Browser IDN display policy: opinions sought

Gervase Markham gerv at
Mon Dec 12 12:16:04 CET 2011

On 09/12/11 17:26, Michel Suignard wrote:
> I am pretty much on Paul's side here. I was somewhat involved in the
> IE design concerning the display policy and although I knew the
> Firefox choice then I never had much sympathy for it. It basically
> meant that you were blacklisting large TLDs forever because you could
> not guarantee that all registered entries would ever be 'safe'. 

Not so; if asked, I was perfectly willing (at least, during the couple
of years after we instituted the policy) to consider grandfathering
existing registrations. Any TLD which came to me and said "we have a
problem with some existing domains, but we want to make things better
going forward - here's our new policy" would have received a very
sympathetic hearing.

As it turned out, no-one asked.

> And I
> don't want to go in how do you establish public rules determining
> which TLDs are blacklisted. It is a risky business to be in if you
> are a commercial entity. 

Mozilla may not be quite as sueable as Microsoft, but I don't think
that's down /per se/ to us being a non-profit.

> Putting the user in charge through
> 'accepted' languages seemed to me  much better alternative. 

If they even realise that they have been put in charge in that way. I
suspect very few users would jump from "this domain name looks funny" to
"my language settings are wrong".

> It has
> the unfortunate side effect of isolating English speaking folks from
> IDN benefit but that can be worked out by educating users. 

Has Microsoft, to your knowledge, taken any steps to do such education?

> Michel Totally speaking for myself. I have no link anymore with
> Microsoft and IE design decision.

Understood :-)


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