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Consensus so far on IDN(A)

2008-03-04 18:56:57

I've seen just around 10 responses to the external review, plus can  
count input prior to the external review.  These lead me to conclude  
so far that there is support for forming a WG, and there may even be  
support for forming this particular WG around this charter with some  
changes :)

In particular:
  - rough consensus to change WG name -- probably to IDNABIS
  - a few suggestions to clarify text
  - some concerns about backwards compatibility, which are obviously  
valid concerns ( but I haven't seen how we could do much in a  
charter, and propose to deal with those tradeoffs in WG if a WG is  
  - issues in wording of a couple goals, still need to deal with
  - issues around milestones, realism thereof

The charter will need to go around the circle again, officially or  
unofficially, and I'm still welcoming input.


On Feb 26, 2008, at 9:57 AM, The IESG wrote:

A new IETF working group has been proposed in the Applications  
Area.  The
IESG has not made any determination as yet.  The following draft  
was submitted, and is provided for informational purposes only.   
send your comments to the IESG mailing list (iesg(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org) by  
March 4,

Internationalized Domain Name (idn)
Last modified: 2008-02-18

Current Status: Proposed Working Group



Applications Area Directors:

Lisa Dusseault (ldusseault(_at_)commerce(_dot_)net)
Chris Newman (Chris(_dot_)Newman(_at_)sun(_dot_)com)

Applications Area Advisor:

Lisa Dusseault (ldusseault(_at_)commerce(_dot_)net)

Mailing List:

General Discussion: idna-update(_at_)alvestrand(_dot_)no
To Subscribe:


The original Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) WG set the
requirements for international characters in domain names in
RFC 3454, RFC3490, RFC3491 and RFC3492 in 2002. These documents
were tied to Unicode version 3.2 and an update to the current
version (5.x) is required to accommodate additional scripts.
In addition, experience has shown a number of real or perceived
defects or inadequacies with the protocol. Some of them are
described in an IAB review (RFC4690), which also provides a good
introduction to the subject matter.

IDNA is currently tied to an obsolete version of Unicode. This WG
is chartered to untie IDNA from specific versions of Unicode using
algorithms that define validity based on Unicode properties. It is
recognized that some explicit exceptions may be necessary in any
case, but attempts would be made to minimize these exceptions.

Additional goals:

- Separate requirements for valid IDNs at registration time,
vs. at resolution time
- Revise bi-directional algorithms to produce a deterministic
answer whether a label is allowed or not
- Determine whether bi-directional algorithm should allow
additional mnemonics labels
- Permit effective use of some scripts that were
inadvertently excluded by the original protocols.

The constraints of the original IDN WG still apply, namely to
avoid disturbing the current use and operation of the domain
name system, and for the DNS to continue to allow any system
to resolve any domain name. The basic approach of the original
IDN work will be maintained -- substantially new protocols or
mechanisms are not in scope. In particular, IDNs continue to
use the "xn--" prefix and the same ASCII-compatible encoding,
and the bidirectional algorithm follows the same basic design.

The WG will work to ensure practical stability of the validity
algorithms for IDNs (whether based on character properties or
inclusion/exclusion lists).

The work is currently organized into four deliverables, all
Standards Track. The WG will verify that it has consensus
to adopt the proposed documents as a starting point. The
Overview document with explanation and rationale is intended
for Standards Track status because it has definitions and
other normative text required by the other documents. The
protocol specification explains how to map non-ASCII
characters into ASCII DNS labels. It relies normatively on
two other documents that are separate for readability: the
bidirectional algorithm specification and the character
validity tables. The validity of characters in IDNs is
almost exclusively based on Unicode properties but is
organized as tables and categories for readability.

Goals and milestones:

Mar 08: WG Last Call for Overview/Rationale document
Apr 08: Revised Overview/Rationale document
Apr 08: WG Last Call for Protocol, Bidi and Tables documents
May 08: Revised Protocol, Bidi and Tables documents
May 08: Review Overview document again if needed
Jul 08: Request for publication for all documents


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