Proposed Charter for the IDNAbis Working Group

Mark Davis mark.davis at
Thu Mar 27 20:00:08 CET 2008

On Thu, Mar 27, 2008 at 11:30 AM, Paul Hoffman <phoffman at> wrote:

> 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.

I don't understand your point. What we have done in the Namely clause is to
spell out what is included. So to take the example cited earlier,
"improvements to bidi" are in the charter -- it says nothing about being
limited to a single label. Someone who argued that the charter didn't allow
looking at multiple labels wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

> 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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