Archaic scripts

Shawn Steele Shawn.Steele at
Thu May 8 21:49:00 CEST 2008

> On the cuneiform point, only a handful of people worldwide have
> keyboards set up to type those letters, and only a further handful have
> fonts to display them. Even if that small group wants to set up a
> website about cuneiform (entirely possible) that doesn't mean it
> requires a cuneiform domain name - and, in fact, if it had one, it would
> significantly restrict its readership.

> If cuneiform gets in, IMO it would be a sign that the process is still
> broken in the way outlined above.

And IMO if those few users would also like a name in cuneiform, then that should be permitted.  Of course it'd only be usable by a few people, but many other small groups have web sites in a friendly-to-them form that they only expect a few people to use.

The only way I'd think cuneiform should be disallowed would be if it were somehow insecure and it certainly doesn't seem more confusable than say, Chinese.  Or ASCII for that matter.

I think our task is to enable users, not to judge whether or not their need is "worthy".

> For example:

> John Heise is one of the handful of people around the world who
> could actually be expected to be able to write Akkadian
> *in cuneiform*. But the chances that he would register a cuneiform
> domain name for this site and move his material there, dooming it
> to restricted readership, is basically zero.

And if he could have another CNAME record in cuneiform in addition to the ASCII record?  Or perhaps an A record in cuneiform with a more usable CNAME for the other visitors?  Frankly, if I were that interested in the script, I'd add the extra record.  Is it usable to 99.9999% of the users out there?  No.  Is it possibly interesting to a small number of users? Perhaps.  The web would be a lot smaller if sites had to interest (or worse yet, be useful to) even 1% of the users in general.

- Shawn

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