idna-mapping update

Patrik Fältström patrik at
Tue Dec 22 08:14:05 CET 2009

On 22 dec 2009, at 03.28, Kenneth Whistler wrote:

>> could that be a part of the effort proposed by Cary Karp?
> I would like to see a transition effort focussed on the
> important characters that people have a stake in -- notably
> the sharp-s and the final sigma, rather than deep-ending
> on a case-by-case examination of all the rest of this
> stuff.

I agree with this, and that is why I think the largest part of the work is to be done by ICANN. Reason for this is that the existing (old) guidelines already say that registries should take extreme care _before_ they allow registration of IDN domain names. Examples in numerous documents talk about issues with graphical characters etc (and implicitly say they should not be possible to register).

Even though this is told by ICANN, some registries have allowed registrations of _anything_ from IDNA2003, including graphics characters that will neither be PVALID, nor mappable to anything else. So ICANN already have to work in suggestions and recommendations on how to handle the characters that was recommended to "not be allowed to register", but people registered anyways.

Now, exactly how to do a sensible transition, or how to "help the end user" which is really what we talk about, I am confident the application developers do know this the best. They know the context, they have tons of information about the user, language context and what not. Of course this should surprise the user as little as possible, but I am sure there are some guidelines that can be written on what to do here and there.

I do not think TR46 is the correct path forward. Not because of the mappings, but that I think it is too conservative. Prolonging the change to having sharp s and final sigma as real characters will make things worse for the end users.

But, more importantly, TR46 is a Unicode Document. Not an IETF document. Discussions about that document should be in the proper venue. And Unicode Consortium just like ICANN is waiting for us in IETF to "just be done" so they (and W3C and whatever else) can do "their job".

I am pretty sure I think we have enough good text in the mappings document and in rationale. We talk about transition, we talk about mappings etc, but...I do not think IETF is the correct venue for that work.


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