Archaic scripts (was: Re: New version: draft-ietf-idna-tables-01.txt)

Cary Karp ck at
Thu May 8 22:24:06 CEST 2008

Quoting Ken:

> Because it is extinct (as a writing system, pace John).
> Because it isn't *useful* for IDNs.
> Because nobody is clamoring for it for use in IDNs.
> Because nobody *will* be clamoring for it for use in IDNs.
> Because it is "hen-scratching" that all the zones will end up
>     disallowing anyway.
> Because even *if* there were a functioning Iraqi registry,
>     even *they* would disallow it.

If these assertions were all true for all archaic scripts I suppose the
discussion would be over. I am prepared to stipulate that they may be
true for some of them but it does not follow from that, that they are
true for all of them.

> And what is the reason for suddenly removing the list of
> exceptions that were (correctly) filtering out all these
> useless (for IDNs) historic characters? Suddenly the onus
> is on me to prove they *are* useless, instead of on somebody
> else to demonstrate why IDNs *need* cuneiform?

I don't think it would be difficult to elicit expert statements
supporting the utility of including runic script in the IDN repertoire.
Although it might not qualify as clamoring in the sense intended above,
I further suspect that those statements would clearly enough indicate
interest in actually using the script in IDNs, for it to be a blunder
on our part to dismiss any script without giving it due individual

> if this kind of thing also needs to be codified as a character
> property, then it seems to me the UTC could find a way to come up
> with a property Historic_Obsolete_Inappropriate_For_Identifier
> or whatever, just as well, that would match the contents of
> Table 4 in UAX #31.

Why not peg this to appropriateness instead?  Or more purposefully
still -- as we actually all do seem prepared to accept -- leave it up
to individual registries to address this on the policy level.


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