Distributed configuration of "private" IDNA (Re: IDNA and getnameinfo() and getaddrinfo())

Nicolas Williams Nicolas.Williams at oracle.com
Thu Jun 17 23:03:40 CEST 2010

On Thu, Jun 17, 2010 at 04:57:28PM -0400, Andrew Sullivan wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 17, 2010 at 03:39:43PM -0500, Nicolas Williams wrote:
> > It does.  However, there's no way that anyone will bother making
> > getaddrinfo(), DNS resolver, and application implementations that
> > actually know when to send A-labels versus when to send something else,
> > much less what that something else ought to be.
> I think this is probably right.

Good, then we can focus on moving forward with IDNA2008 :)

> > DNS can't work interoperably with multiple IDN rulesets for the simple
> > reason that to do so would require code to decide amongst IDN rules to
> > apply in context-specific manners.  
> Right.  See John Klensin's previous remarks about this: in small
> communities of well-known behaviour, your favourite encoding as octets
> in the zone work fine.  But given that we have multiple different
> encodings, we surely do have a problem.  It's nevertheless simply too
> late to say that the only thing anyone is allowed to put in a DNS zone
> is an A-label.  We don't get to reformat the Internet like that.  The
> DNS rules were established a long time ago, so there _is_ non-A-label
> data in zone files already.

I'm not sure you can even get this to work in tiny environments, since
soon enough most operating systems and applications will implement

> > If you really, really want this to work, then start thinking about
> > solutions along the lines of my strawman proposal for an NS-like RR that
> > indicates what IDN rules apply to delegated zones.  I'd rather help make
> > IDNA2008 better by working on the APIs aspect of the problem.
> I suggested similar things more than once over the past couple years,
> and people told me every time that I might be running for the position
> of "Bad Idea Fairy".

I don't think it's necessarily a bad idea, just a decade or so late.

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