Consensus so far on IDN(A)

Lisa Dusseault lisa at
Wed Mar 5 02:56:11 CET 2008

I've seen just around 10 responses to the external review, plus can  
count input prior to the external review.  These lead me to conclude  
so far that there is support for forming a WG, and there may even be  
support for forming this particular WG around this charter with some  
changes :)

In particular:
  - rough consensus to change WG name -- probably to IDNABIS
  - a few suggestions to clarify text
  - some concerns about backwards compatibility, which are obviously  
valid concerns ( but I haven't seen how we could do much in a  
charter, and propose to deal with those tradeoffs in WG if a WG is  
  - issues in wording of a couple goals, still need to deal with
  - issues around milestones, realism thereof

The charter will need to go around the circle again, officially or  
unofficially, and I'm still welcoming input.


On Feb 26, 2008, at 9:57 AM, The IESG wrote:

> A new IETF working group has been proposed in the Applications  
> Area.  The
> IESG has not made any determination as yet.  The following draft  
> charter
> was submitted, and is provided for informational purposes only.   
> Please
> send your comments to the IESG mailing list (iesg at by  
> March 4,
> 2008.
> Internationalized Domain Name (idn)
> =============================
> Last modified: 2008-02-18
> Current Status: Proposed Working Group
> Chair(s):
> Applications Area Directors:
> Lisa Dusseault (ldusseault at
> Chris Newman (Chris.Newman at
> Applications Area Advisor:
> Lisa Dusseault (ldusseault at
> Mailing List:
> General Discussion: idna-update at
> To Subscribe:
> Archive:
> Description:
> The original Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) WG set the
> requirements for international characters in domain names in
> RFC 3454, RFC3490, RFC3491 and RFC3492 in 2002. These documents
> were tied to Unicode version 3.2 and an update to the current
> version (5.x) is required to accommodate additional scripts.
> In addition, experience has shown a number of real or perceived
> defects or inadequacies with the protocol. Some of them are
> described in an IAB review (RFC4690), which also provides a good
> introduction to the subject matter.
> IDNA is currently tied to an obsolete version of Unicode. This WG
> is chartered to untie IDNA from specific versions of Unicode using
> algorithms that define validity based on Unicode properties. It is
> recognized that some explicit exceptions may be necessary in any
> case, but attempts would be made to minimize these exceptions.
> Additional goals:
> - Separate requirements for valid IDNs at registration time,
> vs. at resolution time
> - Revise bi-directional algorithms to produce a deterministic
> answer whether a label is allowed or not
> - Determine whether bi-directional algorithm should allow
> additional mnemonics labels
> - Permit effective use of some scripts that were
> inadvertently excluded by the original protocols.
> The constraints of the original IDN WG still apply, namely to
> avoid disturbing the current use and operation of the domain
> name system, and for the DNS to continue to allow any system
> to resolve any domain name. The basic approach of the original
> IDN work will be maintained -- substantially new protocols or
> mechanisms are not in scope. In particular, IDNs continue to
> use the "xn--" prefix and the same ASCII-compatible encoding,
> and the bidirectional algorithm follows the same basic design.
> The WG will work to ensure practical stability of the validity
> algorithms for IDNs (whether based on character properties or
> inclusion/exclusion lists).
> The work is currently organized into four deliverables, all
> Standards Track. The WG will verify that it has consensus
> to adopt the proposed documents as a starting point. The
> Overview document with explanation and rationale is intended
> for Standards Track status because it has definitions and
> other normative text required by the other documents. The
> protocol specification explains how to map non-ASCII
> characters into ASCII DNS labels. It relies normatively on
> two other documents that are separate for readability: the
> bidirectional algorithm specification and the character
> validity tables. The validity of characters in IDNs is
> almost exclusively based on Unicode properties but is
> organized as tables and categories for readability.
> Goals and milestones:
> Mar 08: WG Last Call for Overview/Rationale document
> Apr 08: Revised Overview/Rationale document
> Apr 08: WG Last Call for Protocol, Bidi and Tables documents
> May 08: Revised Protocol, Bidi and Tables documents
> May 08: Review Overview document again if needed
> Jul 08: Request for publication for all documents
> Documents:

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