WG Review: Internationalized Domain Names in Applications (Revised) (idnabis)

Eric Brunner-Williams ebw at abenaki.wabanaki.net
Tue Apr 8 22:36:23 CEST 2008


Reading the opening paragraphs of the proposed WG's charter I have the 
impression that the intent is to remove version dependency from a 
versioned external reference, while maintaining the dependency upon the 
external reference.

I also understand, perhaps incorrectly, that while the prior WG 
eventually adopted the external reference, and a process of exclusion of 
entries clearly suited to the original purpose of the authors of that 
reference, and unsuited to the problem domain of character manipulation 
the proposed process is inclusive, motivated by an observation of the IAB.

Turning to the "additional goals" section, I am puzzled by the inclusion 
of provisioning  (the processes (note the plural) by which some possibly 
proper subsets of the universe of all possible strings are produced as 
entries in zone files (or their functional equivalents)), in particular, 
some temporal and presentation associations of production rules on 
string sets, and publication (resolution and (mercifully obsoleted) 
whois) of fully produced strings. I'd no idea that the requirements for 
production were specific to either provisioning or publication.

Granted, its listed as an "additional goal", but the necessity, 
sufficiency, or utility is absent, or I lack the necessary information 
to understand the case for "separate requirements".

I'm very skeptical about the utility of an activity called a working 
group (in the usual IETF senses of the term and process) and "... 
providing extended public review of the output of a design team that has 
been working on improvement of the IDNA specifications."

 From my perspective, which I expect is shared by no one else, the core 
choices of the original WG -- adopting a single external reference, 
solving for "in-applications", the inability resolve the problem of 
equivalencies between character sets via intermediate tables, implying a 
role in originating, or maintaining, a character repertoire, arose from 
a variety of assumptions, each believed by the majority to be valid at 
the time, but each severally, and in aggregate, with significant 
unresolved complications.

I've no idea what "IETF visibility" is intended to convey, but I hope it 
means that implementors of the resulting text(s), that is, registry 
operators and their system suppliers who implement two or more 
independent implementations of the IETF's work product in this area, 
have been the primary authors of the proposed WG's charter and initial 

I don't mind that the IETF continues in the direction it chose in 2003, 
and the WGLC and LC dates are reasonable if the design team got it right 
the first time, however, if alternative scenario does come to pass, they 
are not.


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