WG Review: Internationalized Domain Name (idn)

Ted Hardie hardie at qualcomm.com
Wed Mar 5 05:20:44 CET 2008

At 5:05 PM -0800 3/4/08, Lisa Dusseault wrote:
>Unicode experts have been participating in the work already, so this
>is even closer cooperation than having a liaison.  If there turns out
>to be a need for a liaison, can IAB/liaisons/ADs/chairs do lazy
>evaluation then on whether the IETF liaison can/will handle it or if
>the WG needs to create one?

I think you're missing the bigger question, probably because I asked it
poorly.  As it stands now, the charter posted has a presumptive course
for its update, but appears to have significant wiggle room.  To succeed,
I believe the charter has to be either nailed down or the mechanisms
to handle the wiggles put in place.  The big question is which do you
want to do?  Nail it down or give it the time and wiggle room to go
in different directions as the work evolves?  If the answer is "nail it down"
and the input documents are this close to baked, why are you chartering
a working group at all?

> >> Additional goals:
>>> - Separate requirements for valid IDNs at registration time,
>>> vs. at resolution time
>> I think you need to define what "resolution time" means here.
>> For better or worse, IDNs now appear in authority sections of
>> URIs and not all of those are resolved at all.  If what you mean
>> is "Separate requirements for valid IDNs in registration contexts,
>> in identifiers, and in relation to the wire format of DNS", then I
>> think  you need three categories.
>That's quite possible.  Is that level of detail required in the
>charter?  I don't think there's consensus pre-WG about how to make
>requirements for IDNs in identifiers, but this is something a WG
>could reasonably tackle within the context of this charter -- in fact
>it's something that would be hard to decide how to approach before
>having a WG.

If a goal of the working group is to separate the requirements
for IDNs in different context, then setting out what contexts are
to be considered is needed.  If  you said "Separate requirements
for  IDNs in different contexts" the amount of the play in the
rope is way too high (people could argue that IDNs in specific
application protocols posed unique requirements, down
which path madness lies).

> >>
>>> The WG will work to ensure practical stability of the validity
>>> algorithms for IDNs (whether based on character properties or
>>> inclusion/exclusion lists).
>> This is ambiguous.  If this is meant to say that the WG can decide
>> after starting its work that it must abandon the character properties
>> design direction and go to inclusion/exclusion lists, then the
>> statement
>> above giving design direction needs to be changed.  If this is meant
>> to say "backwards compatibility with X" what X is is not clear here.
>I think you're suggesting removing the parenthetical from the charter
>sentence.  Question for others: does that lose something important?
>If so how can that be made compatible with the design direction  that
>the charter suggests the WG needs to verify?

No, that wasn't what I meant.  I mean that this charter isn't clear
about whether the WG must ensure 1) the practical stability of
the result of validity algorithms whether old (lists) or new (properties)
or 2) that the validity alogrithms it creates must be stable no matter
on what approach they are based.  Just removing the parenthetical phrase
leaves a larger ambiguity (the validity algorithms...which ones?).

I hope this second comment is clearer than first,


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