Proposed Charter for the IDNAbis Working Group

Paul Hoffman phoffman at
Thu Mar 27 19:30:38 CET 2008

At 1:53 PM -0400 3/27/08, Vint Cerf wrote:
>it seems to me that what is more important than whether there are 
>disagreements among the design team is what the specifications they 
>have produced actually say.

If the disagreements among the design team are not important, than 
the following part of the proposed charter (when a re-charter would 
be needed) does not make sense:
    (iii) A change to the basic approach taken in the design
    team documents (Namely: a protocol that is independent of Unicode
    versions, that removes any character mapping in the
    protocol, and that has improvements to the bidi algorithm).
Assume that the WG says "let's change this part of the original 
documents". One team member says "that's a change to the basic 
approach; recharter" and a different team member says "that's not a 
basic change; continue". This section of the charter falls over.

Either there is agreement among the design team about everything that 
is "the basic approach", or the above paragraph is a recipe for 
procedural morass.

>The basic action in the WG at the outset is to obtain broader review 
>of the text of these documents to determine whether it is agreed 
>that these specifications represent an improvement in framework and 
>formulation for IDNs than the earlier effort. what I would have 
>thought is of more interest is the text of the documents and less 
>the text of the now much-massaged charter?

It sounds like you haven't been active in many IETF WGs for the past 
few years. The IESG, and many process wonks, consider the charter to 
be worthy of spending huge amounts of time agonizing over. Having a 
charter that has a "recharter if" clause that is fragile is a good 
way to delay finishing the work we want to do.

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