Historic scripts as MAYBE?

Cary Karp ck at nic.museum
Mon Apr 28 15:50:37 CEST 2008

Quoting John:

> Disallowing these scripts is very serious business, especially
> given the question of how safe and easy, or not, it is to move
> things from Disallowed to Protocol-Valid.  If we had MAYBE, that
> might be fine, but the costs of having/ re-introducing MAYBE are
> high enough that I hope you aren't suggesting it just for this
> handful of scripts (although it certainly is not impossible).  
> However, what I think is more important is that, in a world in
> which one of the oft-cited justifications for IDNs is linguistic
> and cultural preservation and restoration, classification of a
> script as archaic by the Unicode Consortium may or may not be
> appropriate from the standpoint of UNESCO or various
> anthropological and archeological communities.
> In particular and keeping in mind that, as I don't need to remind
> you, we need to design for IDNs are all levels of the DNS tree, if
> one were a research institute dedicated to one of the cultures that
> use one of these languages, it would be perfectly reasonable to assign
> host names in them even with no primary-language users of the
> script for centuries. 

In my day-job environment runic script is an essential component of the
description of the living cultural landscape, as well as archaeological
discourse about its origin. Although I can't assess the extent to
which runic script currently appears in domain names identifying
corresponding Net-based resources, it has been available for that
purpose from the outset of IDNA. It might be one thing if we were
talking about its introduction, but we are not.

> It also seems to me that, in the general case, the letters,
> combining marks, and digits of "archaic" scripts are no more
> likely to be harmful than the letters, combining marks, and
> digits of ones that see more contemporary usage.   Excluding
> them would be a perfectly reasonable candidate for a registry
> restriction. I would imagine that no registry with a very large
> registration scope and a good sense of balance and
> responsibility would want to permit them.  But such registry
> restrictions are a very different situation from disallowing the
> scripts.

Just so.


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