AW: AW: AW: sharp s (Eszett)

William Tan dready at
Tue Mar 18 02:41:16 CET 2008

On Mon, Mar 17, 2008 at 7:36 PM, John C Klensin <klensin at> wrote:
>  Absolutely.   This gives the registry some choices:
>         (i) They can decide to prohibit registration of
>         "maßlos", either by prohibiting that particular string
>         (because "masslos" is already registered) or by
>         prohibiting any registration containing "ß".  A user
>         who type "Maß" into an updated application will
>         therefore get a "not found" error and will then either
>         have to guess at "" or will be off in search
>         of a search engine or other aid.

This might have been a viable option had IDNA2003 allowed "ß" as a
separate character. However, because the character is "resolvable"
under IDNA2003, it seems (at least to me personally) to be
unacceptable to take it away from the registrant (though IDNA2003 gave
it for free.) This is the only difference in the policy registries
have to make between then (if "ß" was available in IDNA2003) and now
(if "ß" is now allowed as a lookup key.)

>         (ii) They can create a variant model about registrations
>         of both "masslos" and "Maßlos" or can create a
>         "sunrise" model for the existing registrant of
>         "masslos".   For better or worse, we have a lot of
>         experience with both of those options.

Yes, that can be done. Given that we will break backwards
compatibility if we start treating "ß" as a distinct character in
IDNA200X, this seems to be the most fitting band-aid for the wound.

>  Neither of those options is exactly earth-shaking, although, as
>  several of us have suggested, input from the relevant registries
>  would be a useful part of our discussions.

Agreed. It would also be useful to have some usage numbers of how many
"ß" hyperlinks there are in the wild that we would be breaking by
making this change.


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