RE: Mississippi Hißes

Alexander Mayrhofer alexander.mayrhofer at
Fri Dec 18 11:24:31 CET 2009


I do certainly agree to the points you mentioned below. Registries are complex beasts subject not just to to technical, but also to administrative and juridical constraints, of which some are extremely hard to change, because changing a registry means not just writing a bit of software and deploying it, but also changes the whole "delivery chain" down to the registrars. 

So for each change that is performed on the registry side, hundreds of registrars have also to change their systems, processes, internal+customer documentation, manifolding the effort (which is also why registry changes are totally unpopular with registrars).

It's similar to when the EU or the TSA changes flight security regulations...


> -----Original Message-----
> From: John C Klensin [mailto:klensin at] 
> Sent: Sunday, December 13, 2009 9:43 PM
> To: Patrik Fältström; Alexander Mayrhofer
> Cc: gerv at; Shawn Steele; Kenneth Whistler; 
> idna-update at
> Subject: Re: Mississippi Hißes
> --On Sunday, December 13, 2009 21:14 +0100 Patrik Fältström
> <patrik at> wrote:
> > I think it helps to have some kind of bundling at the time of
> > registration. If then later the registrants "do funky stuff"
> > (a multitude of things comes to mind), then the registry can
> > not prohibit that.
> Patrik,
> As I indicated in my earlier note (which crossed yours on the
> net), registration-time checks for label variants and taking of
> registration-time action on that basis is going to be lots more
> reasonable and practical for many registries than long-term
> bundling.
> But, if we get to what the registry can and cannot prohibit,
> most kinds of "funky stuff" can certainly be prohibited if that
> is actually desired (and important enough).  It is a _lot_ of
> work because, to do so effectively, the registry databases must
> have mechanisms for treating the "variant bundle" as a group,
> for treating every registration or transfer in terms of the
> variant bundles it might interact with and those variant bundles
> it might create.  That grouping must include, e.g., database
> mechanisms that prevent transferring registration of one name in
> the bundle without transferring all of the others.  And those
> mechanisms, in turn, need escape mechanisms for, e.g., judicial
> orders that might break up the bundle.  One also needs policy
> and dispute resolution mechanisms for degrees of relationship
> among domain name holders, variant bundles that might overlap,
> policies about whether the "owner" of a bundle is permitted to
> delegate them separately to different servers and whether the
> zone files for the delegated domains are required to be
> associated or similar in any particular ways, and so on.
> It is a very big deal to convert or configure a registry to work
> that way.  Personally, I have trouble believing that a registry
> would want to do it for only one or two sets of characters,
> especially so when just a few characters are involved and there
> might be reasons for treating them as separate (by contrast with
> Sharp-S and "ss", I can imagine no circumstances in a Chinese
> context under which one would want to treat a Simplified Chinese
> character and the corresponding Traditional one as different).
> But we do have worked examples of its having been done, and done
> at fairly large scale, so this is really another example of why
> the registries should (and will, IMO) make their own decisions
> and of why the IETF would be overreaching by trying to create a
> "one size fits all" policy that tells registries what to do
> independent of local considerations and decisions.
>     john

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