Proposed Charter for the IDNAbis Working Group

John C Klensin klensin at
Thu Mar 27 17:04:14 CET 2008

--On Wednesday, 26 March, 2008 09:17 -0700 Paul Hoffman
<phoffman at> wrote:

>> In
>> particular, IDNs continue to use the "xn--" prefix and the
>> same ASCII-compatible encoding, and the bidirectional
>> algorithm follows the same basic design.
> This is not true at all. The bidi algorithm in IDNA2003 was
> all about single labels standing on their own; the proposed
> changes in IDNA200x is about making full names present better.
> We can remove the last clause completely: it is already
> covered in the bulleted list earlier.


I think "same basic design" is correct.  The "look at the whole
domain name" requirement is one that I personally hope we can
avoid, regardless of whether "making full names display better"
is the motivation.  I certainly hope the WG will discuss the
tradeoffs between better display and full-name interactions (if,
in fact, that is the best way to state the issue) in depth.
However, I don't believe that the basic design is changed by
looking at adjacent labels, any more than I believe that a few
provisions of RFC 3490 make it fundamentally about full domain
names rather than labels.

I'm not convinced that removing that clause, or other
fine-tuning at that level, will help the WG successfully get to
work and move that work forward.  I am convinced that a lengthy
discussion of it will slow progress, if only because there
appears to be no reason of framework for releasing revised
documents that reflect list discussions before the WG is in
place.   So, if there is consensus that this should be removed
(or even that removing it is harmless), then I certainly have no
objection to taking it out.  

But I wish that we could confine charter discussions to
showstoppers and/or issues that would have a significant effect
on what the WG does and how it does it, rather than trying to
achieve perfection in every sentence.


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