Updating RFC 5890-5893 (IDNA 2008) to Full Standard

Vint Cerf vint at google.com
Sat Nov 17 00:15:19 CET 2012

I am loathe to return to the debates of the 2008-2010 period but the strong
utility of canonical forms that are unambiguous as to identity (ie between
A-Label and U-Label) should not be underestimated. Mapping has the
unfortunate side-effect of making things "equivalent" when they are not in
fact identical. I think many who were in favor of the IDNA2008 formulation
were persuaded that this powerful feature was worth some breakage with
regard to backward compatibility. It is obvious that there is a value
judgment here and people's opinions varied.


On Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 5:45 PM, Anne van Kesteren <annevk at annevk.nl> wrote:

> On Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 12:12 PM, Dave Thaler <dthaler at microsoft.com>
> wrote:
> > IE10 resolves http://www.ad--acta.de/ and you get to the page.
> >
> > And when you put in http://faß.de <http://fass.de> the page you get to
> after resolution and
> > redirects is http://www.bayern-fass.de/cms/website.php
> Thanks! So apart from Opera no browser has changed their IDNA
> approach. And Opera has not exactly aligned with IDNA2008 either. It
> seems the pragmatic approach is to stick with IDNA2003+, meaning
> IDNA2003 algorithms with an updated version of Unicode.
> I'm not at all convinced it's web compatible to change the approach
> here, no matter how many warnings have been given to web developers
> that non-normalized identifiers might not be portable in the long run.
> Web developers expect backwards compatibility. And the approach to
> make this work via domain registrars is flawed too, as that does not
> account for subdomains, such as the one I mentioned earlier.
> --
> http://annevankesteren.nl/
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