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North American Network Operators Group

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Re: COM/NET informational message

  • From: Leo Bicknell
  • Date: Fri Jan 03 14:50:34 2003
  • Reply-by: Fri Jan 10 14:30:02 EST 2003

In a message written on Fri, Jan 03, 2003 at 08:22:11PM +0100, Kandra Nygårds wrote:
> IDN(A) is an effort to encode unicode into 7-bit DNS-labels, without
> breaking backward compatibility (too hard). While there originally were a
> few voices arguing for UTF-8 over the wire, they were few and the consensus
> today is that IDN(A) is a Good Way to Go(tm).

The problem here is that the working groups for different services
are going different directions.  E-mail base64 encodes Unicode in
MIME.  Usenet seems to be moving to UTF-8 directly.  DNS is using

Woe be the ISP who must provide all these services to their customers,
and who's perl scripts must now be able to convert
base64<->UTF-8<->IDN<->whatever else is out there just to be able
to cobble together all the simple things we do everyday.

Most (all?) RFC type standards today specify US-ASCII and/or
ISO-8859-1 encoding.  This is part of what has made the Internet
so popular.  I understand the need to support more characters, but
let's do that by supporting some base encoding scheme and layering
everything on top of that, rather than creating hundreds new encoding
schemes, one for each higher level application.

       Leo Bicknell - - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at
Read TMBG List -,

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