sharp s (Eszett)

Cary Karp ck at
Wed Mar 12 09:06:33 CET 2008

Quoting Ken Whistler:

> If IDNAbis introduces a forced distinction for ß from ss,
> then any application adapting IDN's will resolve *differently*
> for "maßlos" and "masslos", and the "maßlos" string will
> end up *not* resolving to the domain currently owned by
> Maßlos. This creates trouble for them, since they may end
> up having to acquire a new domain and redirecting. And/or it
> may create trouble for German registries, which would have
> to deal with a new situation. It general it seems to me it
> would be a world of hurt for any existing German domain
> name holder with an interest in ß.

"German registries" can be established on any level of the DNS and can
as easily be rooted in generic TLDs as they can in national TLDs.
(There are currently well over 1,000,000 second-level IDNs registered
in the gTLD name space, and in can be assumed that many of them include
IDNs on lower levels.) The holders of ss-names who would have preferred
to register ß-names, had it been possible under IDNA2003, do not need to
be injured if the latter alternative were now to be introduced.

One obvious expedient would be to offer ss-nameholders sunrise access
to the corresponding ß-names before the extended repertoire is released
for general registration. Thereafter opportunity for bundling could be
offered when either form is requested, or the registry could support
bundling transparently, or the registration of the one form could
block the autonomous delegation of the other to another nameholder.

No matter what happens in IDNAbis, quite a bit is still going to be
left to registry policy. I therefore think it might be wise to heed
closely the advice provided in John Klensin's most recent contribution
to this thread.

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