The Future of IDNA

Andrew Sullivan ajs at
Fri Mar 20 00:01:10 CET 2009

On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 03:30:25PM -0700, Erik van der Poel wrote:
> You haven't shown that they're equally important.

That places the burden of proof the wrong way.  You want to introduce
a restriction to the protocol (called "mapping").  I argue that
someone could easily prefer a different restriction in some other
zone, and therefore this is a policy decision that needs not to be in
the protocol.  It's often true that it would be more convenient for
someone to include that person's policy in the protocol; that
protocol-determined policy then comes at the cost of someone else's
preference.  I don't need to show they're equally important; I merely
need to show that there's a legitimate alternative preference available.
> But seriously, the DNS is often used for names and words, and we're

But it _doesn't_ use names and words.  They're labels.  Often they're
not words.  "ns01" is not, I assert, a word, but it's a very common label.

> trying to internationalize the DNS. Why would we pay as much attention
> to folks that want to distinguish Final and Normal Sigma in some
> mathematical formula (if that is even a desire)? The DNS is not for
> mathematical formulae, and it is not for novels either.

It's not for words, either.  It's for identifiers.  Which could, in
some cases, be distinguishable on the basis of this distinction.

> > think have been outlined at length.  If you think those arguments for
> > the problems are wrong, that's a different matter).
> Why is that a different matter?

Because you haven't established that those arguments are wrong.  I
haven't seen a solid argument yet that the initial problems which
inspired the IDNAbis work are not still compelling.  My reading of
Paul Hoffman's draft is that there are too many negatives involved in
the trade, and therefore we shouldn't do it, and not that the original
diagnosis was wrong.

> What remains to be done is to create some kind of forum where
> interested parties can lobby for addition or removal of mappings.
> Whether that forum operates by "rough consensus" or voting is another
> matter.

Lobby whom?  On what basis are these lobbied people to decide?  How
are we going to count the votes?  Who gets to vote or determine
consensus?  That sounds to me like a suggestion that we move from the
frying pan into the core of a thermonuclear reaction. 

Andrew Sullivan
ajs at
Shinkuro, Inc.

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