IDNA and U+08A1 and related cases (was: Re: Barry Leiba's Discuss on draft-ietf-json-i-json-05: (with DISCUSS and COMMENT))

Shawn Steele Shawn.Steele at
Tue Jan 27 01:55:46 CET 2015

Re: Homographs - I think there's a tiny difference in definition.  A strict definition would, I believe, be "a word that shares the same written form as another word."  So they'd have to be absolutely identical no matter what the magnification, complex font rendering rules, whatnot.

I think that the IDN folks have been using (probably misusing) the term to mean things that look pretty close, especially if they look pretty close most the time.  (Of course this gets vague and depends on numerous things).

IMO: true homographs are irrelevant to IDN.  They are a small subset of "visually confusing" and it doesn't really matter how/why they are confusing, the fact that users could be confused is the important part.

(One could also extend that to other types of confusion, such as "color" and "colour", which no English speaker will think are different)

- Shawn

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