[UA-discuss] More from Ram Mohan on ICANN's further commitment to Universal Acceptance

Asmus Freytag asmusf at ix.netcom.com
Mon Dec 24 22:14:07 UTC 2018


Much of what you mention seems to already be an issue, independent of IDNs.

What about "www." being an optional subdomain?

How are the techniques used to handle this different from having an IDN 

Yes, I did note the passage on language negotiation, but how is that 
different from sites that can be accessed via ccTLDs in addition to a 
domain name in a gTLD. That's a pattern typical for many global 

In all of these examples, the FQDN to access the sites is not unique; if 
your organization had a local name, I don't know why you wouldn't be 
using it (perhaps in addition to the global name) when accessed via that 

A bigger obstacle seems to be that the ASCII-name *is* the brand, and 
that it is deliberately kept untranslated (e.g. "SONY").

If you do split your site into local offerings, then you need to have 
some method for users to access the desired local platform, independent 
of where they happen to be located - that's something you'll find on 
many airline sites, whose users not unexpectedly need to access the site 
when not at home.

How are any of these issues materially different from offering your site 
with multiple localized names?


PS: some non-European scripts can have variants that work similar to 
case-equivalence. If you want to institute loose matching of e-mail 
usernames based on them, you'd have to roll your own - just as ASCII 
user names get compared with certain punctuation ignored. Source data 
that you can harvest for this purpose exists in many IANA IDN tables 
("allocatable variants") and will also exist as part of the Root Zone 
LGR project. (Note, unlike case-equivalence for cased scripts, most 
scripts have variants for only a subset of characters, and some may have 
variants for only a few specific cases. But that doesn't make the 
process of loose matching any different).

On 12/24/2018 10:39 AM, Richard Merdinger wrote:
> Thanks for this write-up, John.  I think you stated the complex issues quite succinctly and well.  I agree also that it is not us to UASG to attempt to provide solutions, but that it is important for us to acknowledge the issues and help them gain visibility so the right groups can drive to some viable resolutions.
> --Rich
> -----Original Message-----
> From: UA-discuss <ua-discuss-bounces at icann.org> On Behalf Of John Levine
> Sent: December 24, 2018 12:01 PM
> To: ua-discuss at icann.org
> Subject: Re: [UA-discuss] More from Ram Mohan on ICANN's further commitment to Universal Acceptance
> In article <6963BB0C-4172-4EBD-9C38-56DEDFECF45E at lboro.ac.uk> you write:
>> -=-=-=-=-=-
>> Will ICANNʼs further commitment to UA extend to ICANN having their own set of IDNs and EAI addresses? ...
>> I have never understood this reluctance/resistance.
> I do.
> Nobody understands what it means for two different domain names to be "the same", or for two web sites to be "the same", or even for the same web site addressed by different URLs to be "the same."  Do all the names redirect to the original URL, or do you have a complete version of the web site at every IDN address?  How do you try to keep bookmarks straight if there are four URLs for every page?  For a site like ICANN's that has multiple language versions of many pages, do you try to make the language in the page match the language of the URL, or do you prefer the Accept: languages from the user's web browser, or what?
> It is relatively straightforward to have a Chinese web site at a single Chinese IDN domain, but nobody has a clue how to parallel versions of web sites at different names.  I've done some informal surveys of names that are supposed to be "the same", even in the same language, with names in .cat when they were doing DNAMEs, and names in .ngo and .ong, and I found that hardly anyone even tries to make it work.
> For EAI, as my TLD survey showed last month, only about 10% of mail systems for gTLDs can handle EAI mail, with a large fraction of those being hosted at Gmail and Outlook.  From a UA point of view, if you want to communicate with people, it is a good idea to handle other people's EAI addresses, but a poor idea to assign EAI addresses and expect other mail systems to handle them correctly at this point.*
> There is a further swamp with addresses used as identifiers, as does approximately every web site in the world that has user accounts.  We have informal conventions for ASCII addresses: upper and lower case are equivalent, and addresses with exotic punctuation don't work very well.  We have nothing like that for EAI, and in view of the vast number of different and incompatible conventions in different languages, it is a very hard problem.  I offred a little informal advice on address assignment in the EAI guide I wrote, and the IETF may do some work in this area next year, but we are a long way from solving or even understanding it.
> Finally, I am definiteky NOT suggesting that UASG should try to solve any of these problems. We need to be aware of them and perhaps warn people away from situations that might cause more UA issues.  We barely have the time and expertise to do what we're already trying to do.  Let us avoid mission creep here.
> R's,
> John
> * - This may be different among communities that all speak the same non-Latin language, perhaps in parts of India, but it's true in general.

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