Fwd: "International Domain Names" support in KDE

Marc Mutz Marc.Mutz at uni-bielefeld.de
Thu Jan 23 01:51:31 GMT 2003

On Wednesday 22 January 2003 22:23, David Faure wrote:
> Does anyone know which parts of KDE would need to me modified to work
> with the new "International Domain Names" standard from the IETF?

> It seems an opensource library already exists for this (see end of
> mail), so the question is basically, who could give a hand at
> integrating it.

If you are talking about GNU's libidn, I'd advise against that. It would 
duplicate _a lot_ of unicode tables that are already in Qt.

It would be better if Qt got support for unicode normalization and 
punycode ASAP (I asked about this half a year ago - well,...).

Basically, what happens is that you get a Unicode domain name, encode it 
into some weird encoding and send that off to the library functions 
(ie. the DNS server). Depending on how lucky you are, the underlying 
libc might do the encoding job for you. I don't have a clue about what 
is planned for glibc and IDN support.

There are two drafts: nameprep and punycode. Nameprep deals with unicode 
normaization (case mapping and KC normalization, basically). Punycode 
is a "bootstring" variant that encodes more or less the full Unicode 
range into the alphabet [A-Za-z0-9] (hyphen is special).

It is really butt-ugly. Here's an example form the punycode I-D:
  Unicode: PorquƩnopuedensimplementehablarenEspaƱol
  Punycode: PorqunopuedensimplementehablarenEspaol-fmd56a

In order to support this, we either link against libidn, which is bloat 
given that Qt has most of the necessary tables already and that libidn 
includes much more than the necessary Unicode Normalization Forms.
Or we implement the nameprep transformations (should be easy, it's 
table-driven and a perl script to extract the tables from the RFC 
should be easy to write), the KCNF and the punycode algorithm (source 
included in RFC) in Qt/KDE until glibc has support for it.


It takes 5 minutes to create [a OpenPGP key].
Of course it takes a bit more time to get it signed...
                                                 -- David Faure
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