Fwd: [ICANN-EU] IDN or: Are users Unicode-aware?

Stefano Trumpy Stefano.Trumpy a IAT.CNR.IT
Dom 17 Set 2000 20:18:15 CEST

Ho seguito la disputa sulla apparizione del carattere "@" nei domain
names e la iniziativa di ".nu" per la introduzione dei caratteri
nazionali. L'intervento che segue, attivato dalla recente campagna
elettorale per la "At large membership di ICANN" mi sembra ben
centrato sull'argomento e frena molti entusiasmi sui nazionalismi dei
nomi, come gia' opportunamente aveva fatto Claudio Allocchio.
Stefano Trumpy

>Date: Thu, 14 Sep 2000 18:55:53 +0200
>From: Thomas Roessler <roessler a does-not-exist.org>
>Subject: [ICANN-EU] IDN or: Are users Unicode-aware?
>Sender: owner-icann-europe a fitug.de
>To: icann-europe a fitug.de
>Mail-followup-to: icann-europe a fitug.de
>User-Agent: Mutt/1.3.8i
>Comment: This message comes from the icann-europe mailing list.
>This message is some kind of follow-up to Mr. Schüller's web chat
>from this afternoon.  In the chat, Mr. Schüller argued in favor of
>Internationalized Domain Names.  Basically, he believes that we
>should not prescribe to people from other cultures how they are
>going to write their name, and that users in asiatic countries who
>don't speak English are about to be excluded from the net.
>On the other hand, personally, I'm not convinced that IDNs are a
>good idea.  Additionally, I do believe that when they will get into
>widespread use, some administrative proceudres may be needed on the
>registrars' end in order to avoid a great lot of confusion.
>Here's why: Domain names are displayed to and memorized, recorded,
>and typed by human beings.  However, this is only possible if the
>human beings in question are able to read and distinguish the
>characters used.  This is nicely guaranteed with phone numbers, and
>it's kind of guaranteed with the current us-ascii character set.
>However, assuming that we are heading towards a world with
>internationalized domain names, this feature won't persist, since -
>even given correctly functioning software, which I doubt will exist
>- users are generally not Unicode-aware.  Europeans just don't read
>Arab or Chinese alphabets in general, and Chinese people won't read
>This implies that domain names can't be used globally any more,
>because they can't be typed or read globally (note that phone
>numbers can).  That is, domain names become close to useless as
>globally unique addresses which they, technically, still are.
>Nevertheless, people will happily register domain names with
>national characters in them, and note the problems they create that
>way too late.
>I do believe that domain registries should make sure that global
>addressibility in the DNS is preserved - and be it by forcing
>equivalent us-ascii domains upon users.
>(Note that just taking the us-ascii transcription of domain names
>may not be sufficient - the IETF IDN working group's drafts say that
>software merely MAY permit input in that transcription (I think it
>should be a MUST), and, additionally, that transcription isn't that
>much more aesthetic or memorable than a raw IPv6 address.)
>Comments and flames welcome.
>Thomas Roessler                         <roessler a does-not-exist.org>

 Stefano Trumpy
 Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
 Istituto per le Applicazioni Telematiche (IAT)
 Via V.Alfieri, 1
 56010 Ghezzano (Pisa) Italy

phone: +39 050 3152 112 (or 634)  mobile: +39 335 373423 fax: +39 050 3152113
e-mail: Stefano.Trumpy a iat.cnr.it          http://www.iat.cnr.it

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