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Re: FYI: BOF on Internationalized Email Addresses (IEA)

2003-10-27 10:13:57

On Mon, 27 Oct 2003, Keith Moore wrote:
what problem are we trying to solve here?

I agree with Keith.  This isn't to say that I dispute that there is a
problem to be solved -- indeed, I think that the problem is apparent to
all -- but we must have a problem statement that we all agree upon before
we even think about solutions.

I don't think that references to drafts of proposed solutions suffice as a
problem statement.  Leaving aside questions of possible bias (= present a
problem in such a way that this is the obvious best solution), having the
problem statement in a draft (which by its nature is an ephemeral
document) muddies the issues.

The problem statement should consist of a single paragraph (and preferably
in one or two sentences), separate from any proposed solution, and stated
in a charter which is approved by everyone.

Here's a start at such a statement:

As presently constituted, email addresses are limited to the 26 Latin
alphabetics, 10 digits, and a limited number of special characters in the
ASCII character set.  There is a growing need to use additional
characters, specifically Latin characters with diacriticals and non-Latin
characters, in email addresses to better serve the needs of the
multi-national Internet community.  However, the restrictions of ASCII
email addresses have served as a "lingua franca" since everybody can enter
ASCII email addresses, and there is an ongoing need for this as well.  The
problem to be solved is the resolution of these two needs.

-- Mark --
Science does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.