Wikidna team final report

Dominique Lacroix domi.lacroix at
Thu Sep 24 15:52:20 CEST 2009

Le 22 sept. 09 à 12:00, Andrew Sullivan a écrit :

> Date: Tue, 22 Sep 2009 09:55:36 -0400
> From: Andrew Sullivan <ajs at>
> Subject: Re: Wikidna team final report
> To: idna-update at
> Message-ID: <20090922135536.GB4450 at>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 01:06:18PM +0200, Dominique Lacroix wrote:
>> After thinking, are you sure, dear Gervase, that such an argument (25
>> years of use) is an effective one to demonstrate that a choice is the
>> right one?
> Depends on what you mean by "right".  If by "right" you mean, "Does
> not require retraining every user on the Internet to convince them
> that they need to have a completely new idea about how Internet names
> work," then I'd say yes, it is an effective argument.

In the frame of a working group that IS changing how Internet names  
work, and in the context of new TLDs that probably will appear soon,  
this argument seems strange.
And overall, for 25 years, users ARE USED to perpetual changes in the  
Internet, and need to always learn and train.

> If by "right" you mean, "Causes Internet naming to correspond to some
> ideas I have about how spelling works in a particular environment,"
> then of course it is not an effective argument.

The idea I pointed out is not a personal view.
You seem to say: "Domains names are not names, domain names use words  
but they are not words."
Please allow me to feel a little doubt.

If you deal with words and languages, you cannot avoid linguistic  
Great differences appear between computing rules and linguistic ones:
- Linguistics recognize the great role of users: linguistic  
researchers don't invent rules, they have to discover them in the  
users exchanges and in the languages life.
- Computing likes univalent signs (one label must mean precise IP  
address), linguistics recognize that languages are the kingdom of  
ambiguity and change.

A smart case in that field in Wikipedia's choice:
They could have said: "First-come, first-served". They could have sold  
words in auctions.
Instead, they integrated homonymy and homophony.
That's why their work goes better and better. And, with a distributed  
organization, they can pretend to a good level of universality.

Present DNS and Internet are remarkable US style realizations. I like  
and admire them.
But unless some changes, the more users they meet, the less universal  
they are.

> In any case, as I once read in a message from Scott Morris,
> "Unfortunately reformatting the Internet is a little more painful than
> reformatting your hard drive when it gets out of whack."
>> In French, we say: "fait accompli". I'm sure you understand it.
> From my point of view, the problem seems to be that you and your
> colleagues do not.

Nice answer. You made me smile.  A point for you.

Funny. But not exact. Things will probably change, despite of that  
"fait accompli". And perhaps partly because of it.

"Your colleagues": I presume you speak about some other contributors  
of this list.
I never met any one of them (except 1, I crossed once during 5 minutes  
in a public meeting). We don't share neither the same job, nor the  
same employer, nor the same association, nor the same working group  
(except this one).
If you form your opinion in such fast and approximative ways, I  
understand you don't wish a real and loyal discussion.
So, with my regrets, we cannot discuss together about quality of  
Never mind.

Kind regards,

Dominique Lacroix

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