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Re: IRIs, IDNAbis, and HTTP

From: Martin Duerst <duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2008 13:42:35 +0900
Message-Id: <>
To: Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>, Brian Smith <brian@briansmith.org>
Cc: ietf-http-wg@w3.org

At 00:28 08/03/14, Julian Reschke wrote:
>Brian Smith wrote:

>>>>> HTTP is no "new" protocol, like mail or news:  2821bis and 2822upd and FWIW RFC.usefor-usefor don't "violate" any IETF policy.  But atom and xmpp were new, a different situation.
>>>> RFC 2277 applies to any updates to an existing protocol, as far as I can tell.
>>> I don't see how it could apply to that.
>> Please read what I quoted above. HTTP is an existing protocol, so it can
>> have a default charset other than UTF-8, but "UTF-8 support MUST be
>> possible." 
>    Internationalization is for humans. This means that protocols are not
>    subject to internationalization; text strings are. Where protocol
>    elements look like text tokens, such as in many IETF application
>    layer protocols, protocols MUST specify which parts are protocol and
>    which are text. [WR]
>    Names are a problem, because people feel strongly about them, many of
>    them are mostly for local usage, and all of them tend to leak out of
>    the local context at times. RFC 1958 [RFC 1958] recommends US-ASCII
>    for all globally visible names.
>    This document does not mandate a policy on name internationalization,
>    but requires that all protocols describe whether names are
>    internationalized or US-ASCII.
>    NOTE: In the protocol stack for any given application, there is
>    usually one or a few layers that need to address these problems.
>    It would, for instance, not be appropriate to define language tags
>    for Ethernet frames. But it is the responsibility of the WGs to
>    ensure that whenever responsibility for internationalization is left
>    to "another layer", those responsible for that layer are in fact
>    aware that they HAVE that responsibility.
>So HTTP uses US-ASCII for names; that includes method names, header names, relation names, whatever. No problem so far.

Names in RFC 2277 doen't refer to things such as method names, where
there is only a very small selection. In the above quote, these go under

'names' above refers to things like domain names, email addresses, and
IRIs, where there is a large number of them, and they may be related to
names of people, companies, or organizations. At the time RFC 2277 was
written, it was not at all clear what should happen with these. I guess
some people felt they were going to be needed sooner or later, while
others thought they were unnecessary, impossible, dangerous, or whatever.

Regards,   Martin.

#-#-#  Martin J. Du"rst, Assoc. Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University
#-#-#  http://www.sw.it.aoyama.ac.jp       mailto:duerst@it.aoyama.ac.jp     
Received on Monday, 17 March 2008 04:43:34 UTC

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