Additional thoughts on TRANSITIONAL

Lisa Dusseault lisa.dusseault at
Fri Dec 4 23:41:25 CET 2009

On Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 8:38 AM, Erik van der Poel <erikv at> wrote:

> Well, then maybe it would be better to have a separate value called
> TRANSITIONAL, but registries must not register labels with
> TRANSITIONAL characters, and clients must not map them nor look them
> up. How does that sound?
I've been having trouble understanding how TRANSITIONAL characters that
could not be mapped or looked up by clients would help us out here.  (You're
not the only one Erik, I was just thinking of this offline)

If I understand correctly, Web browsers in particular visit a corpus of Web
pages with links that they would like to not only continue to support, but
also continue to resolve to the same host (absent other changes).  So on the
day that somebody upgrades to the new version of a browser with IDNA2008,
their link destinations for TRANSITIONAL characters do not change.

"Do not change" also means that the user doesn't suddenly start getting an
error trying to follow a link with a TRANSITIONAL character in the domain.

I agree that in some models, an error is better than going to an
indeterminate destination.  But only in some models.  To the user, upgrading
their browser and suddenly having links with ß in domains fail where it
succeeded the day before, does not seem like a real upgrade.

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