ICANN variant project update

John C Klensin klensin at jck.com
Wed Feb 22 00:39:20 CET 2012

--On Tuesday, February 21, 2012 17:22 -0500 Andrew Sullivan
<ajs at anvilwalrusden.com> wrote:

> Dear colleagues,
> Apologies if you see this more than once.  Because of prior
> interest here, I'm posting this message here, but not
> cross-posting.
> ICANN has published the final version of the Variant Issues
> Project report, and has published a project plan for next
> steps.  You may read about these developments on the following
> pages:
> http://www.icann.org/en/announcements/announcement-20feb12-en.
> htm
> http://www.icann.org/en/public-comment/idn-vip-proposed-projec
> t-plan-20feb12-en.htm


After looking briefly through that material (perhaps 125 pages
total, so emphasis on "briefly"), it seems to me that, while the
text has been tuned a bit in this latest iteration (definitely
good), the basic action plan is, more or less "we don't know
what variants are, but we are going to charge ahead and work
through implementation issues and experiments" and "we don't
really know what the implications of 'label generation rulesets'
are, or even if meaningful ones for non-trivial cases are
feasible (and the report, to be fair, says that) we are going to
charge ahead and start developing such tools".   There are other
issues and plans, but I think those examples are pretty
illustrative of tone.

In particular, the report and "next steps" plan seems to
completely ignore both 

	* the comments that this was all sufficiently
	complicated that the main effect of whatever followed
	would be to create opportunities for just about anyone
	who said "I have a variant situation" in a sufficiently
	aggressive way to obtain whatever names they claimed
	were related and 
	* the suggestion that it would be worth investigating
	whether things could be simplified to a blocking by
	proactive objection strategy that would require no new
	or special mechanisms.

Do you believe that characterization is reasonable and, if not,
why not?


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