM, Shawn Steele
<Shawn.Steele at> wrote:
> ??? I wasn't suggesting that IE would avoid the standard.  I'm saying it will take a while.  FF, Safari, Chrome & Opera don't patch previous versions, they expect users to install the latest & greatest versions.  IE does too, but you can see from the adoption rates that it's difficult to get everyone moved very quickly.
> In particular I very much advocate standards, so I'm a bit surprised by your remark.  Just to be clear:  None of my positions have been just because that's what I think is "easy" for IE.  I am well-known within the company for arguing what's right for the end-user, regardless of how difficult it is on our existing code base.
> I can't patch IDN and get it to all our customers in a month or two, it's just not possible.
> -Shawn
> ________________________________________
> From: Erik van der Poel [erikv at]
> Sent: Friday, December 04, 2009 11:48 AM
> To: Shawn Steele
> Cc: Andrew Sullivan; Gervase Markham; idna-update at
> Subject: Re: Additional thoughts on TRANSITIONAL
> In the past, we have seen browsers like Firefox, Safari, Chrome and
> Opera implement various specs rather than trying to be 100% compatible
> with MSIE. I wonder if this (IDNAbis) is one of those occasions where
> Firefox will stick to the "official" spec (IETF), hoping to eventually
> drag MSIE, kicking and screaming, into the "modern age"? Gerv?
> Anybody?
> Erik
> On Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 11:26 AM, Shawn Steele
> <Shawn.Steele at> wrote:
>> Just sent, but I think transitional that breaks current IDNA2003 sites that work is really bad.  I also think anything that builds-in a delay of 5-10 years to get correct language support is also really bad.
>> -Shawn
>> ________________________________________
>> From: Erik van der Poel [erikv at]
>> Sent: Friday, December 04, 2009 11:11 AM
>> To: Andrew Sullivan; Shawn Steele; Gervase Markham
>> Cc: idna-update at
>> Subject: Re: Additional thoughts on TRANSITIONAL
>> Yes, I'm hoping that we are willing to explore different ways out of
>> this mess. We currently have two different proposals for IDNA:
>> In particular, I'd like to hear from Microsoft and Firefox folks, on
>> their thoughts regarding the TRANSITIONAL ideas.
>> Erik
>> On Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 10:58 AM, Andrew Sullivan <ajs at> wrote:
>>> On Fri, Dec 04, 2009 at 09:16:02AM -0800, Erik van der Poel wrote:
>>>> some point in the future, when there is consensus that it is the right
>>>> time (and the right thing to do).
>>> Perhaps I'm am growing cynical with age, but given the difficulty of
>>> converging now, I have doubts about the chances of converging in the
>>> future, when there is even more deployed stuff depending on existing
>>> behaviour.  Still, it might work, and I'm by no means saying no.  Any
>>> route out of this twisty little maze of arguments, all repeated, is
>>> one I'm willing to explore.
>>> A
>>> --
>>> Andrew Sullivan
>>> ajs at
>>> Shinkuro, Inc.
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Idna-update mailing list
>>> Idna-update at

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