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

Vint Cerf vint at google.com
Tue Apr 8 23:15:09 CEST 2008

It is believed that the first attempt in 2003 did not adequately deal  
with several key issues including Unicode version-independence.

The "public" reference is in some sense both a combination of more  
IETF involvement beyond the design team that has developed the IDs  
upon which it is expected the working group effort will be based and  
the general public to the extent that "last call" might engage  
parties in addition to the usual IETF participants. Please do note  
however that the design team believes it has consulted selectively  
among IETF and linguistic experts in the course of refining its  
proposal. It wishes to validate its work with a wider community.

If there is significant lack of consensus on the design team's  
drafts, we will certainly revisit schedule and possibly even charter.


On Apr 8, 2008, at 4:36 PM, Eric Brunner-Williams wrote:

> All,
> 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 drafts.
> 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.
> Eric
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