IDNAbis Goals

Michael Everson everson at
Mon Nov 27 19:41:34 CET 2006


At 13:05 -0500 2006-11-27, Vint Cerf wrote:

>Plainly there will be differences of opinion as to what is "safe 
>enough" - the expressiveness of the characters permitted in IDNs 
>should not, in my opinion, be required to have the same degree of 
>expressiveness as one would expect in natural written languages. 
>These are, after all, computer-based identifiers, technically 

Certainly, you are right; these are identifiers. But could you expand 
on what you mean by "expressiveness"? From my point of view, when I 
have raised concerns, they have really only been based in a sense of 
ensuring that languages can be represented pretty much normally. With 
their consonants and vowels. GERESH/GERSHAYM and ETHIOPIC WORD SPACE 
are edge cases here (but script-specific edge-cases so not, it would 
seem, problematic).

>Plainly we want them to have some linguistic value in the sense that 
>they are memorable, but the presence of search, cut/paste, and 
>directories suggests that perfect memorability is less critical 
>than, say, global interoperability.

I just wonder if you had any examples about what you mean here.

I have to say that since this morning the content of the discussion 
has made me a lot more hopeful that things are improving.

>I hope no one reads this and thinks I am deliberately short-changing 
>the expressiveness side of the equation but I am deeply concerned 
>that we appreciate the intended utility of IDNs compared to general 
>multilingual discourse.

Well, I am sure no one thinks that smart quotes should be included... 
but from what I have seen most of what has been discussed has been 
related to basic language alphabets.

Best regards,
Michael Everson *

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