Robert Elz writes:
All the work here is for the benefit of other protocols, the DNS
(which never had a problem with domain names in any char set whatever)
is being mangled to make life easier for other protocols that really
should have been fixed years ago.
The IDNA documents claim, in attempting to justify IDNA's archaic 7-bit
character encoding, that 8-bit names would break DNS servers. There is
not a shred of evidence for that claim. See the message from the BIND
company to the IDN mailing list dated Mon, 12 Mar 2001 11:39:29 +1100.
The real problems are the 8-bit bugs in some HTTP clients, some SMTP
clients, and Sendmail. See http://pi.cr.yp.to. DNS is not the issue.
Of course, IDNA demands an upgrade from every client in the world,
including clients that already work fine with UTF-8: the MacOS X version
of Internet Explorer 5.1, for example, and many UNIX programs running
under the UTF-8 xterm. Even worse, we're going to have to go through
_another_ massive upgrade for mailbox names and for every other
How much pain is the IETF willing to inflict upon the universe before
admitting that 7-bit software is obsolete? Is it really so hard to
understand how much the users will benefit from settling on UTF-8?
---D. J. Bernstein, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics,
Statistics, and Computer Science, University of Illinois at Chicago