Visually confusable characters (2)

Asmus Freytag asmusf at
Sun Aug 10 21:16:29 CEST 2014

On 8/9/2014 10:48 AM, John C Klensin wrote:


I thought it best to reply to your points individually, as some
branches of the discussion are probably not going to be as deep.

As you wrote them "in no particular order", I'm going to respond
to them in the same way.

This message responds to point (2)

> (2) ICANN has real authority in this space.
> ICANN has real authority in only two areas: decisions about what
> top-level domains to allocate and delegate and obligations they
> can impose on "contracted parties".   Even those authorities are
> limited: for example, in the IDN space, attempts some years ago
> to impose second-level registration guidelines on the nearly 200
> ccTLDs were strongly and effectively resisted to the point that
> those domains and their subtrees can effectively do whatever
> they want.  A small number of them even ignored IDNA for a while
> and registered ISO/IEC 8859 second-level domains.  When they
> stopped (if, indeed, all of them have stopped) it wasn't due to
> any ICANN authority.
> ICANN has also tried to impose requirements on registrations
> below the second level on contracted parties, but encountered a
> lot of resistance and discovered that about all it could do was
> recommend guidelines that could be ignored.  Part, but only
> part, of the problem was an extension of the issues identified
> in (1) above.   IIR, the registry for the still-important COM
> TLD told ICANN that it would consider ICANN's proposed
> requirements only as general guidelines and got away with it.

thanks for the additional examples, but so far, this matches my
understanding of the situation. I certainly wasn't thinking of
ICANN as an authority, which however does prevent me from
applying insights gained while working on projects in its sphere.

Using text as an identifier (as opposed to IP addresses) drags with
it all the messy, conflicting  and sometimes self-inconsistent ways
in which communities use text.

Sometimes that is expressed as being a problem of "Unicode",
when in fact it is not.


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