Basic IDN assumptions (was: Re: The Future of IDNA)

Lisa Dusseault lisa.dusseault at
Fri Mar 20 17:40:36 CET 2009

Hi John,

On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 10:37 PM, John C Klensin <klensin at> wrote:

> (3)  Whatever one does with IDNA, it can't be protocol specific,
> optimized to work with the web and less satisfactory, or relying
> on different mechanisms, for other applications.

You identify this as a basic assumption.  Can you elaborate?

HTTP is special due to its scale, dependence on URLs in HTML, its
server control over display.  Email and, to a lesser extent, any
popular federated communication tool, is special too -- getting so
many new domains in address headers from one home server that accepts
message delivery.

Why couldn't we do addons to the Web or email infrastructure that
helped users deal with IDNAs?  Isn't that kind of work very likely at
some point -- e.g. how to do searches and filters on an IMAP server
where IDNA hostnames might appear in addresses?

Further, the kinds of things we might imagine doing in Web server info
files or in IMAP searches might have an effect on what we do in IDNA

I wonder if the confusion is in "whatever one does with IDNA", if you
mean something specific with that or really "whatever".


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