Eszett and IDNAv2 vs IDNA2008

Erik van der Poel erikv at
Sun Mar 15 17:19:30 CET 2009

> The percentage of IE6 users who downloaded the VeriSign plug-in in
> order to access IDN-labeled resources was 100%.


Yes, but what percentage of the users that were redirected to the
plug-in download page actually downloaded it?

>> I'm not sure whether Eszett users are clamoring for IDNAbis. Perhaps
>> the Greeks are, but not because of Final Sigma. They want to solve
>> their tonos problem. And I have to agree that ZWJ/ZWNJ users seem to
>> be clamoring for IDNAbis.
> How on earth did IDNA2008 become a matter of providing support for this
> handful of code points?

I confess that I am overly focussed on this handful, primarily because
of compatibility issues.

Let's hope that if anybody creates plug-ins for IDNA2008, that they
implement them carefully and avoid further compatibility problems. The
IDNA2003 plug-ins exacerbated the Eszett/FinalSigma/ZWJ/ZWNJ problem
by performing those mappings on strings that are interchanged (HTML
hrefs), rather than limiting those mappings to the keyboard UI.

If IDNA2008 plug-ins start performing multiple lookups, we will
probably see HTML files start to take advantage of that. Then, when
the browser developers get around to implementing IDNA2008, they may
feel compelled to perform multiple lookups too, just to make those new
HTML files "work".

Of course, this WG's intention is to use multiple lookup as a
transition strategy, but if HTML files and Web sites that rely on the
"old" lookup don't disappear completely, the browser developers may
feel compelled to continue the multiple lookups, perhaps forever.
Programmers often add features, but are scared to remove features, for
fear of "breaking" something.

This is pretty common on the Web. The browsers are too lenient, and so
they end up having to support the Web sites and HTML files that take
advantage of that leniency forever.

Maybe I'm too pessimistic here, but I am quite concerned about multiple lookup.


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