[rfc-i] open issues: character encoding of names

Joe Touch touch at isi.edu
Thu May 31 11:14:30 PDT 2012

I would have preferred if the series adds features sparingly and of 
absolute necessity - in general.

Since examples of internationalized protocols clearly require 
international character sets, we have to find a way to deal with this 

If we have to support it, author guidelines should limit their use as 
sparingly as possible, e.g.:
	protocol examples
	author names and addresses

I hope that internationalize demail addresses are provided in two forms 
- internationalized and their ASCII equivalents (e.g., IDNA), at least 
for the forseeable future.


On 5/31/2012 10:47 AM, Andrew Sullivan wrote:
> Hi,
> In response to the RSE's suggestion that individual topics marked as
> not having consensus get discussion, I thought I'd pick a few and
> respond to them in independent threads.
> This message is about the item, "Need broader character encoding for
> author names".
> The argument for encoding author names with characters outside the
> ASCII range is that this allows us to spell people's names correctly.
> The argument against it is, apparently, that people who don't speak
> the language of the author won't be able to read the author's name.
> Therefore, a transliteration of the author's name into English is
> required.  This is appropriate, it is argued, because the language of
> the IETF is English.
> Each of these has some merit, but it seems to me that there is no
> justification for not providing both facilities, since there is
> certainly no technical impediment.  Therefore, in my view, it is
> desirable to provide this facility, and to do so with a transliterated
> English form of the name (and address and other contact data) as
> required.  The latter extends to fallback mail addresses for cases
> where the EAI extensions are not available, and to A-label forms of DNS
> names for those who cannot use the U-label form.
> As someone whose name is easily spelled in English without any
> characters outside the ASCII range, I don't feel personally strongly
> about this, but I am supportive of any action that allows authors to
> write their own names correctly according to their local custom.  I
> would like to understand the reasons why it would not be acceptable to
> do this in combination with a transliteration into English.
> Best regards,
> A

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