AW: Eszett and IDNAv2 vs IDNA2008

Shawn Steele (???) Shawn.Steele at
Fri Mar 13 21:25:35 CET 2009

> Second, your notes and comments keep assuming that "ss" and "ß"
> are simply different display forms of the same thing.  They are
> not.

My German is really bad, but I think I understand the difference.  Despite the difference, ss is sometimes used instead of ß, even in Germany where it is linguistically incorrect.  I believe there should be little difficulty finding both examples on street signs within Germany.

I certainly agree that if my name were spelled "Weiß", then I'd be pretty picky about not using "Weiss".  However if it were my business name, I certainly would want both Weiss and Weiß to go to my web server.  Same way I'd want bü and to go to the same place.  I think you'll find that many string comparisons would also return them as equal, particularly in German locales, even on differing OS's.

I am certainly not going to argue that words SHOULD be spelled with ss instead of ß.  Obviously that is wrong, or at least clutzy.  I do think that it is a subset of a bigger display problem.  None of the information about the mappings in IDNA2003 is retained.

How come nobody has insisted that and fuß should be discrete names?  I'd be happier about ß being unique if there was a convincing argument for that.  If fussball should be treated the same, whether or not it is proper spelling, then making ß unique causes the same problem as the Greek Tonos does for Greek (and for that matter any of the umlaut characters in German).

For the record, I'm not arguing back-compat because I'm too lazy to fix IE7/IE8.  Were there no IDNA2003 I'd probably make the same arguments about ß.  Sure, it is not the same as ss, but it is related.


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