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RE: fate of IRI working group in IETF

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>
Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2013 10:44:47 -0800
To: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>, SM <sm@resistor.net>, Jiankang YAO <yaojk@cnnic.cn>
CC: "public-iri@w3.org" <public-iri@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C68CB012D9182D408CED7B884F441D4D1E3FC020B0@nambxv01a.corp.adobe.com>
John and SM:

The question and your interests presume the lack of interest is in the topic. But this 
is not the case. Rather, There is a lack of interest in working within the IETF

There ARE people willing to work, in a standards working group, on IRIs and related items.
We have the WHATWG spec:


If you search http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/ for "URL standard"
And you'll find hundreds of emails about the URL spec.

We have 

and searching the mail archive:
http://www.w3.org/Search/Mail/Public/search? hdr-1-name=subject&hdr-1-query=url&type-index=public-webapps
again with hundreds of emails about the URL spec there.

And we have 
and related bug reports and discussion about that.

I think some people might have a plan for converging these, but I can't find any written description
of the plan.

In summary: your reasoning is interesting, but does not apply to the
current situation.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: John C Klensin [mailto:john-ietf@jck.com]
> Sent: Sunday, January 06, 2013 6:25 AM
> To: SM; Jiankang YAO
> Cc: public-iri@w3.org
> Subject: Re: fate of IRI working group in IETF
> --On Thursday, January 03, 2013 22:17 -0800 SM <sm@resistor.net>
> wrote:
> > Hi Jiankang,
> > At 18:35 03-01-2013, Jiankang YAO wrote:
> >> it is an important work, but why  do few people paritcipate
> >> in this WG?
> >>
> >> is it due to that the importance of this work is not
> >> recognized by  every involved person?
> >
> > It is difficult to find people with the relevant expertise.
> > The people can be busy.  Saying that the work is important
> > does not change that.
> There are at least two other hypotheses:
> (1) Even though there is general agreement that
> internationalization is very important, reasonable people can
> disagree about what should be internationalized (or localized)
> and how.  Several regularly-repeated discussions are of pieces
> of that issue.   For example:
>  * What constitutes a "protocol identifier" that should
> 	not be internationalized.
>  * Although it is rarely discussed, it is often been
> 	observed that, when "meaning" is not important, basic
> 	Latin characters are understood by most of the world's
> 	population and can be rendered by most of the world's
> 	devices.  They are, so far, required by most things that
> 	are clearly protocol identifiers (such as URI scheme
> 	names) so that inability to render them is a problem
> 	regardless of what is done about i18n globally.  From
> 	that perspective, allowing other character sets globally
> 	tends to fractionalize the Internet, not unify and
> 	internationalize it.
>  * Some activities are inherently local and a matter of
> 	localization, not subjects for i18n.  For example
> 	keyboard mappings are inherently local -- no one serious
> 	has proposed an "internationalized keyboard" with enough
> 	keys and shifts to be able to represent all of Unicode
> 	(or even all abstract letters and digits in Unicode)
> 	without escape conventions.
>  * There is often a useful distinction between a thing,
> 	the name by which the thing is called, and mechanisms
> 	that may lead to the thing.  The distinction recently
> 	drawn in the "new URL standard" thread between URL
> 	processing and strings that may lead to URLs is a useful
> 	part of that discussion, but so are the "to map or not"
> 	discussions about strings that could be construed as
> 	IDNs and the issues surrounding whether end users really
> 	use domain names or are (or should be) using search
> 	engines and other "above DNS" or "non-DNS" approaches.
> Those are just examples and each involves tradeoffs but, if
> someone examines even one of them and concludes that IRIs are
> the wrong solution to the problem (or a solution to the wrong
> problem), then they can conclude that IRIs are not particularly
> important even if i18n is.
> (2) As soon as the IRI WG started down the path of saying "these
> are protocol identifiers, mostly important for protocols that
> have not yet been defined in URL terms" (note that, while I hope
> that is a reasonable characterization of a position, I am not
> claiming that it is a consensus one or that it represents the
> consensus of the active participants in the WG or of the
> community), then the importance of IRIs becomes related to
> guesses about protocols not yet designed, not the Internet (or,
> especially the Web and URLs) as we know it today.
> Those three  reasons -- the two above and the issues of time,
> personal or business priority among the experts, and "pain
> points" that SM and Martin identifies-- are largely independent
> of each other but probably have an additive effect in reducing
> the number of people who are enthused about IRIs and willing to
> spend major energy on them.
> best,
>     john
Received on Sunday, 6 January 2013 18:45:33 UTC

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