Proposed new Firefox IDN display algorithm

Gervase Markham gerv at
Fri Feb 17 16:52:49 CET 2012

On 07/02/12 06:35, John C Klensin wrote:
> (2) I deliberately didn't mention it in my long note but, from a
> UI design standpoint, I'd like to see Firefox do two additional
> things.
> One is to provide a switch that permits a user to say "I think
> I'm smarter than you are and am willing to take responsibility
> for that belief and its consequences".

At the moment, such a switch exists - sort of. You can just add every 
TLD to the whitelist. We could have a global switch if it were hidden 
away in about:config; the issue here is that if such a switch exists, 
then people might switch it on. ;-)

> The second, and even more important, is that I believe the
> browser should provide a very accessible, very easy-to-use,
> transcoder for these labels.

I can see why you want this, although I suspect that the target audience 
would be so small that the Firefox team would balk at adding a new 
feature for it. Every feature has initial and ongoing costs, after all. 
I see your analogy to View Source, but that's been a great tool in 
proving that the web is readable, hackable and remixable - the usage of 
this feature would be a lot more obscure and specialized.

> As a trivial, ASCII-only, example, if I see "rn" on a small
> screen and in poor light, it would be a huge advantage to be
> able to be able to get the browser to show me code points that
> would tell me if I'm looking at U+006D or at U+0072 U+006E.

If this is your problem, then we have a greater UI problem than 
providing a way for people to see the hex codes behind each character!


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