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[idn] Making progress on IDN
IDN WG participants,
In a separate note, I've expressed severe disagreement with Dave
Crocker's "stop discussing this, it is off topic" notes and
comments. But I am in agreement with him as considering much of
the current discussion to be a useless waste of time.
With the understanding that the following is strictly my
The charter fairly clearly does not extend to "fixing" mail, or
URLs, or HTTP, or Unicode. Arguments that the proposed solution
won't work properly in those applications may be relevant, but
please either make new ones or see below.
Substantively, most of the current discussions are going around
in circles we have toured before. They have either gotten
nowhere or been rejected. Repeating the arguments doesn't
contribute to understanding, and doesn't seem to be convincing
anyone, nor does repeating explanations of why particular ideas
are infeasible or inappropriate seem to be convincing anyone.
That is a fairly strong argument for stopping the discussions.
It is, perhaps, an even stronger argument for not responding
when people try to bring the same old arguments up over and over
Procedurally, the Co-chairs have sent the specs off to the IESG,
presumably with an assertion of consensus. I am not
recommending this in any way, but, if people believe that
assertion is incorrect and no consensus exists or that the
summary and responses to WG Last Call are wildly unreasonable,
should try to convince the Co-chairs of that, and then, if
necessary, discuss the problem with the ADs and start looking
into appeal procedures. But repeated discussions of the same
old topics doesn't help with that process either.
Procedurally, I presume that the IESG will either put IDNA, as
now defined, out for IETF Last Call or will bounce it back to
the WG on the grounds that either they think it is defective or
that the WG clearly doesn't have consensus (the recent
discussions might be taken as evidence for the latter conclusion
--or just as evidence that a small number of people can make a
large amount of noise-- but another several days of it will,
IMO, accomplish nothing). In principle, the IESG could dump the
proposal, close the WG, and start over, but I really wouldn't
expect that (I, deliberately, have _no_ inside information at
this point). If they bounce it back, we will have lots of time
to restart this wrangling and whining. On the other hand, if
they put it out for IETF Last Call, there traditionally isn't a
lot of room in that process for alternate proposals: people who
don't like IDNA, as written, should, if they believe it is bad
enough, start organizing arguments as to why it is a
fundamentally bad idea or basically too defective or problematic
to be an IETF Proposed Standard.
But, right now, I'd suggest that IDNA supporters should take a
virtual vacation until an IETF Last Call appears or the ADs say
something definitive (and, in particular, stop trying to
persuade or educate those who clearly are not going to be
convinced) and that IDNA opponents start --probably offline from
the IDN list-- organizing their thoughts and arguments rather
than trying to persuade the unpersuadable.
So, appealing to common sense rather than creative reading or
interpretations of charters or IETF procedures, let's give it a