IDNA 2008 Question Re: "Confusable" Characters in Domain Names

Andrew Sullivan ajs at
Fri Nov 5 22:26:50 CET 2010

On Fri, Nov 05, 2010 at 02:17:01PM +0000, john daw wrote:
> i'm not involved in the architecture of the Internet inany way, as
> my original email might suggest. €.com, however, ought to be
> "supported"as an existing domain name that is currently in
> operation.

Why "ought" it to be?  Under the standard domain name registration
rules, "$.com" is not supported.

You need to understand that the DNS evolved in an environment where
there were existing names for hosts on the network.  Those names were
governed by the hostname rules, and those hostname rules were pretty
restrictive.  So the DNS standard says, "If you want things to work
well, you should use those hostname rules."  Those rules are the
so-called LDH rules.  And "$.com" doesn't meet the test.

If the point of IDNA2008 is in fact to "internationalise LDH" (and
that is in fact what we set as our goal), then €.com, £.com, and so on
are none of them more important than $.com.  So they're out too.

> immediately type-able on many country keyboards.When were the
> registrant's of those domain names ever informed that "some day
> soon" they will wake up to find their Internet presence has just
> been made null and void?

I don't think that is an issue for the IETF.  What you are talking
about is operational policy for various domains.  That is a
responsibility of the zone operator (in this case, .com), and not a
question of protocol.  The rationale document explains this.  I
suggest you read it.

> names with no warnings whatsoever.2. What are the decision-making
> principles behind the idea that symbol-based domains(symbols are a
> necessary and legitimate part of every keyboard in the world)
> shouldsuddenly be deleted from the Internet landscape?

They're not deleted.  But see above and the rationale document.

> 3. It is my understanding
> that the Internet has always had a history of domain anomalies,but
> why is it exactly that the symbol-based domain name circumstance is
> treated differentlyfrom e.g. the three single-letter .com domains
> that were "allowed" to exist back in 1993?

The Internet does not exist outside of its historical circumstances.
See above.


Andrew Sullivan
ajs at
Shinkuro, Inc.

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