how did the idna theory start?

Paul Hoffman phoffman at
Sun Jul 1 17:10:38 CEST 2012

On Jun 30, 2012, at 11:21 PM, Patrik Fältström wrote:

> On 1 jul 2012, at 07:43, Abdulrahman I. ALGhadir wrote:
>> What is the main reason for not supporting the UNICODE in the DNS protocol and to not use the hack-and-slash current way to solve this issue?
> Because of mainly two reasons:
> 1. Backward compatibility with ascii domain names where domain names are in use in protocols.
> 2. The problematic part of IDNA is not the encoding, but the choice what characters to allow etc. If we one day need a completely different version of IDNA, then we can use a different prefix than "xn--" and still we have not destroyed the complete Unicode name space.

Patrik's answer is exactly right and appropriately succinct. There were some people who disagreed with the basic protocol idea, but were not able to come up with adequate different solutions that met both of these two important properties.

--Paul Hoffman

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