Path towards a multilingalization IUse referent

JFC Morfin jefsey at
Mon Aug 22 18:47:15 CEST 2011

At 05:24 21/08/2011, Andrew Sullivan wrote:
>Dear colleagues,
>I did not read the rest of the message past what I quote below, becase
>it did not seem to me that the structure of the message would answer
>the question I pose.  Therefore, I make a request:
>On Sun, Aug 21, 2011 at 01:08:29AM +0200, jefsey wrote:
> > However, the Internet MUST be supported by a
> > network/human oriented universal semiotic system.
>I would like a defence of that claim.  Speaking entirely personally, I
>don't believe it.

Dear Andrew,
I cannot object faith, but I can explain why I believe we think the 
same things.

>We shape our technology, but our technology also shapes us.

Correct. But the way we shape our technology is diverse. Up to now 
IETF accepted that the user's response to their options was the 
"market". The IUCG is the acknowledgment that the response and the 
possible counter-response may first come from lead users, i.e. the 
people who know in advance what they want and are able to implement 
it by themselves. The IUCG mission is to welcome those who are ready 
to cooperate with the IETF, i.e. considering themselves as IETF users.

IDNA2008 has significantly extended that role. This results from the 
IUI as I just explained to Patrik. This is because the IUI is an 
IETF/Intelligent Users interface, where users are not only IETF users 
but also IETF technical partners.

In this it is necessary for the IETF:
- 1. to understand and accept what the IUsers want to implement.
- 2. to support it.

In the IDNA2008 case, Point 1 is in part lower key because Point 2 
has already been carried out: this is IDNA2008. However, it is also 
important because:

- the IDNA architectural concept does not scale : nothing guarantees 
that two applications on the same machine will resolve the same DN 
into the same IP.
- the guidance of IETF people, like yourself, is called upon by 
groups of users (e.g. VIP)
- Post-IDNA2008 internal protocol updates are advisable (PRECIS) and 
RFC 1958 calls for the same problems to receive the same sollutions.
- it is most probable that the outside-IUI choices will sometime 
interact with the inside Internet deployment. This is where we shape 
our IUI technology that may shape our Internet technology. By essence 
the Internet technology is resillient to our shaping. By essence the 
IUI technology wants to support and adapt itself to the Users' ways.

>There is nothing intrinsic about "green" meaning "go".

It does not mean "go". It means its OK.

If you steered at sea in the dark and poor weather you know that only 
three colours are really distinguishable: white/yellow, red and greed 
(blue can come from the moon and some cultures confuse it with green).

- white means "I am here",
- red means "furnace, heath, danger",
- and green means "peace, cool, no risk" as in landscapes.

>There is nothing about the universe that causes time zones (which is 
>different from saying "differences in the apparent time of dawn and 
>dusk").  Yet we all, techno-literate that we are, take these bits of 
>cultural dreck and make them true.  Moreover, we adjust to them -- 
>somehow finding it more convenient to say, "Darkness falls earlier," 
>than to say, "The time on the clock is wrong."

I will not dispute that!
The same as you adjust to your wife, to others, to your own weight 
and size, your personal gifts and weaknesses, etc. Organization and 
technologies become part of us. This is the reason why we prefer they 
are smart enough and in tune with our own ways. Not easy with the 
Internet (e.g.: ASCII DN), but we want to ease that (e.g. IDNA2008 we 
discuss here) supporting people's languages. Why just in part, when 
we can consider the whole thing?

>It is, in my personal opinion, completely foolish to imagine that 
>Internet names -- which are, by their nature at the time of 
>registration and lookup, even if not for the user, completely devoid
>of cultural context -- can ever be made completely user-centric.

I feel this comes fom your Internet DNS responsbility bias.
Please remember that users are not interested in Internet DNS but in 
naming what they want, something they do all the day long. The 
difference between engineers and users is that:

- you talk about "internet names", we talk of "domain names" that can 
me on resumes, TV, books, etc.
- you talk of registration and look-up as if they came first. We 
observe that what comes first is the person asking for the name he/she wants.
- you rightly consider that for the computer process the DN string is 
devoid of cultural context. This is the opposite for the human choice 
to have registered that particular string.
- you seem to consider user-centric as user-exclusive. I only talk of 
"network/human oriented" semiotic system.

Please also remember that semiotics includes three (actually four on 
my PoV) disciplines:
- syntax - includining orthotypology
- semantics - meaning
- pragmatics - context influence - variances
- multilinguistics - practical coexistance of languages - including 
computer languages: what we discuss in here.

>Users will have to learn some things, and some of those things will 
>be "Internet names are a little different, & have strange restrictive rules."

This is where we agree: actually they will necessarily have to learn 
the DNS orthotypographic ways we will have decided together.

Every semiotic system is necessarily conventional (protocol) between 
interlocutors. The difficulty is to support the orthotypography 
people expect and/or are able to technically impose (e.g. Project.FRA 
and French majuscules) and that will most probably evoluate with 
time, new technologies and contexts.

- - IESG 
indicated that they did consider it before approving IDNA2008.

>More importantly, while I am not one of those people in the
>thrall of the conceptual scheme (cf. Davidson), I think it is
>preposterous to suggest that we will come up with a universal semiotic
>system given the limitations of the DNS and the way that denoting
>works in different linguistic traditions.

I only talk of "universal", i.e. "used, intended to be used, or 
understood by all", not of anything exhaustive (in such a case you 
would be correct). What is on the table is a "network/human" relative 
need. How network systems and human expectations can fit together.

>I believe we can come up with some useful conventions that will work 
>most of the time, for most people.

Sorry, as a user of the deliverables, I cannot accept the human "most 
of the time/most people". Mecanology calls for an algorithm that 
works or fails without hesitations (you were the one to call for an 
algorithm and you were right).

1. As far as the technology is concerned the matter is over. This is 
IDNA2008: IDNA2008 does not consider variants.

2. So,the remaining issues are:

- how do we define, protect, register, etc. variants at a community 
level (algorithm)?
- how do we support their operations: aliases inside the DNS or user 
domain name massaging at the outside ML-DNS?

To clarify our job let have a look at the current definition of 
"algorithm" in

A term used in a broad sense in the Unicode Standard, to mean the 
logical description of a process used to achieve a specified result. 
This does not require the actual procedure described in the algorithm 
to be followed; any implementation is conformant as long as the 
results are the same.
(source: Unicode glossary, author: undisclosed, text listed to be 
reviewed and possibly changed).

This means that we have to specify the result first. Before deciding 
if this is possible or not. So, if we want to succeed we have to 
specffy something we can achieve.
As far as I am concerned I would be happy with an algorithm 
preventing TLD homographic confusion and supporting reasonable TLD 
variants. I think it is possible.

>I believe that these will strain the rules of every writing system 
>on the planet, in much the way that "ns1" strains English writing rules.

To clarify this, let look at the current definition of 
"orthotypography" in

The term 'orthotypography' is seen from the viewpoint of readability. 
It means the correct use of typographic signs to convey the intended 
semantic or context. Also known as "Typographical syntax", 
orthotypography defines the meaning and rightful usage of typographic 
signs and cases. Orthotypographic rules may vary broadly from 
language to language, from country to country, etc.
(source: IUCG, author: Jefsey Morfin, text listed to be reviewed and 
possibly changed).

"ns1" is correct orthotypography in the network/human oriented 
universal semiotic system and the DNS resolution algorithm can apply to it.

>I am incredulous at the suggestion that the Internet needs a 
>"network/human oriented universal semiotic system," both because I 
>don't believe it

The only way I can oppose faith, is to show it wrong. i.e. to 
implement a prototype solution. Under way.

>and because I believe that humans (and especially human language) 
>are much more resilient than that.

Absolutely yes (and this is true for each of the 22.500 language 
units, and more for the billions of idiolects and avalects) This is 
why Unicode, which is designed to support typographic workshops may 
not be adapted to support the algorithm we look for.

For the time being my algorithm includes:
- support of scripting metadata through ML-DNS since this was 
(probably rightfully) denied by IDNA2008.
- a graphcode solution to oppose phishing.
- particular cases agreed upon on a community basis, as TLDs and 
root-names (equivalent to TLDs outside of the Internet DNS - the 
ML-DNS being a multitechnology oriented project).

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