Shawn Steele Shawn.Steele at
Tue Dec 1 18:33:01 CET 2009

All I'm saying is that when someone uses a domain name it MUST go the same place as when anyone else does it.

I'm not saying they have to sort in the same order or assign any other fixed linguistic behavior, but we MUST have consistency in the mappings.  Otherwise a Turkish user can't get to MICROSOFT.COM to troubleshoot why their caps-lock key is stuck.


From: idna-update-bounces at [idna-update-bounces at] on behalf of Eric Brunner-Williams [ebw at]
Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 7:37 AM
To: Andrew Sullivan
Cc: idna-update at
Subject: Re: Mapping?

Andrew Sullivan wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 01, 2009 at 01:45:14AM +0000, Shawn Steele wrote:
>> Assuming the rules are applied consistently, then they would be
>> clearly understood by all.
> Hold on.  I think that what you say there is _exactly_ what the
> IDNA2008 work was chartered to address, because it's false.
> A basic fact of human-computer interfaces is that the humans bring
> with them a bunch of assumptions, and those assumptions vary somewhat
> depending on thier cultural background.  In the case of IDNA, the
> relevant cultural pieces involve their languages.
> Nobody is trying to make domain name labels into language (well, maybe
> Jefsey's disciples are, but leave that aside),

Unfortunately, to that set the persons who assert that labels formed
from characters taken from Arabic Script must be "words" must be added.

So, Jefsey's disciples and a plurality of a vendor's forum, and I'd
greatly prefer if it was just Jefsey's disciples. I don't know of any
other organized group of "label to non-label" advocates attempting to
change label semantics.

  but we have to be
> realistic and understand that the utility and ease of a given set of
> labels is going to be heavily conditioned by the socio-linguistic
> background of the person.  But what that means, of course, is that the
> rules _are not_ applied consistently, because different
> socio-linguistic contexts have subtly different rules for what turn
> out to be "the same character".

"8" collates with "w" and "ou", or between "7" and "9", depending on
whether one reads and writes in common Eastern Algonquin
orthographies, or not, and even then, whether it is constextually a
digit, or a workaround for a missing character.

Insisting that there is only one correct, and therefore, properly
consistent, rule, is not useful.

> If you now want to insist that rules have to be applied consistently
> across all these contexts, then what you're really doing is rejecting
> the basis for the IDNA2008 work.  That's ok, but that's quite a bit
> different from quibbling over how particular characters are to be
> handled.
> A



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