[Idna-arabicscript] Reasons for disallowing Arabic script digitmixing at the protocol level

Martin Duerst duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp
Wed Mar 11 07:32:37 CET 2009

Hello Alireza,

Thanks for providing some background information. I agree with you
that for each script, it's important to consider not only the needs
of the 'main' or 'nominal' language written in that script, but also
the needs of the (often very many and important) other languages.
This is a bit easier for example for 'Latin' (where the language
is long dead, but the script is extremely alive) than for some
other cases such as Arabic.

One specific question:

Your mail seems to imply that prohibiting Arabic script digit mixing
on the protocol level might create problems for some languages, maybe
in particular in Iran. Is this the case? Can you give examples?
Or are you simply thinking that the Arabic script digit mixing
problem can be solved on the registry level without any special
provisions in the protocol? (This would be my current position
based on the (admitedly limited) information that I have.)

Regards,   Martin.

At 07:23 09/03/11, Alireza Saleh wrote:
>Dear Ram,
>I am really shocked about the text you've sent to IETF as 'ASIWG consensus'.
>Let me explain:
>1. How was such consensus reached?! As far as I know, in the last two
>ASIWG meetings no representative of non-Arab language communities using
>the so-called Arabic script were present. In Cairo, Egypt did not issue us
>visas, and no ASIWG meeting was scheduled for Mexico, you just gathered
>whoever you could(all of them Arabic language speakers).
>2. We received a text from you this morning our time and before we could
>react, you send it to IETF as consensus.
>3. Let me point out for those who do not know, that Arabic-language
>speakers represent less than half of the population that uses Arabic
>script as native script.
>4. We have had hot discussions on ASIWG list about numerals without
>reaching consensus.
>5. The text you have sent lacks technical merit; the discussions in the
>IDNA list are well above this in technical detail and sophistication.
>There is nothing in the text that dictates a technical decision at the
>protocol level. All concerns expressed can be easily handled at the
>registry level.
>For the reference of the latest discussion about mixing digits please look 
>at idna-arabicscript mailing list archive for November of 2008
>Ram Mohan wrote:
>> As I wrote yesterday, attached to this note is output from the ASIWG 
>> (Arabic Script IDN Working Group)'s drafting team on Arabic script 
>> digit mixing.  The discussion centers on a "no digit mixing" 
>> philosophy to be implemented at the protocol level.
>> Inside the ASIWG, earlier discussions centered around whether 
>> disallowing digit mixing ought to be done at the protocol or the 
>> application level, considering the risk and potential for harm.  A 
>> final consensus is being worked on.
>> -ram
>> ------------------------------------------------------
>> Ram Mohan
>> email: rmohan at afilias.info <mailto:rmohan at afilias.info>
>> office: +1.215.706.5700 | fax: +1.215.706.5701
>> mobile: +1.215.431.0958
>> Skype: gliderpilot30
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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#-#-#  Martin J. Du"rst, Assoc. Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University
#-#-#  http://www.sw.it.aoyama.ac.jp       mailto:duerst at it.aoyama.ac.jp     

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