IAB Statement on Identifiers and Unicode 7.0.0

Andrew Sullivan ajs at anvilwalrusden.com
Wed Jan 28 01:05:48 CET 2015

On Tue, Jan 27, 2015 at 11:52:27PM +0000, Shawn Steele wrote:
> Oops, accidental send, sorry :)  I meant to add more detail.
> It seems like we've "moved on" beyond this one character on the other thread.

I think the statement quite clearly says that it _is_ about more than
one character, and that as of the time of writing those were the ones
the IAB had clear and unambiguous observations about.

For instance, the statement says, "The first cases discovered involve
the use of a hamza above other base characters. In principle it could
happen in other ways were the Unicode Technical Committee to find that
it needed to encode other kinds of characters similarly."

It also says, later, "In Unicode version 7.0.0, we have identified
three characters for which the condition discussed above occurs; but,
the principles in the relevant section of the Standard (and some
discussions) make it clear it could happen for other characters in the
future, and that similar situations may already exist in current and
earlier versions of Unicode."

So it's not one character anyway.  The IAB in that statement is
exhorting people to work on the generic problem, and not dismiss it as
a single character.

I also wonder why you think the statement is "overkill".  We have some
cases that we definitely believe are going to be troublesome, and we
recommend that people avoid using them in new identifiers until that
issue is sorted out.  We have a recommendation that we not make the
structural problem in IDNA worse.  And we exhort the IETF to do
something.  Where's the overkill?

(Full disclosure: I'm on the IAB and am the chair of the
supposedly-dormant i18n program.)


Andrew Sullivan
ajs at anvilwalrusden.com

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